Soft opening of refurbished library

The project to refurbish the Queen Wilhelmina Library in The Bottom has successfully concluded. The results are neat: a cozy reading area, including a small coffee bar with drinks and snacks for purchase, a revamped computer area and a modern meeting space. On Thursday, October 10, the soft opening took place of the revamped library.

Commissioner Bruce Zagers addressing the guests during the soft opening outside the refurbished Queen Wilhelmina Library on Thursday, October 10.

Addressing the small gathering, Commissioner of Education Bruce Zagers said that having functional libraries in the community was very important for our children, our people and society as a whole. “The improvements made to our library signals how much we value that role and of course how much the library means for our community and schools.”

Zagers said the motivation for this project was to create an environment that went beyond having a building with just shelves and books. “In these modern days where technology is widely taking the place of the average bookstore or library, it is important that we ensure that our library still is able to play that strong role in our community. We believe in creating an attractive atmosphere which can motivate our children and our community to not only feel welcome at the library but also enjoy visiting it to make use of everything that is available.”

The refurbished interior of the library includes a small cafetaria, new furniture and other facilities.

Visitors to the library notice the improvements immediately. The reading area has new furniture, a large couch and two chairs. The coffee bar is already proving a success with good selection of pastries and snacks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Coffee, tea and other non-alcoholic beverages are for sale every day. The coffee bar will not only bring in some much-needed extra funds for the library, but it also contributes to the visitor’s experience.

The large meeting table and chairs near the new entrance is new. At this table, children are offered homework support to help with their Dutch, English and Spanish through the Opportunities for All Children (“Kansen voor alle kinderen”) program of the Dutch Government. A smart TV has been installed, donated by Satel NV. The reading and homework area can easily be turned into a meeting space for 8 to 10 people. If people want to rent the area to hold a talk, that can also be arranged. In that case, the area fits up to 20 persons.

In that same area, two new computers have been added for toddlers, also financed through the Opportunities for All Children. Roofline Construction donated the toddler computer table. Project manager Rosa Johnson of the Public Entity Saba thanked Roofline Construction for the company’s donation of their services to the project.

The computer area was fixed up as well and has moved to other side of the library, among the new location of the books section. For security purposes, the library now has camera surveillance on the premises. The general contractor for this project, financed by the Public Entity, was Shellis Construction.

The main aim of the refurbishing project is to provide more and better services to the community. “We hope to get more people to come to the library, encouraging them to read,” said Johnson who thanked all persons and government departments that have contributed to the revamping of the library.

Commissioner Zagers also said a big thank you to the many motivated people who have been actively involved in accomplishing this project. “I would also like to congratulate and thank the staff and the board for their willingness to think along and support these improvements. Today is a great day in the history of the library and I hope that the improvements are enjoyed by all.”

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