Here's a positive sign of the times you'll see very soon: "The Library."
It will be installed in the coming weeks over the entrance of the new Republic Branch Library, 921 N. Lindsey, in the Highland Park Town Center.
But we're not waiting for the sign to celebrate.
Everyone is invited to a grand opening celebration that masquerades as a Halloween party. What else do you do when your grand opening falls on Oct. 31?
Music begins at 2:30 p.m.; the brief dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting is scheduled from 3 to 3: 30 p.m. Then stay for tours, more music, face painting, a visit by Leo the Library Lion and a Halloween "photo booth" for kids or families - so be sure to wear your costumes.
From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. the library becomes a trick-or-treat stop along the annual "Treat Yourself in Republic" candy tour for kids.
Oct. 31 kicks off a host of grand opening events scheduled through the week at the new branch library. There's something for adults, teens and little ones. Check out thelibrary.org for a complete schedule.
To accommodate the tremendous growth and demand for services in Republic, the new branch makes a leap from 8,000 square feet in its current site at Merchants Park to a 10,000-square-foot, stand-alone facility.
It has functional features and amenities: Check out the drive-up window; additional computers, WiFi; a Wii in the children's area; designated teen area with computers and a gaming station; and a small conference room with "moveable walls" -- a cubicle-type wall system. And of course, there will be a generous selection of books, CDs, DVDs and books on tape.
Many of the study tables, a conference room table and occasional tables were crafted by Queen City Green LLC from reclaimed pine after Ozarks ice storms. An $80,000 gift from Friends of the Library helped purchase the furnishings.
Hours of operation will be 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday beginning Nov. 2; and 8:30 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The drive-up window will open at 7:30 a.m. each of those mornings, then follow regular library hours.
Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Contact her at email@example.com.
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