Residents flock to reopened library

[attach]1504[/attach]Residents young and old lined the block on April 13, eagerly awaiting their first chance to step inside the newly renovated [url=]Thorncliffe library[/url].

The library, which was closed for more than two years during the $2.59 million renovation, now has a Teen Zone, a space created to draw more teenagers into the library for studying and socializing and 21 new publicly accessible computers which will help residents communicate with people from around the world.

“In this area, there are a lot of immigrants, some who miss their families back home,” said Nida Zafar, who brought her daughter Fatima, 2, to the opening ceremony. “For those who can’t afford computers, now they’ll be able to keep in contact with their families through the computers they have at the library.”

The new KidsStop area, a vibrant coloured interactive literary centre designed to develop early literacy skills through play, is especially important for this community said Phyllis Malette, Thorncliffe’s branch manager.

“North America’s biggest elementary school (Thorncliffe Public) is here with over 1,900 students,” said Malette. “The demand for children’s programming here is high.”

The library is also a resource for newcomers to Canada who are looking for a place to study while upgrading their skills for employment, Malette said.

Councillor John Parker said that while renovation of the library took longer than expected it was well worth the wait.

“This is a fabulous facility,” he said. “We’re pleased with the workmanship and the design and pleased with the reception that we’re getting from the residents of Thorncliffe.”

The Thorncliffe Branch new business hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.