Home News Local News Library plans ‘joyful, enriching’ displays for youth

Library plans ‘joyful, enriching’ displays for youth

The interactive displays for the children’s library will help prepare youth for school, says Enid Costley, Roswell Public Library director. (Daily Record File Photo)

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The Roswell Public Library is planning on acquiring some new interactive learning materials for youth that will allow them to learn about wetlands and local culture.

The interactive displays and materials are intended to build on other items already in the children’s section of the library, including a painted koi pond on the floor that can spark creative work or be used to teach everything from counting to colors to biology.

“Especially after this entire pandemic situation, I just feel like we really need to give them something that would be joyful and fun and enriching,” said Library Director Enid Costley.

She added that she thinks one of the reasons the new children’s librarian accepted the position was because of the planned additions.

The items are expected to cost about $130,567, and Costley is asking to pay for them using 2018 general obligation bond funds for the library already approved by voters. She said that the 2018 bond funds were not available for use until 2020 and have to be spent by April 2022.

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The Roswell City Council General Services Committee gave its recommendation for the use of the funds during its Wednesday meeting and forwarded the matter to the entire city council for its May 13 meeting.

Once approved, it will take many months before the items can be ordered and installed, Costley said.

“We would be the only Burgeon library in New Mexico,” Costley said, referring to the Burgeon Group, the Phoenix, Arizona, company that specializes in creating learning objects and materials for public libraries.

The first item Costley described is primarily for preschool children and would be an interactive area about wetlands ecosystems that would be located by the painted koi pond and the service desk in the children’s library.

It would be shaped to resemble a boat and large enough for strollers to enter, as well as compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards. It would have “marine” panels and objects that would teach kids about the animals and plants of the ecosystem, including endangered species in the area.

A second feature would be interactive learning panels on the south wall of the Malone Room. Some panels would feature pecan groves, local buildings and a rocket. Another would feature a farmers’ market truck.

“We can change and modify this so that it is more reflective of our culture,” she said, adding that adaptations could include incorporating pottery styles known in the region, substituting the Roswell “alien eyes” into the images, and using both Spanish and English to identify the fruits and vegetables pictured.

The panels also have a magnetic board that can be used for youth to create their own visual depictions of local buildings.

Costley said that the library also intends to raise another $35,000 for an additional display in the northeast corner of the library.

“This will be a nod to the oil and gas industry with a car,” she said. “You can see from the car that there are a lot of interactive activities that promote learning of 21st century skills.”

Costley said that the displays and materials will help ensure that area youth are ready to succeed when they enter school.

She referred to research and reports that have concluded that younger people learn best when engaged in play and when involved in entertaining, hands-on activities guided by adults.

According to the Burgeon Group LLC website, the company has created displays or materials for more than 700 libraries in North America.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.