CALUMET CITY | Though it is not officially complete, the Calumet City Public Library has opened a new youth services department to the public.
"We took down the caution tape and started letting people come in even though the opening is not official," said Jane Rowland, president of the library Board of Trustees.
The construction project, 660 Manistee Ave., began in March 2008 and expanded the youth area from 8,000 square feet to 10,400.
The staff is awaiting shelving for more books and DVDs. New furniture also needs to be purchased to make the children's program room more child friendly.
"Children are the future, and we do everything we can to get the children to come in and read," Rowland said.
The spacious area still has handwritten signs on the shelves as the staff awaits final construction, but that hasn't stopped children from coming in to read their favorite books. Lower-level shelves were added to give small children a sense of independence as they browse for reading materials.
"Giving them (children) an area of their own that is pleasant, bright and cheerful is a good way to get them to read," Rowland said.
Gale Krekovich, youth services department head, said it is unknown when the department will be officially complete.
"The contractors have a punch list of things they need to do before it's finished," she said. "It's just minor things."
Patrons have complimented the new area, Rowland said.
"We are getting comments from people. One woman said it is good use of taxpayer money. I thought that was nice," she said.
The staff plans on having an official grand opening when the final stages are competed.