Winchester Library children’s addition progressing completion

WINCHESTER, Ill. (WGEM) – The historical Winchester Library is one step closer to completing its Children’s Library Addition.

Alice Ballard, the story time coordinator with the library’s board, said the roughly $500,000 combined grants they received from the USDA and the state was a long time coming. The library had been applying since 2010.

She said the additional space will create a special section for children during their reading hours and make space for larger books since bigger print is becoming more commonplace for advanced readers.

“We’ll be able to have more activities,” Ballard said. “More room for books, more children’s books. You know, we need more children’s books.”

Ballard said more space would allow for more teen novels, too.

Andrea Fundel runs a daycare in Winchester. She said taking the children to the library is a weekly ritual and important for their active brains.

“Children need to learn to read,” Fundel said. “And, reading improves their imagination, their thought process.”

Fundel and Ballard were having their story hour with the kids on Wednesday morning in a room mixed with children’s and advanced-level books. The furniture was too big for the kids. And, they had their story hour in a cramped space behind the librarian’s desk.

“(The children’s addition) is going to open opportunities to do things for the community,” Fundel said. “Because we just don’t have the room right now.”

Ballard said they were hoping the expansion would have been around this time.

However, they had the wrong windows delivered to them which set back their timeline.

“Once the windows are in, they can do the electricity and they can do the dry wall,” Ballard said.

Ballard said the library still needs to raise money for interior items such as children’s furniture.

“We need mats, we need chairs,” Ballard said. “We need a couple of couches that children can crawl up and sit in.”

Ballard says they hope to open the children’s addition by September.

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