CITY OF BROOKFIELD - Children at the Brookfield Public Library have a new, enchanting space in which to indulge their imaginations thanks to the generosity of a number of different givers.
The library will host a celebration of its new kingdom — complete with a castle wall, new decor and a tree to sit under — this Saturday.
The seed for the renovations was planted by interest from resident Jerry Hestiken, who contacted the Friends of the Brookfield Library about making a donation following the death of his wife Monica last year.
"We sat down and we met and one of the areas that we talked about was the toddler area in the children's department," Brookfield Public Library Director Edell Schaefer said. "The reason that he was interested in the children's area is because his wife was an English teacher, a very avid reader, and she passed that along to her children. They wanted to have some type of memorial to Monica that would encourage reading and learning from young children within the community."
The new area was designed by Building Service Inc.
Schaefer noted that the library has a number of areas that it has been looking to upgrade when made possible by donations.
"This building was redesigned and expanded back in 1990, so a lot of the areas, while they have been tweaked, have not really been modified since then," Schaefer said.
The new area was also made possible by Friends of the Brookfield Library and a local Girl Scout, Maggie Conlon, who volunteered her time and efforts as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project.
In total, the Hestiken family donated approximately $13,000 to the renovations while the Friends contributed around $6,000.
"It's really wonderful the way everything fit together," Schaefer said.
Schaefer said the library board has been discussing a major renovation of the entire building, but that such a project is still a ways off.
"It is kind of a slow track, but in the meantime, the way that we are addressing some areas, just sprucing up areas, is through donations from private donors," Schaefer said.
The library was built in 1972 and its 1990 major renovations included approximately doubling the square-footage from 25,000 to 50,000 square feet.
City of Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto will lead Saturday's ceremony, which will include light refreshments served by the Friends of the Brookfield Library.