The old main library in downtown Aurora was fine, but it wasn’t anything special. The children’s area was in the basement so it was dark and a bit crowded and they only had a few puzzles. We would go there to check out books and for story time, but we never stayed long.
That library closed its doors for good in May. In mid-June, the new $28 million Santori Public Library opened, named after Richard and Dr. Gina Santori, who contributed a $3 million endowment for the library.
Designers of the new library have done an amazing job of creating a children’s area where you would want to come and spend some time. The children’s area is much more open and spread out, it is bright, has plenty of seats, and a wide variety of toys and activities for kids.
There is a large semi-circle couch by the children’s toys and also stools and a table. This provides the perfect spot for parents to sit back and let their children play. There are also fun little reading areas for kids, like a circular tube where they can curl up.
There are a variety of other little clusters of comfy chairs and tables throughout the children’s section. Near one of these clusters is “Jai’s Craft Corner,” an area with tables and chairs and supplies for a craft. When we were there you could make a paper bag pig puppet. There weren’t any library employees there, they just had all the supplies and instructions available for you to create the craft. I’m not sure if this will be going on all the time, but it is a great space that I hope they utilize for library programs.
We haven’t gone to storytime here yet but they have a little stroller parking area on the outside which I thought was a cute idea.
The thing I am most excited about at the Santori Library is the “Makerspace.” There is a room with a laser cutter, 3D printer, and a variety of other resources available to use. The library says “the purpose of the Makerspace is to provide customers with state-of-the-art technologies to support educational, professional and personal goals and endeavors.”
The room wasn’t entirely functional yet when I visited last month, and they were still working out the logistics. Since my visit, the library has posted a long document with guidelines and policies and fees. I am really excited to see what kind of programs they offer for this space, I think it’s going to be a great resource!
The Santori Public Library is located at 101 S. River Street in downtown Aurora. It’s open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the school year, the library will be open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. but it is currently closed on Sundays for the summer. Sunday hours will resume Sept. 7, 2015.
Here are more photos from the children’s area of the Santori Public Library: