Sunday, November 28, 2021

Local News

New Programs Await Patrons at Scranton Library Grand Opening

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From left, Dave Osborn of the Schumann Foundation, Timothy Crowley of the Schumann Foundation, Ford Schumann, David Schumann, Scranton Board of Trustees President Nicole Wiles, former Scranton Library director Sandy Long, current Library Director Sunnie Scarpa, and First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons were all smiles this past weekend as the Scranton Library and the Schumann Children’s Library held their Grand Opening celebrations. Photo by Ben Rayner/The Source

From left, Dave Osborn of the Schumann Foundation, Timothy Crowley of the Schumann Foundation, Ford Schumann, David Schumann, Scranton Board of Trustees President Nicole Wiles, former Scranton Library director Sandy Long, current Library Director Sunnie Scarpa, and First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons were all smiles this past weekend as the Scranton Library and the Schumann Children’s Library held their Grand Opening celebrations. (Photo by Ben Rayner/The Source)

The pandemic delayed the much-anticipated Grand Opening and Homecoming ceremony for both the new Scranton Library and the Schumann Children’s library, but this past weekend the gratitude and excitement could finally be presented. The openings highlighted some of the programs and resources that the libraries have available for residents.

“It is great to take a moment to recognize all of the efforts and hard work that went into this project,” said Scranton Library Director Sunnie Scarpa. “The Schumann family has been incredibly generous. They have always invested in the libraries expansion and the entire town should be grateful.

“It is exciting and we really want people to see what was accomplished,” Scarpa continued. “It’s a milestone and that is what we want to share with this opening. We want celebrate. We want to shine a spotlight on all the work that was done and what we accomplished.”

According to Scarpa, libraries are integral to towns like Madison.

“There is a huge link between investing in a good public library and the academic success of the children who live a town. The link with student success is very well documented,” Scarpa said. “It is very meaningful that the town and the Schumann family in particular have chosen to invest in a space for their students.”

And the Scranton Library has some just plain cool offerings for any age.

Most know that libraries loan books, DVDs, and even e-literature, but did you know the Scranton also loans out ukuleles, digital converters, croquet sets…and even a pizza oven?

This project is called the Library of Things and the list of available items doesn’t end there. How about a set of binoculars to go bird watching, or an outdoor movie screen set up, board games, video games, a chess set, or Go-Pro camera? These and a number of other items are all available at the Scranton Library.

Scarpa said the Library of Things that many local libraries are beginning to create and develop are quickly becoming an entire new way of communities to interact with their libraries.

“We have had a small collection of tech gadgets in the past for loan and not many people in the community knew what we had available. In talking with the staff, they really wanted to expand the type of items available,” Scarpa said. “We decided to improve and expand what was available to the community. Other libraries have done this and there are a ton of different ideas out there. We wanted to find out which items would be the most popular and then we invested in that direction. We are always soliciting feedback to see what to buy next. The ability to customize is one of the most exciting aspects of the program.”

Patrons can simply request a loan for items in the Library of Things the same way they do for books.

Another exciting pre-COVID program that is just starting to take off is the library’s Creative Loft. This project room takes the Library of Things to another level. Patrons can use a wide array of hands-on devices and materials to create and produce almost any item.

“There is a current trend out there of a maker’s space, and this it’s the same foundational idea of everything we do: pool our resources to have them available to people,” said Scarpa. “A maker’s space is just focused on things people want to make, DIY projects. Crafts projects, bike repair, hands-on things that patrons can do. The library decided to create this space so that it would be flexible for whatever is the next trend.”

According to Scarpa, a host of skills and projects can be fostered at the loft from circuit-cutting printers, button makers, green screens, even podcasting assistance and equipment are not only available, but come with staff instruction as well.

The Library of Things catalog is located in the main lobby of the library-placards of loanable devices can simply be turned in for the object. If an item isn’t available, just like a book you can reserve or get a placement.

The Creative Loft is located at the top of the main stairway. Instruction times are Tuesday evenings from 4 to 8 p.m. Staff will be on hand to explain and educate not only what is available in the loft, but how to use it as well, so that patrons can come back on their own time and partake.

The library staff and town officials made a point to extend their gratitude to the Schumann family. The Schumanns have been an integral part of the Madison community for close to a hundred years and have graciously and generously donated to numerous town projects, including several renovations of the Scranton Library since the early 1960s.


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