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New Children's Library Opens At Harold Washington Library

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Harold Washington Library Center has opened a new children's library after a multi-million dollar makeover of the old facility.

The new 24,000-square-foot Thomas Hughes Children's Library features a plaza where families can gather, and three surrounding areas featuring activities and features; from singing, dancing, and art to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

"Everything that we had here before is here. We had books, we had furniture, we had places for families to gather, but this new children's library represents really the future of what we think our libraries ought to be; which are supporting a broad range of learning activities for children and their families to do together," Library Commissioner Brian Bannon said.

The remodeled children's library was designed to encourage learning through play.

Bannon said the new children's library was built around the concept of neighborhoods. Different areas of the children's library offer different activities, features, materials, or equipment.

"Whether it's singing and music, as you see in the background, whether it's story time, whether it's reading a book, or whether it's learning computer programming or doing green screen work to build a movie, it supports the broad range of learning and activities that we think our young people need to have exposure to," he said.

The remodeling project was paid for with a $2.5 million grant from Exelon, and donations to the Library Foundation.

Upgrades are planned for children's libraries at 14 neighborhood branches.

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