Anoka County Library staff in Fridley, with the help of the Minnesota Children’s Museum, removed rows of bookshelves and replaced them with a large, imaginative play area. The new space — with an urban park theme to fit the inner-ring suburb on the banks of the Mississippi River — includes a play bus, a farmers market, a tree hollow, a garden and a picnic area.
Children are very attached to the “Smart Play Spot,” the staff said.
“We have seen more meltdowns because they don’t want to leave,” said Fridley branch librarian Theresa Schroeder. “We are also seeing more parental interaction with children.”
Families, library and museum staff cut the ribbon on the play area last week. The change to the children’s section was so dramatic, with shelves being removed, that several library patrons asked during the conversion if the library was shutting down, Schroeder said.