Police Reports: July 31, 2015

Friends of Homewood Public
Library President John Burke
cuts a ribbon to officially 
mark the opening of FORT, 
the library’s new teen space, 
which was financed by a 
grant from the Friends 
(Photo by 
Marilyn Thomas/HF Chronicle)

Members of the Friends of the Homewood Library made it official Wednesday when they celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the FORT, a specially designed space for 12- to 19-year-old readers.

The Friends of Remarkable Teens (FORT) takes up nearly half of the east side of the second floor, but the space does not feel closed off from the library because it is segregated by see-through walls.

The Friends organization’s generous donation of $52,000 helped bring the long-range project to the forefront. The gift covered the cost of construction of the space that included reworking of the heating, air conditioning and lighting, as well as purchasing the modular walls.

John Burke, president of the Friends, said the group gave its unanimous support to the project. He credited Amy Crump, the library’s executive director, for her vision in recognizing the importance of a space where Homewood teens feel welcomed and are encouraged to read.

Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld congratulated the volunteers who brought the project to fruition, adding: “I tell school children reading is the most important thing in the world.  I’m happy you’re doing a project like this.”

Jim Heyden representing KI, the company that made the modular walls, said it is always exciting to see the finished project. The space is beautiful, but what it is today is likely not what the FORT will be in the future.

“You can change it, reshape it, you can do a lot of different things” because the walls are moveable. “You’ve made a great investment in your library not just for today but for many years.”

Mary Wegryzn, young adult librarian, opened the space to patrons July 1, and has been busy.

James Hart Junior High 8th graders Jurni Tlllerson and Jayda Phillips were there on Wednesday listening to music using iPads. They’ve been in the space each day for the past two weeks.

Mary Wegryzn, young adult librarian, with a teen patron 
shortly after FORT was opened earlier this summer.

(Photo by Marilyn Thomas/HF Chronicle)


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