Malachi Dusek, 1, munches popcorn during a celebration of Fennville library’s new a aarea. He is with mother Gloria Dusek (left) of Fennville and friend Rose Ramirez (right) of Fennville. New youth services librarian Jolanna Siebert hands the mic off to patron Carter Mokma as they provide monkey sounds for a jungle-themed tune, sung by Siebert’s parents, Guy and Karen Stinson (background) during the open house.Peyton Thompson, 2, of Fennville awaits the creation of her pink balloon horse during the festivities.

Fennville library renovates lower level into children, teen area

Ryan Lewis, Editor

Those expecting the wide open spaces in Fennville District Library’s lower level are in for a surprise—bookshelves.

It won’t surprise the dozens of people who attended the library’s open house Saturday, April 4; they already got a good look at the newly renovated space.

“We’ve moved our entire collection of young adult, juvenile and easy materials there,” said library director Teresa Williams Krupar.

Planning for the approximately $60,000 project began last April. Electrical and maintenance work, along with painting, however, did not begin in earnest until December.

Williams Krupar said, “All the planning that went into it—we wanted the space to be perfect.”

During the open house, sunlight poured in through the windows behind what had been primarily a stage area. It is now dotted with tables for art projects.

The carpeted area spreading out before it boasts a low table at which youngsters can set up some of the many toys on hand in nearby shelves. Rows of shelves for books now line the north half of the space, shelves that continue around most of the perimeter of the level.

“Before, we just used it for conferences, for community events and for library programing,” Williams Krupar said. “Now it is a fully functioning lower level of the library.

“People can come, they can find books and materials, and they can also check out any material they might need for a child or a teen.

“The stage we’ll still actually use when we have programs and speakers and events.”

Williams Krupar said the library paid for the project out of funds set aside for improvements.

“We’d also like to thank the community, because without them—especially the friends of the library, our library board and everybody that donated to arts alive—we would not be able to do this without their support.”

The open house saw crowds of youth and their parents enjoy snacks, punch, face painting, a balloon artist and musical entertainment provided by new youth services librarian Jolanna Siebert. Her parents, Guy and Karen Stinson, perform—complete with overalls—as The Original Hillbillies. She joined them in playing and singing for guests.

Check out the new space at 400 W. Main St., Fennville. Find more about programming and upcoming events by calling (269) 561-5050 or viewing the calendar at

According to the website, the library serves more than 14,500 patrons in Fennville and portions of Casco, Clyde, Ganges, Lee and Manlius townships. It has more than 35,000 items in its collection, with access to more than 3.7 million items owned by the 41 member-libraries of the Lakeland Library Cooperative. It has nine public access Internet stations and free Wi-Fi service.

Contact Ryan Lewis at or (269) 673-5534.








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