Community Cornerstone

Volusia County Council members and other dignitaries cut the ribbon for the opening of the Hope Place Public Library on Wednesday, June 19.

“I think it’s awesome” said nine-year-old Tessa Johnson, 9, about the new Hope Place Public Library, which was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony June 19 at 1310 Wright St. in Daytona Beach.

Her mother, Cory Trusty, said, “I live just down the street. It takes me two minutes to walk here. I think it’s wonderful. My daughter and I have come here every day since we found out it was open. She’s very excited about it. She skips the whole way here. My older daughter is also really excited about it. We are participating in the kids' activities.”

The 4,500-square-foot facility, which is the 14th branch of the Volusia County Public Library system, will serve the neighborhood and families seeking assistance from the adjacent Hope Place.

The collection will include books, audiobooks, DVDs, magazines and newspapers for children, teens and adults. Fourteen public-access computers will be available, and free WiFi access will be provided for people who want to use their own devices.

Lucinda Colee, Volusia County Library Services Director, said, “It’s in a great location. It’s in a neighborhood. If we could put a library in every neighborhood, we would be very happy.”

It will be a full-service library, Ms. Colee said. “They have a full slate of programs for children, adult programs and they are going to start showing movies. And we are participating in the summer food program as well. We think it’s beautiful and we are very excited. We think it is going to be very well used by the community.”

The library will serve a large population, said Buck James, executive director of Hope Place. “What a great day this is for our community. We are so fortunate to have this library in such an accessible location to the over 4,000 households within a one-mile radius of this library.”

He thanked the Volusia County Council for having the foresight to repurpose Hurst Elementary to become Hope Place, along with the vision to have the library and a county park on the premises. Development of the park will be soon. “These facilities will change the nature of this community forever” Mr. James said. “Parents will know their children are in a safe place where their minds will be challenged by library staff to make learning fun.”

County Chair Ed Kelley also addressed the gathering. “For those that are in residence here (at Hope Place) and those in the community, we have this nice new library.”

County Councilwoman Heather Post said new library would provide opportunities for success for adults as well as children.

“All of our libraries are important cornerstones to communities,” Councilwoman Post said. “They give the opportunities to learn new skills, to find jobs, explore consumer research, experience new ideas and get lost in wonderful stories. They also provide a place for people to gather. More than 2 million people visited our library branches in this past year.

Some of the programs the library will offer are:

•Little Readers Storytime: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays. For children from birth to age 5.

•Tinker Lab Tuesdays: 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Children ages 5 to 12 can try activities and crafts based on STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math). Registration is required.

•Family Fun: 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Families can enjoy activities and crafts.

•Teen Thursdays: 3:30 p.m. Thursdays. Teens can take part in craft and activity programs. Registration is required.

Also, the library will offer Kindergarten Readiness at 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays through July 23. Children ages 3 to 5 can take part in activity stations that will help build kindergarten readiness skills.

The library will take part in Volusia County’s free Summer Food Service Program through Aug. 9, serving breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m.

The $1.1 million construction project was funded by a Community Development Block Grant. Furniture and equipment were funded through the county’s Library Services Division.

The library will be staffed by four full-time employees. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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