Kids Library Receives $75,000 Boost from Junior League of Topeka

The Junior League of Topeka (JLT) marks its 75th year of community service with a $75,000 gift that will support the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s Kids Library. The large gift makes the Junior League the lead donor on the Kids Library project.

JLT President Stacie Borjon will present the award to The Library Foundation on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 5pm, in the Kids Library. Members of the Junior League, library leaders and The Library Foundation staff will be present. The event is open to the public.

“Junior League has enjoyed a great relationship with the library, and it is such a valued asset to the community. We are so excited about being part of the Kids Library and helping make it the best it can be,” said Stacie Borjon. Competition was tough among the six proposals reviewed, she added.

The Kids Library project is a plan that will transform library space into a learnscape for children and families. Thus far, it had been funded privately through The Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library. The Junior League of Topeka 75th Anniversary Gift to the Community will fund the installation of large 3D learnscapes to encourage learning, exploration and family time.

Five learnscapes will be added:

  • A kid-friendly façade at the entrance of the Kids Library.
  • A lighthouse reading nook ideal to share a good book in.
  • Children will think school is fun when they play in our school bus.
  • Return trips to the library will be a must when a Tyrannosaurus Rex is standing in the nonfiction stacks.
  • The salt-water aquarium will be wrapped in the arms of an octopus and coral providing an ocean-like experience in the middle of the Great Plains.

Donor recognition signage will be installed near the redesigned entrance to the Kids Library.

“The library has nearly 40,000 registered cardholders who range in age from birth to 17 years old,” said Marie Pyko, Public Services Director. “These installations will guide children as they grow and go from learning to read to reading to learn. We are grateful the Junior League of Topeka believes in the potential impact of this project as much as we do.”

JLT has partnered with the library on other projects, including the addition of the Adventuremobile, a mobile library for school children and the Girl Culture exhibit, a 2009 exhibit at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery focused on female self-image.

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is a 21st-century, landmark library, and features the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, the Millennium Café, Chandler Booktique, meeting rooms, and free computer and Internet access and training.

 

Gallery hours are the same as library hours: Mon. through Fri. 9 am to 9 pm, Sat. 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 9 pm.      

The Junior League of Topeka is a non-profit, 501(c) 3, organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community. Over the past 75 years, JLT has founded a number of vital community programs in Topeka. The Junior League of Topeka has a membership of around 400 members. Membership is open to all women over 21 years of age living in Topeka and surrounding communities who show an interest in and a commitment to voluntarism.

 

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.