SJCPL Main Street branch re-opens for first time in two years after full remodel

16 News Now (6 p.m. Sunday) - WNDU VOD
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 10:36 AM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It is the start of a new beginning. The St. Joseph County Public Library Main Street branch re-opened its doors for the first time Sunday since closing down two years ago.

“I’m so excited. We have waited for so long to get to this minute and this is just too cool,” SJCPL Executive Director Debra Futa says.

John Wibbens, a SJCPL board member, describes the library’s new look is more than just a place to read.

“This is a complete shift in what libraries are and what they are used for,” Wibbens says.

As for little Lucy McVay, who often visited the SJCP Main Street branch in the past, she says she is impressed with what she sees.

“I like the children section a lot and the teen section because there are a lot of things to do and options to pick from,” Lucy McVay, told 16 News Now.

Inside, folks can find more than what any kid or any parent can think of.

“This is just like absolutely fabulous for kids. There is: the store, the truck, the campfire, the dog house, there is the vet, the construction stuff, there is so many different things,” South Bend mother Janelle Cooper says.

In addition, the library also includes a teen space that features board games, video games, and an arts & crafts area. However, Fruta says that is not all.

“We’ve got a ballroom, we’ve got an auditorium, we got break-out meeting spaces, we can do small conferences, we’ve got Studio 304 open with all of the digital creativity. Our Children’s Learning Center is not quite ready for primetime. Although, we are giving tours today. And we have suite of study rooms,” Fruta says.

Sunday’s grand re-opening comes after two years of rebuilding and renovating one of South Bend’s long-lasting landmarks. It has provided a feeling that B100 Morning Show host Zach Miller says the city has not felt in a while.

“It seems like there is new energy here for a revitalized library in Downtown South Bend,” says Miller, who visited the library with his family Sunday.

The celebration is set to continue Monday when a ribbon cutting will be held at the St. Joseph County Public Library Main Street branch at 11 a.m.

For more information about the SJCPL, click here.

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