Lance Lysowski
Ohio.com staff


STOW:: A crowd gathered in the main lobby of the newly renovated Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library on Friday afternoon, as Congressman David Joyce (OH-14) was on-hand for the library’s grand re-opening.



Joyce toured the first and second floors of the facility; congratulating the staff for the drastic improvements made. As he stepped into the new children’s story hour room, Joyce’s face lit up with joy.



The library staff showed Joyce the large space, which features a cartoon wall graphic of a woodland pond and LED starlight panels on the ceiling that can transform the atmosphere with a click of a button.



"As the father of three, I've seen firsthand how public libraries help teach our children the joys of learning,” Joyce said. “The Stow-Munroe Falls Library's renovations look fantastic and I’m confident this will be a place that children and adults alike will come to learn, read, and enjoy for years to come.”



The new story hour room is part of a larger renovation project that began a year ago. After 16 years without upgrades to the library, the staff began organizing the most drastic facelift the building has seen.



The first floor is newly carpeted and holds new furniture that allows patrons to connect laptops or other electronic devices. The new reference desk greets guests as they walk into the main lobby, as well as a new handicap accessible check out desk. Funded by the library’s budget and private donations, the recent upgrades also include a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi system.



"I'm excited to be able to able to showcase a library that has transformed itself into a new physical space for the public,” said Executive Director Douglas Dotterer. "When you are able to do that, it gets a lot of attention and our library is very proud to be able to make these changes and be able to do them in a very responsible, efficient way. I think we hit a homerun on this.”



The new additions upgrade a library that is one of the busiest in Summit County, according to Dotterer. With computer classes available, first-hand help for citizens working on resume’s and being one of the only public library’s in the state that offers passport services, the building’s staff could not stress how important the library is to the community.



The children's story room on the second floor, which took nine months to complete, opened on April 20 before the changes occurred on the first floor. According to AnnMalthaner, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the facility, the bright smiles of the children during the firststory-hour were priceless.



"They were all just sitting there on their little lily pads," Malthaner said. "They were so adorable. They were completely captivated. I just watched the looks on those children’s faces. It was really, really great. It made the whole process completely worthwhile."