MT. PLEASANT — Building robots, playing with Legos and examining a tyrannosaurus-rex footprint are just several things kids will be able to do at Mt. Pleasant Public Library’s new Children’s Discovery Museum.
The addition to the library’s main space, located on the lower level of the Civic Center, has undergone some upgrades with the addition of a new carpet and freshly painted walls. After a soft opening earlier in the year, the space was closed in response to the pandemic, which the library used as an opportunity to further enhance the space.
The museum will open again to the public the week of Aug. 24 as local schools begin their fall semester.
Adults call into the library to sign children up for hourlong time slots between 9 a.m. and noon on Mondays and Fridays. Up to 10 children can be in the area at once to ensure social distancing is possible. At least one adult must be present with each group.
The library will be enhancing cleaning procedures to keep kids safe. Certain activities such as excavating dinosaur bones have been put on hold to minimize the amount of shared materials that are touched. Any materials that are used, such as bobot kits and Legos will be sanitized regularly. Siblings and cohort groups will be kept together to minimize mixing among groups.
Library Director Jeffrey Meyer said the facility will be opening slowly and will look to expand hours.
“We’re hoping with the first few weeks to test the waters and then open it more as we get more comfortable and used to what’s going on,” he said.
The library acquired the additional space in September of last year and began working to acquire educational materials for hands-on activities. Though the educational kits, which often include smaller parts and can be a choking hazard, are more geared toward older students, Meyer added there are activities for children ages 3 and younger as well.
“Through grants and donations, we were able to get thousands of dollars of equipment and activities for kids and learning toys,” Meyer said.
Though the library hopes to have a larger opening down the line when it is safe for the community to come together, Meyer said he is looking forward to having the space available for local kids.
“We didn’t anticipate a pandemic so that was the biggest thing we had to work out … but we’re excited for people to start coming in,” he said.