On Saturday, July 21, The Shelter Island Library hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Youth Services Room that was built in January. The ceremony had a “phenomenal turnout,” with a large number of community members and town legislators gathering to eat snacks and chat while children made macaroni necklaces and Shark Week-themed crafts, according to Anthony Zutter, librarian and Youth Services Coordinator.
The new Youth Services Room is located where the Non-fiction Section used to be on the lowest floor of the library, and it was built and decorated to provide children and their caretakers with a special place to gather, read and play.
“In the old Youth Section, you had everyone from birth to 18 huddled in one little corner, and you had a mixture of teens and toddlers which is not the best mix to have after school or really anytime, ever. So in this space downstairs, there’s a distinct separation between children and teenagers — now children can really call it home. It has exploded with the community and become a true destination for Shelter Island patrons,” said Mr. Zutter.
Any child aged 8 or older can hang out in the Youth Services room without a parent. Anyone younger than 8 has to be with a caregiver or guardian. The room is decorated with aquatic-themed sculptures created by local artist Peter Waldner.
“We don’t technically baby-sit children, but we do offer services and programs for children to be here,” said Mr. Zutter.
In the past year alone, the Youth Services Center has collaborated with The Beach Club, Sylvester Manor and Mashomack Preserve to create unique programs and trips for community kids. In the past year alone, they’ve tripled their outreach to the community. Visit their website at shelterislandpubliclibrary.org or check out our “Kids Stuff” column to learn more about their youth activities.