Julie Balenzano welcomes library-goers into the newly renovated Cloverdale Library March 9. The Cloverdale Branch has reopened after an extensive renovation period. Balenzano is the new branch manager for the library. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Cloverdale Library reopens

After extensive facelift, library adds reading & study areas, computers, and a duplo wall

The Cloverdale Library has reopened.

Several people paid a visit to the Surrey Libraries branch on 176A Street March 9 as the doors opened at 9:30 a.m.

New branch manager Julie Balenzano opened the doors, while staff members greeted the public as they walked in.

“We’re very excited to be back,” said Tanya Thiessen, the former branch manager. “It’s got more social space, more seating space, more study space, and a new reading lounge.”

Along with the increased space for adults and teens, there is also more for kids.

“We also have a duplo wall in the children’s area,” added Thiessen. The wall also has an activity corner next to it with a lot of things to keep toddlers and young children engaged.

Thiessen said they’ve revitalized all the spaces in the Cloverdale branch building in an effort to serve the community better.

They’ve also added more computers for adults and children, along with several more dedicated to genealogical research alone.

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale Library to close for $1.2 million renovation this summer

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale Library to see significant renovations

“We’re just so happy to have a reboot. This is our library 2.0.”

The branch will also be running several programs over spring break.

“Please check (the programs) out on our website,” added Thiessen.

They still have a few things to do, like affixing some poster boards to different spaces, adding art from local community artists to the walls, and organizing an assortment of smaller things.

But the focus of the “soft” open March 9 was to get the doors open to the public as soon as possible and to work out the kinks ahead of the official opening ceremony, which is temporarily slated for May 2.

Balenzano said they are working hard to prepare for the official opening and there will be several dignitaries in attendance.

“We’re aiming for (May 2). There are a lot of people that we want to invite and we need to confirm that they can attend,” she said. “We want our supporters and funders to be able to be there.”

The revitalization effort not only covered infrastructure and space, but also books. As the library has secured a lot of new books, they are giving away some of the old ones. The free books fill several shelves near the checkout counter and range in reading levels from ages 1-2 and up.

SEE ALSO: Learn how to dig into your own past at upcoming Cloverdale Library workshops

SEE ALSO: The Cloverdale library knows your family’s secrets

“There are some great books on our free shelves,” added Balenzano.

Although Thiessen will be moving on to manage the new Surrey Libraries branch in Clayton Heights when the Clayton Community Centre opens in a few months, Balenzano thanked her for her work.

“Tanya’s the brains behind the renovations,” said Balenzano. “She has worked tirelessly on this amazing project!”


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Julie Balenzano helps library-goers navigate the free book shelves at the newly renovated Cloverdale Library March 9. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

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