Norman West library debuts interactive play wall for children

Panels feature color, mini clock and counting wheel

Norman’s newest public library now has a new feature that will delight the youngest visitors to come through its doors.

Norman Public Library West recently dedicated its new interactive play wall, located in the children’s area, in the southwest corner of the library portion of the Pioneer Library System facility, at 300 Norman Center Court on the west side of Norman.

It features a series of panels young children can manipulate for learning activities, and an array of colors that make it a centerpiece for youngsters who visit the building.

The play wall was dedicated during a ceremony Nov. 29, followed by a presentation from the youth choir from Temple B’Nai Israel of Oklahoma City that kicked off holiday festivities at the library.

PLS Director Anne Masters and Public Information Officer Gary Kramer discussed the general idea for the wall, and Kramer then came up with the concept for what the wall might look like. Masters had sought a creation that would anchor and identify the children’s area, relate back to Norman and also provide the manipulative toys that are of particular benefit to young children and toddlers.

Kramer’s idea was based on the colorful bicycle racks located around Norman that were commissioned as part of a previous Norman Arts Council initiative for public art. Those bike racks were fabricated by a local company, McPherson Machine Inc. Kramer contacted McPherson and worked on a design for the wall, while Norman West staff members selected the educational panels to be incorporated into the wall from the Burgeon Group, a company that has worked with many public libraries on interactive learning spaces.

The panels have a variety of learning devices, including a color wheel, a mini clock with minute and second hands, and a wheel for counting. The finished unit roughly mimics the look of the outside of Norman West. And it’s a durable design that figures to last for many years of young children to enjoy.

Norman West features 6,575 square feet of library space with public computers, a second bank of special computers geared to children, study rooms and the Café /snak/ which is open during library hours. It also features a 24-hour library machine and movie box on the southeast corner outside the building that are available at all hours.

Anyone who lives, works, attends school or owns property in any of the library’s three-county service area (Cleveland, McClain or Pottawatomie counties) is eligible for a library card that can gain them access to the more than 730,000 items in the library collection.

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