photo of loft
Celebrating the completion of the new children’s room loft at the Cook Memorial Library, front row, from left: Library Trustee Nate Winship, designer and builder Jon Beimel, Treasurer of the Friends of Cook Memorial Library Annie Burke. In loft, from left: Children’s Librarian Amy Carter, and project assistant Larkin Kjellberg.

Thanks to funds provided by the Friends of Cook Memorial Library, the library’s children’s room now has a new loft play/reading area. Children’s Librarian Amy Carter has dreamed of using the ledge over the library’s book return to create a space for children since the children’s room addition was built in 2001. In 2017, the Friends of Cook Memorial Library pledged to provide funding for the project when it was only in the idea stage. In 2018, Amy Carter developed the idea into a plan to present to a contractor.

From January to March 2019, local builder Jon Beimel of Meadowlark Natural Building Company designed and constructed the loft with the assistance of Beimel’s daughter Larkin Kjellberg, who participated in the process as a homeschool project. The loft features a treehouse-like aerie as well as a cozy under-the-stairs spot complete with cushions for reading. The loft was built entirely of wood from a variety of native tree species: walnut, maple, cherry, butternut, pine, and red oak. Since its completion, the loft has become a favorite new spot for young library patrons.

The Friends of Cook Memorial Library support innovation and raise funds that help to provide programs, equipment, supplies, staff development, downloadable books, and library materials for the Cook Memorial Library. The Friends raise funds through memberships, book sales, and special events. Information about how to become a member of the Friends can be found at

New loft in children’s room!
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