Hayden Hassey is getting a little frustrated.
The 4-year-old boy is trying to use Scotch tape to attach a figure he made out of aluminum foil to two popsicle sticks, but he’s having trouble manipulating the tape. Once complete, he would take the figure over to a table that is sloped, and watch it ski down.
Hayden’s mom can’t help because 2-year-old Bailey is fast asleep in her arms. So, Brookfield Branch children’s librarian Nicole Bowden runs over to assist.
Bowden’s assistance is typical of the staff at the Brookfield Branch Library of the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, said patron Elizabeth Boozer. Whenever she needs help on one of the public-access computer terminals, the staff comes to her aid.
“The girls up here (library staff), you just can’t praise them enough,” Boozer said. “They are wonderful.”
The library celebrated its 40th anniversary Feb. 26 with an open house, a used book sale, the children’s craft Hayden participated in, giveaways, and the launch of a programming survey and the Friends of the Brookfield Library’s annual lottery fundraiser.
Boozer was checking out the tiny art show, to which she had contributed a work. As the first president of Friends of the Brookfield Library and one of the people who worked to create the library, she marveled at how far the library had come in its four decades.
“It’s absolutely amazing and just shows what people can do, and how much Brookfield needed this,” Boozer said. “This, I’m just overwhelmed with it. I’m so proud of it.”
The library was first located in the former school-town hall-police department building now owned by J.P. Marsh on the green in Brookfield Center, north of Brookfield Township Cemetery. The Brookfield Rotary Club, which had been around for five years, took on the library’s creation as a community service project, and to give the Rotarians a sense of common purpose, according to historical data provided by the library.
The Friends were responsible for the upkeep of that building and a subsequent location until 1990, when the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library constructed the current building at 7032 Grove Street. The building was added onto in 1999 and 2016.
Although the current building took a lot of the financial burden off the Friends of the Brookfield Library, the group remains committed to supporting the library, especially for children’s programming. Friends President Margaret Dudt noted she just approved the purchase of book display slats, a CD player, a vacuum cleaner and a Cricut cutting machine for crafts.
Anyone who wants to help out the Friends by buying a ticket for their lottery fundraiser can do so at the library.
“The community is wonderful here,” Dudt said. “It’s just wonderful to have a place to go and get free things to read.”
Branch Manager Amanda Murphy said she likes the intimate nature of the smaller libraries, such as Brookfield’s, one of six in the Warren-Trumbull system.
“You get to know your patrons, your customers, as they come in,” she said. “You get to know your co-workers.”
The library would run several in-person programs a month prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has focused on passive programs, such as the monthly carry-out craft, and on-line offerings. Dudt said she likes that her library card gives her access to electronic books, movies, TV shows and other on-line offerings through Hoopla.
The in-person programs have started coming back with Toddler Tales and Preschool Storytime, and Murphy announced that adult programming will resume at 11 a.m. April 30 with Amy Reeher, administrator of the Trumbull County Soil and Water Conservation District, talking about native plants and pollinators.
“It was actually a program she was supposed to do in April 2020,” Murphy said.
“I’m hoping to incorporate some more passive but start adding some more in-person programs going forward,” she said. “We actually have a programming survey that we just started today. It’s a blank slate now, after the last couple of years. I’m looking forward to trying different programs.”
You can fill out the survey at the library.
Although the Hasseys live in Hubbard, and go to several libraries, Amanda Hassey said the family enjoys coming to Brookfield.
“We love it,” she said. “It’s fun here. I just like that the kids are able to enjoy themselves here. They’re able to reach the books in the little alligator thing. They pick their own books and I’ll read to them. We feel welcome here.”
Upcoming programs: Toddler Tales, a storytime program for kids ages 19 to 35 months, 10 a.m. Tuesdays; and Preschool Storytime, a program of songs, stories and movement activities for children ages 3 to 5, 11 a.m. Mondays.
Registration is required for “Native Plants and Pollinators.” Call 330-448-8134