April 24, 2022
See the full press release (PDF)
County Executive Adam J. Bello and Mayor Malik D. Evans today announced the completion of renovations to the Secret Room at the Central Library.
Closed during COVID and for extensive renovations, a famous but hidden Rochester landmark on the second floor of the Central Library’s Bausch & Lomb building, the Secret Room opened to the public today. It has a bright play area for children with interactive projections, a starry night sky and a large area for story hours.
This new space is the result of the library securing a $32,000 grant from @KABOOM 2020! Play Everywhere design contest courtesy of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. The KABOOM! enabled the Rochester Public Library to transform the secret room space, creating a more flexible play opportunity for children in Rochester.
“Libraries are the heart of a community, each library in Monroe County offers special and unique touches that meet the needs of the neighbors they serve”, said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “The revamped Secret Room welcomes kids and their families downtown to read, learn and explore together. Thanks Kaboom! and the entire library team for making this space filled with games a reality.
“The renovated secret room will play an even greater role in children’s enthusiasm for learning,” said Rochester Mayor Malik Evans. “I would like to thank KABOOM! and the Ralph Wilson Foundation for their generous donation and commending the library staff for their commitment to keeping the library interesting for children. Bringing more children to the library will advance our efforts to create a safe, equitable, and prosperous Rochester.
Tonia Burton, Children’s Services Consultant, said: “Staff at the Children’s Center have been eagerly awaiting the completion of this iconic space. We worked with families in focus groups to find out what children and their adults were looking for and did everything to create a magical space that would offer quiet reading nooks, games, movies, arts and science programs, and more. Maker Faire’s Dan Schneiderman helped recreate Rochester’s night sky. Be sure to stop and see the stars!”