County Executive Adam Bello and Mayor Malik D. Evans Reveal Renovations on Central Library Secret Room

April 24th, 2022

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County Executive Adam J. Bello and Mayor Malik D. Evans today announced the completion of renovations at the Central Library Secret Room.

Closed during COVID and for extensive renovations, a famous, yet hidden, Rochester landmark on the second floor of the Bausch & Lomb Building of the Central Library, the Secret Room opened to the public today. It features a bright play area for children with interactive projections, a starry night sky, and ample place for story times.

This new space is the result of the library winning a $32,000 grant from the 2020 @KABOOM! Play Everywhere Design Contest courtesy of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. KABOOM!’s grant enabled the Rochester Public Library to transform the space of the Secret Room, creating a more flexible play opportunity for the children of Rochester.

“Libraries are the heart of a community, each library in Monroe County offers special and unique touches that fit the needs of the neighbors they serve,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “The redesign of the Secret Room welcomes children and their families downtown to read, learn and explore together. Thanks to KABOOM! and the entire library team for making this play-filled space a reality.”

“The renovated secret room will play an even bigger role in getting children excited about learning,” said Rochester Mayor Malik Evans. “I want to thank KABOOM! and the Ralph Wilson Foundation for their generous donation and commend the library staff for their commitment to keeping the library interesting to 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, shared “The Children's Center staff 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 we did everything we could to create a magical space that would offer quiet reading nooks, gaming, movies, art and science programs, and more. Dan Schneiderman from Maker Faire helped to recreate the Rochester night sky. Be sure to stop by and view the stars!”