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Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Cotsen Children's Library closed until October for new installation

The Cotsen Children's Library will be closed until October for refurbishing. When it reopens, the Cotsen gallery will have been transformed into an imaginary "Bookscape" with picture-book-inspired hideaways for readers of all ages.

James Bradberry, architect and novelist, has been working with the Cotsen staff to design a unique venue that will inspire reading and accommodate popular Cotsen programs. "We want to create a space that's an analog to reality, yet one that is above all comfortable, that will appeal to various age groups, and one that augments the pleasures of reading," Bradberry said. "We want visitors to feel as though they are in a fictive environment, that they have literally 'gotten into a story.'"

"Bookscape" will encompass most of the 2000-square-foot Cotsen gallery. The installation will include a garden with topiary characters, a family room with a storytelling radio, a wishing well that can seat just one reader, and a giant bonsai tree hollowed out for an entire family. Each whimsically designed space will incorporate reading furniture, books, and nooks to explore.

The library's entry area will have cases for changing exhibits of materials from the Cotsen collection in addition to those which can be seen in the three-story "Wall of Books" overlooking the gallery. The rear of the gallery is designed to accommodate school groups and teacher workshops, with staging areas for family programs and performances by groups such as the Cotsen Players.

The Cotsen Children's Library is in Firestone Library on the Princeton campus. Curatorial offices will remain open during refurbishing and installation of "Bookscape." For more information, call (609) 258-1148.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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