NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It has been 10 years in the making, but COVID-19 delayed its grand opening by two years. Now, the new Stetson Library located inside the Dixwell “Q” House is set to open in June.
Prior to COVID, the Stetson Library was located at 200 Dixwell Ave. After a lot of supply chain issues, the new facility is located just across the street. The two-story building with thousands of books has some great stories to tell.
There will also be a big emphasis on higher learning. Diane X. Brown, the Dixwell branch manager, said there will be a tutor room with computers and laptops.
The space grew from 7,560 to 14,800 square feet, a 60% increase. It’s also outfitted with all the latest in technology. The first floor is devoted to children’s interests – there’s even a cafe. Upstairs, you’ll find books for teens and young adults.
The library is seated in a predominately African American community, and many of these books tell their stories.
“Children are able to look like them and read about people that look like them,” Brown said, noting that they’re trying to “instill history that they are not learning in the public school system.”
The total cost of the facility is roughly $18 million. The Stetson Library cost $7.8 million, with $6.2 million coming from state bond funds and the remainder from privately raised funds and city capital funds.
“This is hopefully a game-changer for us,” Brown said. “It’s got the latest technology. It’s got multiple spaces for people to meet.”
The final touches are still being put on the new library, which is set to open on June 4, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.