Satellite branch of local library to close to make way for full-day kindergarten

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The Wayne Public School system will soon move to have full-day kindergarten – but the change will come at a price – the loss of a satellite branch of the public library.

While many parents are applauding the move for an extended kindergarten day, others are mourning the loss of the library location.

“That library was a very busy library. Over 31,000 visitors last year and very, very popular with the senior citizens,” says Robert Loniewski, president of the Wayne Public Library Board of Trustees.

The Preakness Branch Library leased the building from the school district and now the district needs to take the building back, with the building being turned back into a school. The school will have eight classrooms, with the potential to add more. It will become the new early childhood center, making room for full-day kindergarten at the elementary schools.

Parents say that this program is desperately needed.

"It’s a struggle for parents who have to work and have to rearrange things, so it will be good for everybody,” says parent Gary Marchese, Jr.

Library staff that works at the Preakness location will be moved over to the main library. The Board of Trustees say they're working out transportation for library patrons as well. Loniewski says that patrons rely on the library for more than just books.

“As our world is changing libraries are changing. We're just not books anymore. We’re technology, we’re training, we’re classes or activities for young and old, so we’ve got a remember that,” she says.

The school superintendent says that full-day kindergarten is expected to begin in the fall of 2021.

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