Keokuk Public Library adding outdoor reading experience
The Keokuk Public Library is building a park next door in hopes of engaging the community and getting readers outdoors.
The Keokuk Library Foundation has been planning the new greenspace for the past seven years. The foundation purchased adjacent property to build the park between Fifth and Sixth streets and Concert and High streets.
Construction began last year.
Workers have built sidewalks and brick-pillar entrances, and are currently adding landscaping.
Foundation president Jack Smith said the Keokuk Library Foundation Park will include a water fountain, a small amphitheater, and a brick plaza.
It will also feature a story walk. That’s a series of 20 enclosed pedestals with mounted frames along a sidewalk that leads into the center of the park. Inside each frame, and under glass, will be a page of a featured book.
“They're little frames on each side of the walk, and each frame will have a page of the story,” Smith said. “So, you've got to walk up and down the walkway to have read the whole story, and those are changeable, so every so often they'll change the story.”
Smith said the foundation wants to bring an outdoor reading experience and other social events to the park.
“We hope it will do that, and we hope it will expand the ability of the library to extended services on that to the outdoor area,” Smith said.
Smith said the foundation donated more than $300,000 and raised another $860,000 from donations and grants to build the park.
He said the park should open this year.
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