Kent District Library opens Ada branch; facility includes community center

Amy Van Andel Library – Ada Community Center is a two-story, 25,786-square-foot facility. Courtesy Kent District Library

The Amy Van Andel Library – Ada Community Center is officially open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

The two-story, 25,786-square-foot facility is at 7215 Headley St. SE in Ada. The building houses both the Amy Van Andel Library, which is managed by the Kent District Library (KDL), and Ada Township’s new community center, which offers multiple rooms and spaces for small-scale meetings and gatherings.

“My grandmother instilled in me a lifelong love of reading through our weekly library visits,” Amy Van Andel said. “It’s been a dream come true to honor that legacy by helping to build a library here in Ada. It is my hope that this becomes a place for our community not only to gather, connect and learn but also to create memories of their own for generations to come.”

Amy Van Andel Library is the 20th Kent District Library branch. Ada residents will have access to the entire KDL collection of more than 1 million items, and the library has multiple spaces for studying and working.

Ada Community Center meeting spaces offer options for groups of up to 75 people and feature on-site technology and Wi-Fi. The community center also has a 3,000-square-foot outdoor central courtyard that is surrounded by two stories of glass. The courtyard features seating and it introduces guests to “The Reader,” a stainless-steel sculpture by German sculptor Julian Voss-Andreae.

The Amy Van Andel Library – Ada Community Center completes the six-year work of Ada Township’s Envision Ada Campaign that raised nearly $14 million. The campaign also included the building of Legacy Park in memory of Helen and Rich DeVos, located along the Thornapple River.

“The Envision Ada process has brought out the best in our community, a public and private partnership focused on fitting the right pieces in the village area in order to bring people together and engage families in outdoor and learning experiences,” said Ross Leisman, Ada Township supervisor.

The library has a large children’s area on the first floor that has more than 7,000 colorful books and media, which are set up at eye level for kids. Courtesy Kent District Library

The library also includes:

  • A large children’s area on the first floor has more than 7,000 colorful books and media, which are set up at eye level for kids. This area includes WonderKnook, an interactive play space designed to encourage learning through discovery and exploration. The Amy Van Andel Library is one of four KDL locations piloting this new program.
  • An adult section on the upper level features a living room with furniture, a fireplace and a wide variety of book/media selections.

The adjacent teen section provides a welcoming environment with low-slung couches and chairs.

  • Tutoring areas: An enclosed tutoring center offers a conference room for larger groups and three smaller rooms for individual tutoring. Each space has a whiteboard for brainstorming and collaboration, and tables are outfitted with easy access to technology charging.
  • KDL Core Collection: This curated collection made its KDL debut at the Amy Van Andel Library and features 100 titles that represent the most loved books among patrons across the KDL system. The collection evolves over time, reflecting what readers are currently enjoying.
  • Podcast room: Located on the second floor, this podcast studio features state-of-the-art recording and broadcast technology and allows for both podcast recording and live streaming. The room is available to be reserved for public use.

“We are excited to have the community come in and enjoy everything the new library has to offer,” said Lance Werner, Kent District Library executive director. “It’s an honor to partner with Ada Township for our 20th KDL location and to become part of this new legacy in Ada.”

Building hours can be found here and capacity is limited to 50%, per state guidelines.

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