Beatrix Alevras and Sarah McDonald at Hamilton Fish Park Library.Beatrix Alevras carries only one item in her wallet: her library card. But for the 6-year-old from the Lower East Side, it might as well have super powers.
“You just show it and you get to take home so many books,” exclaims Beatrix, who has been visiting the Hamilton Fish Park Library with her family since she was an infant.
“I keep it in my Wonder Woman wallet because I don’t want to lose it,” adds the first-grader. “The Library is my favorite place in the world.”
As a toddler, Beatrix spent hours at the branch with her mom discovering new board books and listening to story hour with Children’s Librarian Sarah McDonald.
Now in elementary school and an avid reader, Beatrix comes to the branch regularly after school to find chapter books, work on her homework, and use the computer.
“The Library makes me feel happy and excited to read,” says Beatrix, who wants to be a writer, rock star, or veterinarian when she grows up. “There are so many books. I always find new ones.”
Beatrix’s mom, Renee, says Hamilton Fish Park’s brightly colored Children’s Room, which was renovated in 2007, is a much-needed refuge for her family and so many others in the neighborhood.
“It’s like an extension of our living room. We could never afford to buy all the books we check out,” says Renee, who also has a nine-year-old son, Lincoln. “The whole neighborhood depends on it. There are no other community resources like it nearby.”
McDonald agrees and says without the branch, many neighborhood children wouldn’t have anywhere to go after school.
“Daily after school, children flock to the back of the Children’s Room, where they study, read for pleasure, or are read to,” sats McDonald, who is now on leave to care for her own new baby. “It is truly a well-used space for our young patrons.”