Montreal West Children's Library opens after summer-long renovations

After months of fundraising and a summer of renovations, the Montreal West Children's Library in Elizabeth Ballantyne School opened its doors on Friday.

Elizabeth Ballantyne School students share their favourite books in photos

Francesca Loiacono, a grade 6 student, shows her favourite book in the newly renovated Montreal West Children's Library.

After months of fundraising and a summer of renovations, the Montreal West Children's Library, housed in Elizabeth Ballantyne elementary school, has reopened to the public.

And despite all the digital distractions at their fingertips, students are excited to get their hands on new books.

"There's more books, there's more space, there's like three sections, four sections where you can sit, and it's really amazingly done," said Hanah Hasan, a grade 6 student.

The old library had its books packed up into 450 boxes during the summer break and stored them in a boiler room.

The school raised $420,000 for the renovations, on top of the $100,000 raised by the library's board of directors.

The walls were gutted, the floor was evened out, and new carpets and decorations were put in.

CBC asked students to share their favourite books and why they like them.

Here's what they said.

Veronique Mckenzie, Grade 6
Favourite bookDork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
"I like it because I'm kind of a dork, and the main character has a diary and I have a diary. I write about the day at school and at home. And I have a crush, he's like in the book but I pretend I don't like him."

Joshua Winternitz, Grade 6
Favourite book: Middle School – Get Me Out of Here by James Patterson
"I like the book because it has a good story. It's funny, it's sad. You really get into it when you read. I couldn't put it down."

Sammy Rocchi, Grade 6
Favourite book: The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley
"I love this book because I make comics, and I love comics. I can see myself in the author because we can both draw."

Francesca Loiacono, Grade 6
Favourite book: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
"I like to see how they lived in the prairies. They work a lot and they make everything. They do their own farming. They make their own clothes. It's interesting"

Dalia Hall, Grade 6
Favourite book: Once by Morris Gleitzman
"It helps me to imagine how life was like. The author gives great details. I also like that every chapter starts with, 'Once'. It makes me feel and imagine what they went through and makes me happy it's not happening now."

Photos of children by Arian Zarrinkoub/CBC


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