Walt Disney World donated $150,000 to the Osceola Board of County Commissioners for its public library project in Celebration, giving residents of West Osceola access to a greater number of books, computers and other public resources.
The library, already under construction and expected to open early next year, will feature a collection of resources double the size of what’s currently available at the West Osceola Library near Celebration. It will also include a children’s area, meeting space for groups, dedicated area for teen-agers and three times as many public computers with wireless computer access.
“Disney offered a gift that will enrich Celebration and the surrounding communities for generations to come,” said David Barnett, library contract manager for Osceola County. “It is our hope that this library will be a wonderful place where the seeds of creative thought will be planted and nurtured for people of all ages, giving us a greater understanding of our yesterday, and enriching our hopes and ideas for tomorrow.”
The new 10,000-square-foot building is located near the intersection of Campus Street and Celebration Boulevard.
“At its root, Disney is a story-telling company. Most of the Disney movies our children and grandchildren love today were inspired by characters who were first brought to life in books,” said Betty Lowery, Walt Disney World manager of community relations who presented the donation. ”It’s natural that Disney supports the work of our public libraries.”
In 2006, the West Osceola branch of the library opened in a 2,000 square-foot storefront on Highway 192. Previous to that, residents of Celebration developed their own library in a space shared with the town’s elementary school and entirely staffed with local volunteers.