Calgary kids have a new place to play, learn and burn off some energy at four city libraries and officials are encouraging parents to check it out.

The Crowfoot Library is just one of the locations that have just completed renovations. During the work period, crews also installed an early learning centre, a recreation area for children from birth to five years old.

Parents, like Bob Grunewald, comes to the library on a regular basis with his daughter Hannah and says the new recreation area is another incentive to visit.

“The library is always a great place to go to, but now it seems a lot more open, seems a little lower, you can see a lot more things and just the brightness of it; this area has improved.”

The building held a grand opening event on Thursday and had a number of different activities for children to take part in.

Kristen Duke, the service design lead with the Calgary Public Library, says there are a lot of different elements for the children to enjoy.

“We have a bird loft in the back and some ramps that children are able to get up on, so it is an active space as well as an opportunity for lots of different focus activities, but we’re really excited because we’re really pushing boundaries at the library so it’s very exciting.”

Funding for the Early Learning Centre is from the Calgary Foundation and an anonymous donor and the renovations to Crowfoot Library were funded by the Calgary Public Library.

Organizers say the money is a great boost for young Calgarians.

“The most important years in a child’s life are between birth and five years old,” said Ellen Humphrey with the Calgary Public Library Foundation. “What they learn in that period of time sets them up for success not only in school but also in life.”

Saddletowne, Signal Hill and Forest Lawn libraries are the three other locations that have new early learning centres.

The plan is to install similar facilities at all libraries in the city.

(With files from Kevin Fleming)