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Members' Chat > What's your local library like?

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message 1: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9646 comments Mod
What do you love about your local library/libraries?


message 2: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9646 comments Mod
I saw this article in the Guardian about the gorgeous new library opening in Helsinki in December, and it made me think about all the beautiful libraries I have access to.


Vallila library is the small branch that's closest to me. I often sit here reading a graphic novel or finishing a book before I return it.


They have a few of these winged chairs at the back, which are great when I want to concentrate on what I'm reading. It's a comfy reading cocoon, you can fit all your stuff and loads of books in there with you, and settle in for the long haul.



Kallio library is also very close to me. I love both the outside and the inside. They recently renovated, and I can't find after pictures of the inside, but it was just a spruce, so these old pictures will do just fine, as well as these.



Rikhardinkatu library was my home library for many years, and I really love the spiral staircase going up to the book tower. Pictures of the interior here.




message 3: by Trike (new)

Trike I work across the street from my library.

Front: https://goo.gl/images/e2yzfJ
Back: https://goo.gl/images/gpgzk8
The bulldog out front: https://goo.gl/images/dYx8g5

My other library. It’s in an old building that I think dates to the 1890s, with an expansion/renovation in the 1990s. The garden club always has lovely plantings out front,

https://goo.gl/images/f6HdCo
https://goo.gl/images/r3ydcN


message 4: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments I used to love my library in my home town. It was built in the 1920s sometime. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have my own library card. Every Friday Mum would go to the library and change her 4 books that she’d read that week. For the first 5 years of my life I went with her.

The smell of old books as I walked in was so calming. I’d head for the kids library (we had our own massive room and our own special librarian and then go to Mum in the main library when I had my own books. The librarians all knew me. And I knew the library. Many a night was spent there getting information for school projects. It was open until 8.30pm and Dad would drive me up there after Dinner. Then I worked there for my school work experience. Then I knew it a little better. Every day was like going to visit old friends.

The Stack was just overflowing with wonderful old books. It was like one of those bookshops with things stacked everywhere. It was supposed to be haunted out there in the Stack.

The local Council that owns the Library decided that they would like to sell the building (that had been left to the town by one of our rich founding fathers and it was always supposed to be the Town library but then again they sold the sporting fields he left for the recreation of the townsfolk to companies to build factories on so it didn’t really come as a surprise but we were still pissed off 😤 and I really hope the old man haunts them). They sold it to a University for a large amount of money and then put the library in a shop in the Main Street. The whole place is only the size of the adult fiction/non fiction part of the original library. And this new one of full of computers. Not much room for the books. They got rid of all the old books and it doesn’t feel like it did before. But at least they still have one.

My current town only has a small library but it works in conjunction with 4 other councils in the area so we can get books from other libraries if ours doesn’t have them. Most of the time they don’t either.

My last town has a massive library. Apparently they have over 80,000 books. And the head librarian won’t get rid of any. A library for a town that size is supposed to have around 20,000 books and they have 80....

The Library at my University is huge. 3 floors of goodness. 1 floor was fiction and the other 2 were all the non fiction books you needed for all of the degrees they had on offer. There was also a computer lab in bottom floor that could only be accessed from the outside around the back as well as a heap of computers dotted around the library. You walk up a lot of steps to get in and the entrance is on the middle floor. You would walk down internal steps to get to the fiction books and the non fiction were on the top two floors. Well it was when I first went there in the mid 1990s until I finished my degree in 2002. And it closed around 10pm at night. The computer lab was 24hr though. I had to go back there with hubby in 2013 when he was doing his Masters. You couldn’t access the fiction floor anymore and the level you walked into was just a huge open area filled with computers and desks. The top floor was the only floor with books. So we went from 3 floors of books to one. It was very disappointing and upsetting. And they close at 7 now. How are you supposed to go to the library if it closes early? Hubby and I loved half an hour away and we got there around 6.15 because he had to work so only had 45 minutes to find all of the books we needed for his assignment and get them checked out. We would finish at 6 when we did residential schools for our distance education classes. When I was doing my original degree it was great. You’d eat dinner and then go to the library and work into the night and then go to bed. I was doing another one for a while from 2009 at the other campus of the same university. That was after it started to close early. Basically you had to make a choice. Eat dinner or go to the library. You didn’t have time to do both because the dining hall closed around the same time as the library. When they close later the students can study into the night. That’s what they’re there for I thought. The students.

I liked it when the libraries stayed open so people could actually use them. Our one here closes at 5. On the dot. My hometown one closes at 5.30. People don’t even have time to go there after work. And they certainly can’t take their kids there when they get home from work. Older kids can take themselves but young ones can’t.


message 5: by Shanna (new)

Shanna | 43 comments I love the smell of books.


message 6: by Anna, Circadian heretic (last edited May 17, 2018 05:08PM) (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9646 comments Mod
Trike, the Amherst one is too cute to be real!

Jacqueline, you made me think about my childhood library. It was tiny, open only a few hours most days, and one of the librarians hated me (or possibly all kids) with a passion. I still spent a lot of time there, desperately trying to find something new to read on the two shelves that had what would now be called YA books.


message 7: by Renee (new)

Renee (thebookroyal) I actually work at my local library! I love working there. I get many perks and get to see what's popular these days. :) the people could go away though >:-)


message 8: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 86 comments Mine is fantastic - the interior/exterior isn't fancy but they have book challenges all the time. My favorite is the annual challenge where if you read 50 books in certain categories, you get a hoodie/jacket/vest (depending on the year). There's a facebook group, and the librarians are so helpful.


message 9: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments What gorgeous libraries Trike.


message 10: by HeyT (new)

HeyT | 445 comments My local library is due to be remodeled in the next year or so but right now I volunteer in the History Room. It started as a California history center but now the acquisitions and collections are more focused on just the city. We are currently going through and digitizing the subject collection files and turning them into searchable .pdf s There's so much random stuff in there that I had no idea was connected to our city.

The one thing I didn't really like is that a couple years ago they took away the dedicated children's room librarian and separate circulation desk and made just one monstrous information desk with one line.


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenlb) | 174 comments Our public library was the first public library established in Ontario, which is pretty cool. The first library was constructed due to a Carnegie Grant, and and was gorgeous, and in the sixties it was replaced (with much opposition) with a much more modern building. Supposedly we're getting a brand new, much larger building in the next year or so.

We've got a great library system- the main branch plus 5 other branches, 2 or 3 bookmobiles, and some micro-libraries around town in various community organizations. We've got access to a lot of ebooks/movies etc through Hoopla (our library isn't affiliated with overdrive), and a pretty large number of book clubs, children's activites and groups, and technology (I like the 3D printer). I've also got a soft spot as it was my first job, and I worked there for a lot of years. 30 years later and a surprising amount of my former co-workers are still there- working in a library really is a fantastic job if you love books.


message 12: by Trike (new)

Trike Seth Meyers is from Bedford and regularly stops by local places. A couple months ago he popped into the library (https://www.facebook.com/BedfordNHLib...) and he didn’t even come over to say hi. Nevermind that he has no idea I exist, it’s still very rude.


message 13: by Trike (new)

Trike Anna wrote: "Trike, the Amherst one is too cute to be real!."

Jacqueline wrote: "What gorgeous libraries Trike."

When we were house shopping in New Hampshire the real estate agent lived in Amherst and wanted to show us the village. It was a gorgeous October day, with cloudless blue skies, the trees changing colors, and some fallen leaves scattered around. The grade school is a couple blocks away from the library and a class of little kids was visiting the library, and they were in an adorable line, holding hands as they walked down the tree-lined sidewalk past 300-year-old houses.

Seeing this stereotypical New England scene was so surreal that we were laughing out loud in delight. It was like a movie set.

I’ve only been two places in the world where I immediately thought, “I could live here forever.” One was Maui, but everyone thinks that about Maui, the other was New Hampshire. It often feels like I live inside a Currier & Ives print.

I mean, look at this place. Ridiculous. https://goo.gl/images/DirDaN


message 14: by C. (last edited May 18, 2018 02:30AM) (new)

C. | 64 comments What I love about my library is the hours Mon-Thurs. 10:00-8:30PM- Fri/Sat 10AM-6PM.
I love my online acct, through which I can search the catalog, reserve, check-out, and renew books. I love that I can just pick up my books at the front desk, at 67,I appreciate not having to cruise the aisles ,haha!

Lastly, I love how many titles are available in the Kindle Edition, so I don't even have to leave the house to start reading a chosen title, not even to return it when finished.

I love my small city's(Lorain,Ohio) great public library, and the amazing huge Clevenet Library system!♥♥♥


message 15: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments So gorgeous Trike. It looks like somewhere I’d love to live too.


message 16: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9646 comments Mod
Jen, that old library building is magnificent, what a shame it was lost.

HeyT, every library should have a kids' librarian! Mine doesn't, but they do have lots of events for kids, which is good. And there are always lots of kids hanging in the library, which is noisy, but I don't mind, since they're enjoying books!

C., my library has shelves where they have all the holds by last pick-up date, and you can get your holds from there yourself. The shelves are near the door, as are the checkout machines. So no need to browse or talk to anyone if you don't want to, and I love that.


message 17: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenlb) | 174 comments Anna wrote: "Jen, that old library building is magnificent, what a shame it was lost."

I almost cried the first time I saw a picture of it- apparently there was a lot of local resistance (I wasn't quite born at the time), but for some reason they went ahead with the new "60s" style building. They're starting to build the new main library branch right now, and from the plans I've seen it's going to be pretty breathtaking when it's done, even if still not as good as the old
one :-)


message 18: by Trike (last edited May 18, 2018 07:57AM) (new)

Trike Jen wrote: "Anna wrote: "Jen, that old library building is magnificent, what a shame it was lost."

I almost cried the first time I saw a picture of it- apparently there was a lot of local resistance (I wasn't..."


I hate when they do that. Cities in Ohio do that all the time and it creates a sense of impermanence.

There’s a great episode from the podcast 99% Invisible that talks about this sort of thing, and the story starts in the 1960s with a young female faculty member fighting to preserve the University of Pennsylvania library from being demolished. (Spoiler: she succeeded.)

Check out the photos of the building: https://99percentinvisible.org/episod...

I can’t believe they were going to tear that down and replace it with an ugly glass-and-concrete monstrosity.


message 19: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (last edited May 18, 2018 08:13AM) (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
This is my local mothership, but it's not my local library:

Outside:
description

Inside:
description

When I was closer by, I'd go there just to feel better. My friends and I would play manhunt in the stacks. Or I'd pick a book and sit under one of the chandeliers (not pictured) and just hang out. There are always lectures and community events, though I've been to very few, sadly!

My main town library is nothing to look at, but it's also part maker space, and is a main hub for people who are learning things. I love it for that. I love walking in and finding dozens of people learning how to use tools, or new languages, or kids getting tutored. It gives me hope.

My immediate neighborhood library is teeny! But it's incredibly well used. Where the big library is for people learning new things, this library is more like community center. There's always kid activities, and the elderly gathering some place they can see friends or use the computer.


message 20: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (justiceofkalr) | 395 comments This used to be the Cincinnati library. Now it's a brick monstrosity that is ugly af. I will never not be angry that they demolished that old building in the 50's. That's the main library, though I don't go there a ton. They filmed the movie "The Public" there last year, so I'm excited for when that finally comes out and I can see it.

I have two branches that are "mine", the one I work at and the one that I visit near my house. Both are fairly nice buildings that sit in or next to a park, which is one thing I love about them. They're both also fairly big, both are considered part of the big ten branches out of our 41 branch system. Definitely a huge fan of the availability of things in the system. There is hardly anything I can't get my hands on. I especially love the availability of ebooks and audiobooks since those are my preferred formats for most things.


message 21: by CBRetriever (new)

CBRetriever | 4627 comments I've not seen much to match the London Library and the Dublin Library (used in the Harry Potter movies and home to the Book of Kells)


message 22: by Bobby (new)

Bobby | 869 comments I live in a big city with lots of branches, but none are really super nice. Our central branch downtown is painted the ugliest Pink/Red color, and I cringe every time I see it. My closest branch is a small, boring building, but adequate with really nice people working there.

I used to go a lot more when I was younger, but now I mostly use my library's online options. Although I will occasionally pick something up if they don't have the e-book. On Monday, I actually ordered 3 books from 3 different branches, and they all arrived yesterday, which I thought was pretty good. My branch is open until 8:00 PM on Tuesday and Thursday, so I can go after work, which is really convenient for me.

My county actually has a digital library, so I have more options if I can't find a book. My city's online library is my go to, then I check the county online library, and then finally I'll check the city library's website for physical books. I can also suggest books for purchase to both the city and county libraries. Lord of Light is actually one of the few books I've ever been completely unable to find in any way, even to suggest.

So while I don't go physically very often, I love the library, and get on one of the websites just about every day.


message 23: by Trike (new)

Trike Jordan wrote: "This used to be the Cincinnati library. Now it's a brick monstrosity that is ugly af. I will never not be angry that they demolished that old building in the 50's. That's the main library, though I..."

This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about above (#18). So sad.

Where do you work, Jordan? I grew up in Dayton and lived in Cincinnati for 7-1/2 years, over in Anderson next to Newtown. Honestly, the only things I miss about Cincy are my vet and Skyline Chili.


message 24: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (justiceofkalr) | 395 comments Trike wrote: "Jordan wrote: "This used to be the Cincinnati library. Now it's a brick monstrosity that is ugly af. I will never not be angry that they demolished that old building in the 50's. That's the main li..."

I work at the Delhi branch on the west side. Though the Sharonville branch is my home branch and the one I first started working at.

Fortunately, although they got rid of the old downtown library, there are still several Carnegie branches in the system that they haven't messed up too much. But yeah, Ohio definitely seems to have a bad habit of wrecking their sense of history.


message 25: by Alondra (new)

Alondra Miller Anna wrote: "What do you love about your local library/libraries?"

Well, I don't actually go to libraries, because I guarantee the librarian from Evanston, IL; has my name on file, my first-born and a blood-oath, to hunt me down for overdue fees.

I love libraries because of all of the wonderful books, storytime, and more books. I hate them because I have to return the books. I haven't borrowed since the last overdue notice came for $20.78 back in 1981. Aahhh, the good ol' days. :)


message 26: by HeyT (last edited May 18, 2018 08:18PM) (new)

HeyT | 445 comments My library actually has these three feet tall policeman signs that say you are free to go no more fines. It's nice because there are no more fees for holding and reserving books as well as not having to pay your overdue fines.


message 27: by Trike (new)

Trike Anarchy!


message 28: by Maggie (last edited May 19, 2018 12:27PM) (new)

Maggie (ceodraiocht) | 84 comments What I love about my small community library is the dedication it took to get it going. After the county closed multiple libraries in the 80’s, locals banded together and opened a small library in a storefront. They fundraised like crazy and worked with other local organizations to buy land and physically build the Murphys Volunteer Library (link has shots with volunteers doing the building http://www.murphyslibrary.org/about.html ). They then worked with the county to become a part of the county system, with the Murphys Volunteer library continuing to fundraise, staff the day-to-day library activities and pay many costs while the county provides one librarian and access to the interlibrary loan, eBook and and other features of the county library system.




message 29: by Trike (new)

Trike Sweet.


message 30: by Ada (last edited May 20, 2018 08:53AM) (new)

Ada | 83 comments Maggie wrote: "What I love about my small community library is the dedication it took to get it going. After the county closed multiple libraries in the 80’s, locals banded together and opened a small library in ..."

Once our county (I think that's what i mean) wanted to close my teenage-hood library. I'm so glad enough people wanted that stopped. It isn't big but everybody just love it. Now it's a 'Rijksmonument' (National monument)

This is how I remember it:
description

This is how it is now:
description

Outside:
description


message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 2611 comments Ada wrote: "Maggie wrote: "What I love about my small community library is the dedication it took to get it going. After the county closed multiple libraries in the 80’s, locals banded together and opened a sm..."

That is gorgeous! I can’t believe they wanted to close it. There’s some really great libraries here. Makes me want to drive to the big library in the city and check it out. Sort of.


message 32: by Ginny (new)

Ginny (ginny83) My local library is beautiful and very valued by the community. I've been visiting Peter White Public Library since I was a teen. My favorite aspect of PWPL are all the little reading nooks available by the huge sunny windows.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter...


message 33: by Trike (new)

Trike Ada wrote: "Once our county (I think that's what i mean) wanted to close my teenage-hood library. I'm so glad enough people wanted that stopped. It isn't big but everybody just love it. Now it's a 'Rijksmonument' (National monument)"

Wow. Never has the saying “my library is my church” ever been so true.


message 34: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 157 comments My local library is in an awesome purpose-built Victorian Gothic building:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derby...
Unfortunately it's due to close next month 😞


message 35: by Jim (new)

Jim Gorman | 33 comments We have the standard looking brick one story building for the main library in town, but we have another that was built probably more than 100 years ago to provide services to the town. Here is a link to it. its very pretty and fun to visit

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederi...


message 36: by Dj (new)

Dj | 1973 comments Trike wrote: "I work across the street from my library.

Front: https://goo.gl/images/e2yzfJ
Back: https://goo.gl/images/gpgzk8
The bulldog out front: https://goo.gl/images/dYx8g5

My other library. It’s in an o..."


Oh I like the one you work across from.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2674 comments My local library is fairly small and ugly, and doesn't have much of a selection. I use it for ILL, mostly, and literally tend to walk in, grab my books, check out, and be done.





***
The main Philly library is significanlty better, but I've never actually been inside:






message 38: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Oh, Colleen, you should go! It's worth it. Lovely. They have lots of cool events, too, so maybe that will mesh with a trip for you.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2674 comments Yeah. It's one of those things I always mean to do, and just never seem to get around to.

Some day, I'm sure.


message 40: by Kira (new)

Kira Wilson | 15 comments Outside of school libraries, I've not frequented them much in my time, but just this last week I found myself downtown with unexpected time on my hands, so I wandered into mine.

https://www.facebook.com/missoulapubl...

It's an old building and not much to look at, and the inside's quite a bit smaller than most libraries I've visited. But Missoula's really big on displaying local artists' creations, so there are a few neat and detailed sculptures and dioramas inside. Scheduled to be remodeled and enlarged in the next couple of years, so I'm glad I checked it out now.


message 41: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 55 comments I'm envious of some of the libraries shared here. I live very rurally in Appalachia so my library is small. However, it tries very hard to be relevant. It loaned out over 70,000 books last year, has programs for children and adults (I liked the wolf ambassadors). I know most of the librarians by name and often if a book isn't in the system, they'll order it for the library if funds are available.


message 42: by Kim (new)

Kim Watts | 1 comments I get all my library books online no worries about return dates


message 43: by Trike (new)

Trike 17 Libraries That Are Straight-Up Living In The Future

https://www.buzzfeed.com/noradominick...

Movie binge box! Book club in a bag! Private reading pods!


message 44: by Jim (last edited May 26, 2018 06:56PM) (new)

Jim Stein (jimsteinbooks) | 22 comments I like how our small town library supports the community with a wide array of events and venues. Literary for sure, but art classes, music programs, and much more for all ages. Small and unassuming, it's an important part of this small town of 1600.


message 45: by Phrynne (new)

Phrynne | 883 comments Trike wrote: "17 Libraries That Are Straight-Up Living In The Future

https://www.buzzfeed.com/noradominick...

Movie binge box!..."


Some great ideas there! I liked the one where they told you how much money you had saved by borrowing the book. I would love to know how much I save a year that way:)


message 46: by Trike (new)

Trike Yeah, that’s ingenious.


message 47: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 55 comments Phrynne wrote: "Trike wrote: "17 Libraries That Are Straight-Up Living In The Future

https://www.buzzfeed.com/noradominick...

Mo..."


Mine was telling us how much we saved by renting from the library until the new head librarian took over. I liked that


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2674 comments Jim wrote: "I like how our small town library supports the community with a wide array of events and venues. Literary for sure, but art classes, music programs, and much more for all ages. Small and unassuming..."


That's cool. My libraries do the same, but a lot of the events at the local branch are geared for kids, so I don't actually participate.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2674 comments Phrynne wrote: "Some great ideas there! I liked the one where they told you how much money you had saved by borrowing the book. I would love to know how much I save a year that way:)."


Mine lists the costs of the book on the receipt they give you for your checkouts. Somehow I don't think they do it for so nice a reason. ^_^


message 50: by Chris (last edited May 27, 2018 05:50AM) (new)

Chris King | 17 comments http://www.slleisureandculture.co.uk/...

Hamilton Townhouse is a building in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, which is operated by South Lanarkshire Council. It contains both the town's main public hall (formerly known as Hamilton Town Hall) and public library, as well as various council departments including licensing and community learning.

The building, although appearing to be one, was actually built in stages over a 21 year period. The library section of the complex was opened by Andrew Carnegie in 1907. [1] The adjacent townhouse offices were opened by King George V in 1914 and finally the town hall completed the building in 1928.

In 2002, each section of the building was closed to enable the building to undergo a massive regeneration project, costing £9 million. This was required to bring the internal facilities to current standards, while restoring the exterior of the A-listed building. In August 2004, the new integrated Townhouse complex was opened to the public, with an official opening by HRH Princess Anne in September. The library won two awards: the "Architect Meets Practicality Award" for libraries of significant architectural interest that are practical and user-friendly and the "Mary Finch Accessibility Award" for the library which most addresses access issues from physical through to cultural barriers.
https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.u...


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