This past weekend, I had the opportunity (and good fortune) to visit the Field’s Corner branch of the BPL. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery just when I was about to go crazy snapping photos. Fortunately, I enjoyed a ten minute conversation with the children’s department librarian about all-things library: from the politics of funding for branch libraries, to the whys/hows/and why-nots of displaying books, to culling collections, to how children learn.
Our conversation was fascinating, and brought one concept to light for me: I often engage with a library through it’s structure and architectural design not because I like architecture (which I kind of do,) but because it’s a way for me to experience the library beyond just checking out materials.
Put more simply, I’m looking for light, I’m looking for cozy, for the parts of the library that appeal to my kid-self. I’m looking for what would draw my mother, my father -what keeps their particular interest (magazines for Dad, travel DVDs for Mom.) I’m looking for the eating spaces, the opportunities to tuck oneself away for much desired solitude in a busy, people-stuffed life. To the efforts by library staff to tantalize teens: the computers and comics, the clubs and activities. For me, more than books does a library make!