Sometimes, my 80s shows when I visit a new (to me) library.

What swivels my head and has me coming for a closer look? Wooden card catalogs, tall-as or taller than me with ornate metal drawer pulls smoothed from many years use.

Card catalog is fragile

While I’m first to want to visit a fresh new library, I’m still there with you, 80s, 70s, 90s. Your wide windows and gleaming hallways. Your themed carpets. Your commemorative plaques.

Moss in tree outside window

Walking up to the top level

Domed roof

Rose city carpet

Beverly Cleary plaque

Beverly Cleary, a childhood (and adulthood) favorite of mine

And then there are those special touches I never saw in the decades of my youth. This is what makes each library I visit so unique. Thoughtfulness: each library’s approach to meeting the needs of its audience, its patrons, its co-collaborators in word-love and learning and listening and reading and play. Discovery.

Library shopping baskets

Zine collection

Zines for the readin’

The Multnomah County Library of Portland, OR, Central Branch, charmed us with its special touches, friendly staff and many, many wooden chairs lining the walls that all but whispered, here, have a seat. Also, if you’re visiting, check out the John Wilson Special Collections room! You will discovery many an enormous and many a tiny book.

Is this your local library? Leave a comment about your experiences/wishes/favorites.