I love my town’s relatively new library. When I first moved to this town about 8 years ago, I was disappointed to find that both the school and public libraries were so small and limited. Not surprised, because I figured such a tiny rural town would be thus limited. And it was so.
Honestly, I had to really, really search in order to find books that I had not read and that caught my attention. Many times I would end up with my small pile of books. Not books that I intensely wanted to read as is my normal and preferred state, but instead the books that I would settle for. The ones that were alright or mildly interesting. The ones that I had that lukewarm interest for. So sad… Not to mention that the library itself was very dark and old, with the smell of mildew and stains on the carpet. A small open area exposed to everyone, crowded…Not exactly the type of place you wanted to stay in and not somewhere you could find a cozy corner in which to sit and read.
Fortunately, about 2 years ago, we finally got a new library. Ah, the new library! Of course I have seen fancier and bigger libraries, but this one is our town’s library and it is exponentially better than the old one. First of all, it is 2 stories! Score!
And it was modeled in a very nice, modern way. No longer do you have to put up with humid heat and the smell of mildew. It’s kept cool and air-conditioned and smells like new books and fresh wood and paint. The lobby is huge, open, with comfortable armchairs and sturdy tables where you can just sit and chill. Now we have a proper children’s section with a good selection of books and a small activity corner. No longer is it a simple, foldable table with a few crayons. We have a whole room dedicated to just young adults (my go-to place) with the newest popular series and books, as well as manga. There is another room which serves as a computer lab. Feel like checking out the upstairs? Do you want to take the stairs or elevators? See more comfortable armchairs and chairs with a swing-out desk. Large fancy restrooms for your convenience. About 4 or 5 different rooms for private business or meetings. (You have to ask permission to use these, but they are usually empty.) Best of all, the upstairs is usually deserted, so you have it all to yourself. Read there to your heart’s content in a cozy corner, maybe by the window with a view of the town. Use the free, fast wi-fi on your phone, tablet, or laptop for 2 hours. Not enough time? No worries. Disconnect, reconnect, and you’re golden.
About once every 2-3 months, the library has a book adoption day or a book sale day. You might be wondering, what’s the difference? Well, book adoption day, which is my favorite, is when you can choose from a special room full of books any books you want to take and then just give a donation. Anything you want or think it’s worth. On book sale day, you can the room is filled with books once again, but this time, each type of book has a certain price. Some are $1 or $2, some are $0.50 and a few are $0.25. Pretty cheap. I think I probably spend more money on book adoption day than book sale day. Then why do I prefer book adoption day? Well, there’s no pressure. Don’t want to give a lot of money? Don’t. Feel like being generous? Go right ahead. Last time I went to book adoption day I even got a free backpack out of it, in which to stick my 4-year old niece’s free books. Now she doesn’t like anyone to mess with that book-filled backpack!
As you can tell, I am absolutely smitten with the new library. I can’t go as often as I like, but when I do, I enjoy it so much. I nearly sigh with relief and contentment. If I could improve it, I would recommend putting a suggestion box for the buying of new books. That and maybe adding some bean bags by those cozy upstairs corners and the children’s section. Maybe a few more educational toys in the children’s section.
What do you guys think? What are your town’s libraries like? What changes do you wish you could make to them? Which is the best library/bookstore you’ve ever visited and why did you like it? I can’t wait to read your comments below!