Saturday, September 15, 2007

Field Trip

When was the last time you took a field trip? I can't remember my last time, but it certainly wasn't in a bus this nice, with a stop for lunch at such a great restaurant as Francesca's Vicinato's! It was a trip to see two other libraries for all staff employees at my library. We are currently in a building remodeling/building project.
The two libraries we visited were the Elmhurst Public Library and the Tinley Park Library.
The two libraries had totally different looks...one was open, airy, light-wooded and high-ceilings with exposed ducts and pipes. One had darker woods, regular height ceilings and a deeper color palate. But both libraries had greens in their color thematics. The stained glass window panels at the Tinley Park Library really made a statement as one entered their lobby. In the prairie style, one wonders what Frank Lloyd Wright would think.
Yes, this is a coffee shop!
Who would think of a fireplace in a modern library? But, I certainly could picture myself sitting there in the winter with a blazing fire (I never asked if they did that...darn!), a cup of cocoa (did you know beverages are allowed in the library now?) with a good book in my hands!
Both libraries had some outstanding features: beautiful stained glass windows and even a fireplace, modern seating, "green" friendly designs (cork floors, bamboo on stairways, efficient cooling and heating systems), rich woods, prairie style light fixtures, nice shelving, great public access.
When it came to the Children's Departments, I was especially attentive. Ours presently is over-crowded, anything but spacious, in a basement. We share our storyroom space with the entire library (that will soon change, though as our AV department is moving upstairs and their old space will become a public meeting room like it was long, long ago.) Talk about crowded!
I loved the wooden cut out trees around the columns in the Kid's Library! But, what truly blew me away at the Elmurst Public Library: their Story Room! This storyroom was a dream for me..it had all the "bells and whistles.' It had a closet with a kitchen, a closet with art supplies, remote control lighting and film screen lowering and even two doors that, when opened, revealed fantasy and fairytale backdrops.
Just like magic! Open sesame and the audience could be transported back to days of yore.
This is where I'd like to spend my time as a library patron...reading a book on a cozy chair overlooking a park. (And , of course, the children next to me would be well-behaved!)
Now, dear readers, I am going to ask you a question: What do you like about your library? Does it have an eye-catching coffee kiosk? Or a Border's Book Store feel? A great storytime room? Is there perhaps a type of chair you like? Even if you have never commented on my blog before, I really hope you give me your input. You can also tell me what you DO NOT like about your library!

5 comments:

simplicity said...

Like the new look of the site.

Can I just say that both of the libraries you're sharing pictures of are BEAUTIFUL?!??!

Our library is old, run down and overcrowded. The childrens department is definitely lacking in artwork and Zing! Though we still are regular library patrons I'd LOVE visiting one of those gorgeous buildings with that great space and coffee shop/book store feel!!!

Looking forward to see the changes your library makes!

Jed and Anne said...

Jed and I don't have just one library that we use, but two. The one that is in our neighboorhood has a great selection of books which is nice, but you would never want to sit down for a while there because it is so dingy.
The other one that I like is a little bit farther away, closer to the Byrnes house, and it is well-kept, has cozy nooks, many books to choose from, and a nice window filled foyer (sp?).
I like it when a library can feel like Borders or like Starbucks. Open, cozy nooks, a good selection of books, and a clean atmosphere are what I like in a library.

Cherith said...

I love libraries, and tend to be drawn to the classic look. But both were fun to see -- thanks for sharing!

cellothug said...

I spend a lot of time in my library-the Columbine library (yes, walking distance to Columbine high school). It has a whole wall that is made of windows, looking out onto a lake! Of course, you probably can't add a lake as part of your remodeling...but thanks for sharing your pics! (and last time I went on a field trip was...let's see...last May, to the zoo!)

Katherine said...

Whoa this is a great blog, Deb! I wish I still worked at the library to go on this field trip! Every time I have just a spare minute or two I'll go to your blog and feel inspired to pick up my homework again so thanks! I'll have to send a new email back soon! :)