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!