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jca's avatar

Have you been to any libraries recently, and if so, did you enjoy utilizing their services?

Asked by jca (36010points) September 15th, 2013

A few days ago, I had some free time and so I went to the library near my mom’s house. It was redone about 5 years ago and it’s beautiful. Huge, modern, lots of different spaces for reading, studying, chilling. I just enjoyed walking around the then I sat and read some magazines.

I noticed they now allow people to drink drinks, as there were water bottles and coffee cups on the tables. I also noticed that the newspapers used to be on sticks so nobody could steal them, but they were not user friendly. They’d have one copy of each paper, but now there were papers in many spots, and a bunch of copies of each, and no sticks in sight.

I also enjoy other libraries in nearby towns, but they’re different. One that I am in a book group in has a great library with a traditional New England feel.

Some talk about the demise of libraries, thanks to e-books and the internet being used for online research, as opposed to going to the Reference Department of the local library.

Do you go to your library in town? Do you have a nice library, maybe not in your town but a neighboring town, that you really enjoy going to? Or do you think of a library as a dinosaur – an archaic thing you never expect to need? Your taxes pay for the library so it’s something you might think about using.

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13 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

I’m reading a library book right now.

zenvelo's avatar

We have a library in our town that is about five years old. It was a major effort by the town to replace the old one. It is so much better, and has become a community meeting place and a resource. I love it.

glacial's avatar

I use my university’s library for borrowing books, but I’ve done a lot of long road trips recently, and I find local libraries are the best places to stop and do a bit of work from time to time. They offer internet connections (though sometimes there is a minimal charge), and have a place to plug in a laptop. And I don’t have to buy gross food or coffee from McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s for the privilege.

Jeruba's avatar

The main Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, Mass., where I grew up, is a beautiful old building, designed by H.H. Richardson, who also designed Trinity Church in Boston. It’s gorgeous inside and out, textured and warm and dignified, with carved wood ornamentation in the interior. As a child I was extremely fond of one of the branch libraries, not far from my house, and visited it on a steady cycle of borrowing and returning.

Now I use concrete-and-glass structures built in twentieth-century California. They’re attractive enough, but utilitarian, and not warm with the warmth of old polished wood and whispering floors. Mostly I pick up and drop off my books and don’t linger.

However, I’m happy to note that the library branches I visit are nearly always busy, with lots of children around (and behaving appropriately). Even if the kids are only there after school waiting to be picked up, they’re spending time in a library and feeling at home in it. That has to be a good thing.

marinelife's avatar

I read a lot and would not survive without the library. I think their role is changing, but the need for them is just as great.

chyna's avatar

I just went to the library on Thursday and checked out some books. I love the library in my town. The librarians are very nice and helpful.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, we took the two youngest grandkids last week. They checked out three books and two DVD’s.

DaphneT's avatar

My central library is undergoing space renovations, and it’s not being done well. They don’t have a lot to work with, but still are utilizing the same mistakes made when the building was built. There are branch libraries for the system that are just as bad, some are much better. Each represents the amount of money allocated based on the vocal-ness of the volunteers.

I still use the library for finding books to read and reference, but there is no space to chill.

Unbroken's avatar

I go to the library often. Free WiFi though sometimes it is slow. I can use it outside where the library is coupled with a borough park. In the winter there are windows looking out at some pretty trees.

A fireplace with seating not quite couches bu cozish chairs. I run into people there quite often and they have three trees growing inside the building. There is a children’s area conference rooms computers study tables scattered throughout the rows of books. They also have a middle sized auditorium that is used for educational and community events.

Tutoring goes on, they have an online site where they offer ebooks and audiobooks. The place though hushed and the media can be old, in whatever format, is busy with life.

drhat77's avatar

My kid loves to go to the library. She’s four, but she prefers renting DVDs, but she also plays with other kids there, and does puzzles and plays games on the computer.
The periodical reading area has been replaced by a sitting area with Ipads chained to a table, which seems knda weird, but certainly gives the librarians a lot less mess to clean up. The kids section also has video game rentals, which is really weird.

Jeruba's avatar

P.S. In the photograph I linked, the tower with the gargoyles is not part of the library. It belongs to a nearby church.

LostInParadise's avatar

I can’t afford to live in Princeton, but I love visiting the town library. It is a beautiful four story building with a cafeteria and used book store. I go there sometimes just to read a book that I bring with me. They also have lectures and film series.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, in Australia. Free Internet and a real keyboard. Much faster than using my tablet.

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