“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
We recently visited a well-known library in an old, artsy section of town. I’d heard of the library for many years but had never strolled through to take a look. Before leaving a library, I think it’s important to investigate a bit.
Go to the children section. Before I deem a library “good,” I always spend some time in the children section. What I love to find is a place where children are sprawled around reading books on the floor. The educator in me says that these children feel comfortable and love this place.
Look for different types of media. In this day, we can come away with not only books, but many other items as well. One of the amazing things about media is that it’s always changing. Our libraries have done a great job keeping up with the times. They even allow us to check out small instruments and stuffed animals along with a book. The library is now a place to check our email, read our favorite magazine, and then turn around to check out books, books on tape or CD, and many other media forms.
Check out the artifacts. In the last library I visited, there were a number of artifacts including collections of old furniture and painting made by famous people in the city. My favorite find was a hand-written letter written by the founder of the library in 1899. Knowing whose vision brought the library into being as well as who invested time and money in its founding are facts I find interesting.
I’m a pathetic organizer. You’ll never find me applying for the job of librarian. Yet, I feel energized walking into a well used and well organized library. Keep up the good work, library lady (or man).