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Monday, November 22, 2010

Once in a lifetime (OK, maybe twice)

We had a really big event in our little town of Rifle this weekend--our library had its grand opening in a wonderful new building. We've been watching the construction for about a year, and our books were at a temporary location for most of that time (although while they moved for the past 3 weeks, it's been closed, and due to some building malfunctions, the temporary spot was closed for another month or so).

The previous library building wasn't terribly old--maybe 30 years or so, but we'd really outgrown it. And since it was in a prime location, the county demolished the old building and put our new one up using the same land. We also have a parking garage now--Rifle's first--and my pal and I were so very excited because the spaces are quite roomy, plenty big for pickups. The photo at right is my lovely daughter posing at the steps of said garage (I took a pic inside too, but it blurred--surely NOT a user error...).

We now have an automated check-in machine (just feed your books in, watch the computer scan them and send them down the conveyor to be reshelved), an automated media dispenser (tell the computer which DVD or CD you want to check out, and it dispenses it to you, checked out on your library card a la Red Box), and self-check kiosks. Of course, the librarians are still around to help, and they can still check you out. Lots of room for expansion and adding more shelves. And the children's section... almost made me want another little one, so we could go to story time there. It's really awesome, and the books are shelved bin-style, so the tots can flip through books and see their covers, instead of their spines. Much more kid friendly. All kinds of cool hands-on things for kids to touch and learn with.

We've got lots of nooks and seating areas to just hang out and curl up with books--even an outside, covered deck upstairs. (I'm thinking that would be a fab place to go park with the laptop and write!)

And the fiction section... did I mention the great selection? I'm at right...not quite as close to Carly Phillips as I'd prefer, but it's not "only" a romance section, so we ended up with Picoult and a few others between us.

Oh, and we got swag at the event--not just the catered food (YUM), but also book bags and water bottles.

So. Back to the title of this post. I still remember when the previous location opened. It was so spacious and bright, a real gem. Because I also remember where the old library was (and I do believe that one was our first). Just a little hole in the wall suite in a building downtown. So tiny, and the books just crammed in there. And you know, the books are still the same from a little library or a big one, but it's such a treat to have the nice bright, uncrowded rooms to look through while you make your selection. So yes, I've had a new library before. But my kids haven't, and my daughter is just as excited about this. I strongly suspect this library locale will endure for much longer--and probably be a "once in a lifetime" institution for many.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

1 comment:

Sutton Fox said...

Great post, Autumn. These days there are so many stories about library closings, it's wonderful to hear some really good news for a change.

It sounds like a terrific space. Here's wishing you and your family many happy hours there!