I visited our brand-new city library today during my lunch break. It's huge. So huge that I asked a fellow at the check-out desk just how huge it is. That's when I heard the figure of 53,000 square feet.
In the title of this blog entry, I credited that number to books. I can explain my logic; listen up. A good story needs a hook; a writer has license to lie if by so doing he grabs the reader and drags him to his written page. I began to count the books so I could give you an honest square footage count of them, but at 1,000 books my lunch hour was already nearly over. Maybe the fellow at the check-out desk can tell me; yeah, that'd be a lot quicker than counting, but probably not as accurate. Besides, my back was getting tired from bending low to count books on the bottom shelves. Yeah, I'll ask for the check-out fellow how many books there are the next time I stop in. Once I have that number I'll have some calculating to do to come up with the square footage of books.
Besides books on shelves, several cozy sitting areas are scattered throughout the building. A periodical and quiet reading room has comfy chairs gathered in front of a fireplace. I never, even in my wildest dreams, imagined our city would relocate the library to such a splendid place. I'm also pleased because the new location is closer to my home and to work.
Good-sized tables and chairs occupy several areas including beside the large windows that look out over the surrounding grounds and on to the river. The over-sized windows fill nearly all the outside walls adding to the openness of the space. I noticed a small cafe just inside the main entrance. It made me think of a Barnes & Knoble bookstore; they always have a cafe. A counter and a few tables and chairs fills one area of the cafe while three vending machines selling soft drinks, coffee and snacks line up in an adjoining room. Although not comparable to a Barnes & Knoble cafe, it's a thoughtful addition.
The YMCA and the library are almost next door to each other. When winter comes, it's going to be tempting to pass by the Y and go to the quiet room in the library instead. You know what? If I walk around the inside perimeter of the library a couple times before I settle next to the fireplace with a book, I'll get my exercise for the day too. Ahhh, life is good.
[I wish I had some pictures of the new facility to show you. I promise that I'll take some real soon and I'll post them here. For now, I've included a picture of a few volumes in my own library.]