Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Corvallis Public Library

[transferred from 7/16/08 Tailfeathers blog entry]

Oh, the envy I feel! The people of Corvallis have such a lovely library! It began in the 1899 ...

20080714 Corvallis Library Reading RoomThis room is the original library, 5,200 sq. ft. Now it's a reading room which the reference librarian says is usually "so quiet it's like a church in there." This room houses the magazines and large type books as well as several comfortable chairs. See that beautiful ceiling and those ceiling lights? Lovely.

Note: They have THREE! subscriptions to knitting magazines: Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, and Knitters. I'm weeping tears of longing for a library like this.

Can you see how clean it is?

20080714 Corvallis Library20080714 Corvallis Library Card CatalogIt began with two books purchased by the Coffee Club in 1899. In 1932 the current site was opened. In 1965 they added another 17,000 sq. ft. In 1989 the voters approved a $6.85 million library bond by 70%. They added a second story. The current facility was dedicated in 1992.

The thing that I noticed while I was there was the quiet and cleanliness - even in the kids room. The carpets are clean! It's like they respect it. Imagine.

20080714 Corvallis Library Knitting BooksThe shelves are neat and there is room to shelve the books.

This picture shows three and a half shelves of knitting books. Current knitting books. Be still my heart! See how there is room to shelve the tall books without turning them on their side?

See how the books look all neat and lined up, like somebody was just there to dust and straiten the shelves?

20080714 Corvallis Library Holds AreaThey process many hold requests. The hold shelves are in the lobby, right next to the self-checkout stands (two of them). There is also a circulation person in the lobby to help people who don't want to use the self-checkout stations.

Also in the lobby is the "Customer Service" window where people go to pay fines and deal with other problems/requests. I looked in there. It was clean. There were several people doing circulation tasks (checking in/out, sorting for shelving, loading carts for shelvers, etc.).

So, all the circulation tasks are done by people in the back room who aren't as likely to be interrupted by those pesky patrons. They can do the job with care. They probably even wash their books back there!

20080714 Corvallis Library ComputersThey have tons (over 26 with internet access) of public computers. They have wi-fi!

They have a room full of music CDs.

They have two catalogs: Library Solutions' "classic catalog", and an Aquabrowser "visual catalog". The Aquabrowser version is easier to use, and it must be built on top of the Library Solutions database.

Their Friends of the Library and their Public Library Foundation are active, and the reference librarian told me they are good at "getting out the vote."

Corvallis has a library. Chico has a library. Corvallis has about 54,000 people. Chico has about 86,000 people. Shouldn't we have a better library?

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