Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Library Opening

Libraries are second homes to me! They have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I still remember walking with my Dad to the small, old brick library for story-time and picking out five books to take home and read. When I graduated high school I got a job at the main branch in my city. I  even met my hubby when we both worked there in college. Four years working in circulation I left my job at public libraries to become a library assistant at an elementary school. This has been the most rewarding experience and truly the most wonderful job. I left my job as a library assistant this year to move on to the next chapter of my life. as an elementary teacher. Imagining not working in a library seems strange like I am leaving behind the comforts of my old childhood bedroom. I still think of it with longing.
With a student on Hawaiian Day
Although I may not work in a library that doesn't mean I don't inhabit them anymore. My kids and I go at least twice a week to find new books and play in the children's area. When I am lucky I get to take the kiddo's to story-time. I still attribute so much of my son's love of books and brightness to baby story-time. Then to make things better during summer times there are all sorts of fun events like: reptile visits, magic shows, carnivals, mad science, Lego inventions, and more.
"A" with a visiting alligator at a free library event
This week the main branch moved locations and got a new amazing building. The same building I started out working in 12 years ago has gotten a much needed new home-and to say it is amazing would be an understatement. It is five stories high with a floor for non-fiction, fiction, and children. On the top floor there is even a balcony garden! There are seating areas around fireplaces, a teen lounge, and hands-on children learning exhibits. I am heaven!!!

Here are some pics of the new library on opening day...

The new & improved branch
The old branch & workplace (pic by InfoUSA)
"A" excited to check out the new branch
Seriously, by far one of the coolest murals I have ever seen. Looking up right when you walk in front doors.
Looking up the staircase

The Children's Floor:
Another place for "A" to play trains

Learn Exhibits!

Reading Ice Cave

There are lots of these Teepee things with amazing collage details

Even the ceiling decorations were cool!

This TeePee was a play kitchen (notice the silverware and Hey Diddle Diddle)
Tiles that take children from their library, town, state, country all the way to universe!

This wheel made word families (lovin it!!!)

One of the details ingrained in a TeePee

Another wheel for the alphabet
Art Work (notice collage work in here too)

Even lampshades are awesome-displaying children's art
"A" trying to find a nook just for him

 Grown Up Floors:
"A" on the balcony- what an amazing view!

Balcony Garden off of Fiction area

I could spend hours out here reading

Cozy fireplace reading area
Fiction Floor  

Non-Fiction Floor
 Visitors for Opening Day:

There has been talk of libraries becoming a thing of the past as we move more into the future with E-Readers. This may happen but what a tragedy it would be. Don't get me wrong I love my NookColor and we need to make book printing more sustainable. However, libraries are a fixture in one's community. It is a place that is free to all who enter, and everyone has the freedom to enter. It gives people knowledge, hope, dreams, and power to change things. One of my favorite quotes that is simple but true:
"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life."
Henry Ward Beecher

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