i grew up in a small town with a fabulous library. with my mom raising twin boys and living just outside of town meant we didn't go much, but when we did i took out stacks and stacks of books (this is when i learned became occustomed to library fines. a path that will be my downfall in life). i knew every inch of that library. somewhere i still have my original library card, applied for on my 6th birthday, the age at which my library gave out cards. it has my 'signature' on it nice and big. (seriously, i would make librarians laugh in high school would i pulled out my card with 'annieb' written across it in a mixture of large lower case and capital letters.)
i went to college in a small town, with an incredible public library. i went there frequently with kids that i mentored, and soon knew that library well. i came to believe that all libraries, even those in small towns, are beautiful and fabulous.
at our old rented house we were walking distance from the library. it was glorious. (we were also walking distance to two metros, a large mall, and any ethnic restaurant you could possible want), but the library was the important thing.
so we moved to a house we own and instead of being a 5 minute walk from a library, we now have a 20 minute walk, or a 5 minute drive. ok, just one of those sad things you give up as a home owner. but this library had to be worth the 20 minute walk. from the outside it looked beautiful with huge windows. you can see the many computer stations from within, as well as the super-modern looking check-out stations. clearly the library had to be exceptional.
i went once this summer and was shocked. yes they had tons of computers, yes they had tons of shelves with dvds, modern movies no less, but someone forgot to tell them to order the books. peter told me that i must have missed a floor.
today i gave them a second chance and peter came along. no, i hadn't missed a floor. they forgot to order the books. i can't tell you how sad it is to wonder inside a beautiful library with so little books.
on the upside they spent lots of money on self-checkout systems so you don't have to deal with nosy librarians. no one gave me a lecture on my $7.59 fine ($8 means you can't check out any more books) left over from the other branch. you don't even have to scan the books individually. you just put them on an electric mat all at once.
pretty cool, but i'd rather have books.