one of the best things about the refurbished library is that it feels like a completely different place. there was a moment, after wandering the unrecognizable first floor, that i thought, "now, wait - how do i get back to the front entrance?" which is, weirdly, saying a lot.
maybe the most impressive area is the children's space, which is flooded with natural light and also has adorable light fixtures of various kinds (i like these, above, bird-like). there's also a pretty nice "teen" area with separate computers and study rooms and these seats, below, reserved for ages 12-19. i wondered, walking around, if the staff has had time yet to get all the books back in the main library stacks. i hope not, because there are many empty shelves and face-outs (i particularly noticed this in the teen section).
then there are places where, clearly, the money ran out. or i suppose some of these things could be still in progress, but it certainly feels like where the new carpet ends and the old (hideous, orange) carpet begins, there should be a sign saying, "PHASE TWO." sadly, phase two is dependent on lots more money, so i'm guessing it'll happen around when my grandchildren are born. below, downstairs. feels like the old library, but roomier.
there was going to be a cafe, but i suppose that's phase two also. for now, coffee-dispensing machines.
the auditorium is bigger and accessible from the street, so the library doesn't have to be open when events take place there. i love the font on the blond wood here. pretty.
i almost forgot my favorite thing, these little cozy reading areas throughout the kids' area. they make me wish i were eight years old, curled beside the window with a stack of books. each one is different, but they all have this wonderful secret-fort kind of feel. and the pillows look comfy but washable.
well, and my favorite favorite thing was how happy the librarians seem to be with this new set up. i heard lots of references to the environment being less tense and people having the chance to spread out and to rotate between areas of the library (which is good news for those who might otherwise get stuck downstairs with the orange carpet, magazines, and sleeping homeless people, in my opinion). i had the loveliest conversation with one of the usually crankiest of the cranky librarians. she was practically beaming.