Visit a New Library
posted May 26, 2014 9:03 AM by Maggie Davidov
I haven't been on a real vacation in over a year, but two weeks ago I unplugged completely and made the drive to Portland, Maine. Portland was everything I wanted it to be and more. I think I really needed to sleep and not look at my email for a stretch. For anyone who hasn't tried these highly attainable things...you really should. Sleep is luxuriously restorative. Also, I never fully appreciated how much time I spend on email until I turned off my phone and spent time in the moment in the glorious outdoors. One of my other big takeaways from my mini-break was library tourism. I had never really been aware of this as a conscious act on vacation, but I realize it should be planned into almost any vacation. Check out the local library. See what they do differently. Open your eyes to the way they lay out their space. It's fun to walk into a library that's new to you. You have to experience it from the patron perspective and you can steal some great ideas for your own library. When I say steal I mean borrow, and when I say borrow I mean share in what successful librarians have been doing for centuries. We build off of ideas that are successful. What do you think listservs are for? People share their great ideas and you can grab onto someone's great idea or shelve it for use at a later date.
But getting back to my Portland experience. The Portland Public Library was stunning! From the moment I walked in I was guided past a sunny high ceilinged room filled with café tables and chairs, rows of computers and a circulation/information desk. Beyond that was an area for recent acquisitions (newly released books, audio books and dvds).There was a plethora of shrubbery and greenery and fountain that left the entire space feeling serene. I suppose the moral of this story is. Take some time to visit libraries in your travels. It's inspirational! And when it's not you feel happy that you're taking steps to make your library friendly to the infrequent, but still important library tourist.