Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The New Roseville Library

Our family made our first visit last night to the newly re-opened Roseville Library last night, which we've been frequenting since it first opened some 15 years ago. The new spaces were gorgeous, inviting, comfortable, and much larger than before. Riley dubbed it "the library of the future". Suffice it to say we were impressed.

Above is a view of about 1/2 of the new children's room, which was amazing. Plenty of room to sit and read or just hang out.

The library seems to be at least twice as big as it was before, with a new second story housing the majority of the fiction and non-fiction stacks. Again, there was a lot of space to hang out in--it has a bunch of lovely little refuges among the stacks to read a magazine.

Our favorite space, though, is the new Children's Reading Garden, an outdoor space accessible through the Children's Room with gardens, reading benches, and a unique cistern that collects rainwater for play and diversion to a rain garden.
We love this feature because, with three children, we often find ourselves with two kids in a quiet library mood and one who isn't. The Children's Reading Garden provides a place for quiet play that we can hang out in without disrupting the rest of the library.

Finally, we were impressed by some of the library's technological innovations. It seemed evident that they were aware that as the future of books themselves is changing, so will the functions and roles of libraries. They dedicated a lot of space to their media collections and had some very new programs like a new Power Check Meter that you can check out to monitor the electrical use of your appliances. And, the books are now labeled with RFID tags, so you don't have to scan them when you check out, just place them on a sensor pad.

They even had two Xboxes in the teen room, which is certainly beyond the traditional scope of a library. But, there were actually teens hanging out in the new teen room--how often do you see that?

All in all, we were really excited to see the new building. Definitely worth checking out.
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