Monday, March 1, 2010

Cambridge Public Library: back and better than ever

(Picture: Original CPL main branch building (left); added-on building (right)

I've been a "library rat" for most of my adult life, but I had a five-year lay-off (which Amazon benefited from quite a bit). See, my local library closed for renovations. They closed for about five years. Yes, you heard me right: five (5) years!! It was a major bummer, but hey, what can you do? I lived with it, but it was tough. I bought a lot of books at the aforementioned Amazon, but unfortunately I could not find another library branch to call my  temporary "home". Luckily (especially in this day and age) my city has several library branches. But no other branches are on my regular path, and it was a seemingly insurmountable task for me to forge a new path to another branch. To me, going to the library is like exercising regularly. If the gym is not close-by, you're simply not going to make it a habit. If the library is not accessible enough for me to visit once a week, why bother?

Picture of the new added-on library building. The older, adjunct library building is still a part of the library and in use.

Well, a little over a month ago, the angels opened up the skies and the NEW, IMPROVED LIBRARY opened it's doors! Weeks went by while my life was busy busy, and I still had not stepped into the new library. I needed to get back in the swing of things, get back my library mojo, shake off some of that rust! So, I visited the library on Saturday. Then again on Sunday. And Monday. WOW. It's completely amazing!

Above: Main lobby. This is looking towards the "old" adjunct library space which now houses a couple of rooms specifically for teens to work (this library is right next to the main city high school), plus some stacks. There is a nice hallway with tables and chairs as well. It is lit by natural light-the walls are glass. You can see it in this photo.

Above: Magazine section. You may borrow older magazines for one week. New magazines are not available for taking out of the building. The magazine selection contains some real gems. I saw Publishers Weekly (borrowed the children's Books issue!) Somerset Studio, Scrapboooking magazine, Quilters' Newsletter, plus much much more.

Above: There are newspapers as well.

Above: Plenty of computer stations to help you find what you are looking for.

Above: You may eat and drink in designated areas of the library-like here, for instance (seen from stairway to second floor.)

Above: The second floor houses the non-fiction reference stacks.The stairwell leading to the room displays this sign.

First-floor view from second floor.

Above: Ta-Da! Third floor-Children's!!

Cushiony, carpeted stairs up to the Children's Rooms

Above: Children's chapter books!I am currently enjoying the Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton. (Notice they are absent from above? Popular books...)

This is the Children's floor magazine rack. (Are you jealous yet?)

Above: Plenty of room for strollers.

This is the main "reception" sitting area (stroller parking)

I could not take photos of the main Picture Book entertainment area today which is quite expansive. It takes up the corner of the rectangular-shaped floor that is opposite to the above "reception" sitting/elevator/bathrooms area.  There were people there andtaking photos would have been intrusive. But here are some other stacks and nooks and crannies on the children's floor (below)...

There are several areas with a group of three to four tables and chairs.

Above: Reading nooks with cushioned benches line the window
There are also two separate rooms (glassed in, with doors) on the children's floor: one smaller, carpeted activity room for events in which active play is involved, and one larger room with chairs and a big drawing board for guest speakers and the like.
Hope you have enjoyed the tour!


Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

I did enjoy the tour very much Kathy!!
Specially since there are basically almost no libraries here.. very sad.

It is such a beautiful place! I think if I were you I would sneak in a sleeping bag in my backpack and get in the bathroom at closing time. Then spend the night with all those books!! hee... :o)

Gina Perry said...

Oh, it looks dreamy Kathy! I remember just the old library building, that is QUITE the expansion. I can see that you'll be spending lots of time here. Researching and reading in the loveliest of places.

Deb said...

Great photos Kathy. Looks like a place you could spend LOTS of time in. Boy, they really make you climb to get to the children's section. Cardio!

roz said...

What a gorgeous, space, Kathy. It looks like it was worth the wait!

Kathy Weller said...

Thanks guys for chiming in!

Ali-that is a great idea. Luckily I live five minutes away. I'm telling you this place is CONVENIENTLY LOCATED to me! :)

Gina-Yes, remember the old building? It's still in use as a "wing" of this new library. I'm so glad they kept the old building and didn't tear it down.

Deb-Yes it is very good exercise! Yet one more benefit to going!

Roz-Yes, I guess it WAS worth the wait (she says sheepishly!)