This library has been closed for a while for interior remodeling. It re-opened today, and I wanted to see how it has changed.
First, as you can see from the pictures, the exterior has not changed at all. This is a notably handsome Carnegie library; built in 1917, it's one of the youngest Carnegies. Inside, the changes are wonderful.
The feeling of the change is that the space has been opened. Some shelving has been shortened; a cramped circulation and information desk has been moved and opened up, and the office/workroom has moved. There may be more computers; it's a bit hard for me to tell, as I hadn't counted them before. For sure, there are two self-checkout stations, and I'm almost certain there used to be only one. There is a book return that appears to have an automated materials handling conveyor, which I confess made me chuckle; it appears that the path a book takes can't be more than a foot or two long. Maybe I'm missing something here, and someone will add a comment to straighten me out!
The children's space looks about the same, and it is charming. As you can see from the third picture below, this area is round. Shelves follow the walls in places, and radiate in from the exterior walls in other places to create short "stacks." A circular space in the middle for the youngest patrons has a round table and two curved benches, very cozy. There is a program room on the lower level; I did not visit it today, but I went to a magic show there, a summer program a few years ago, and it was packed with eager kids.
A note from a local first grade class tells what they think of this library:
Dear library and librarians, thank you for
* helping us study and learn
* providing us comfort and quiet
* for the good books and movies
* the puppets, story time, and computer
* a place to gather
We love to visit!
This branch is almost directly across the street from a public elementary school, and if you are going down Como Ave. at the right time of the right day, you can see whole classes making the short trek from their school to the library. It is a valued community resource.
For more information, go to http://www.sppl.org/about/locations/saint-anthony-park.