Friday, August 15, 2014

284. Lebanon New Hampshire

For a change, I was early, arriving in Lebanon almost an hour before the library opened. This gave me a relaxing chance to walk around the park across the street from the library and to sit on a park bench and read for a while.

As you might guess from the pictures, the building is a Carnegie, dating from 1909. The main entrance has a pair of curved staircases down to the lower level, but both of these are closed by expanding "baby gates" that look as if they have been in place for a long time. Beyond the entrance, the lobby is encircled with fancy columns; I once could have named the style of the capitals, I think, but ... no longer.

There is a large room to each side of the lobby, each with a fireplace and a broad bow window. The room to the left houses media (DVDs, CDs), tables, and a catalog computer. The room to the right holds public computers. The lobby has a grandfather clock, so we know this is a NH library!

Straight ahead through the lobby, the adult stacks felt classic to me, with tall shelving (7 shelves high) and a low ceiling. In fact, they felt a bit like the stacks at the old Nashua, NH, library where I worked in the 50s.

Through the stacks and down seven steps brought me to the children's area. This is in a newer part of the building, and the original outside walls are a handsome addition. There is a door at this level that provides direct access for kids and also an accessible entrance to the elevator for those who don't care to use the many steps up to the front door.

I like the semi-enclosed area for the smallest patrons, and the picture book collection seemed to be very large.

I took stairs up to the upper level and arrived at the teen area. The walls here have been painted very creatively with natural designs reflecting the Golden Mean: a large sunflower, for example, with its pattern of seeds. There are three computers, three round study tables, and collections of Y fiction, audio, DVDs, some non-fiction, and graphic novels.

Also on this level is a library office with windows on two sides, allowing sight lines to various upstairs spaces. Here you'll also find paperback fiction, audio books, and a microfilm reader with NH Census reports back to 1910, the Granite State Whig (newspaper) from 1844 to 1888, and various other old papers. There is also a rather assertive air conditioning blower. Oversize books and the 900s are shelved on a balcony overlooking the lower level of the Carnegie building.

I had planned to visit a different library in this area, but a niece recommended this one, and as usual she was right. [I'll visit the other one next summer.]

For more about this library, visit its website at I can't find a Facebook page, but the website gives a link to a Twitter feed.

8/12/2014, car

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