Where Common Sense and Libraries Intersect

According to the November edition of Library Journal, library construction projects across the country which were completed in the last year “seem to have found common purpose around a common theme: community.  As such, many of the 16 academic projects and 84 public library capital efforts find themselves at the center of their respective neighborhoods. Whether large or small, on an expansive budget or a shoestring, these facilities strengthen ties among their constituencies and between learning and entertainment.”

At the Small Public Library Management Institute at Springfield this summer, we discussed how libraries are really evolving to meet the ever changing needs of the community.

Recently, the Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library was build and is a wonderful testimony to what can be accomplished when several entities try to do their best for a community.  “With a village-inspired motif, the 125,000 square foot facility features meeting rooms, a multipurpose room, a café, an open commons area, a computer lab, study spaces, a children’s section, and a teen zone,” says the Library Journal.

Some libraries like the Pico Branch of the Santa Monica Public Library are combining park and recreational opportunities and library services. Likewise, the Embudo Valley Library and Community Center in New Mexico is a nonprofit public library located in an unincorporated village. According to their website, they have daily library service, indoor and outdoor meeting areas as well as quality youth programs and local radio station broadcasts.

A little closer to home, the Village of Maryville is a library at the edge of a nice community park. The staff have commented at meetings that it is nice that the public can come and use the park for walking and exercise, take the kids to the playground and use the library all in one easy trip.

Another small town library that has a similar concept is the public library in Forsyth, IL.  They have a community room that is 40 x 60 with a capacity of 90 and boasts a complete kitchen and amenities for meetings, group events, private event rental and more.

What do these places have in common with Lebanon?  We are all putting to put the many diverse needs of the community first while making the venue convenient and easy for residents to use as we plan for the future of the library.  This is the same concept that many churches are applying by having multi-purpose areas, day cares, or elder care services all in one building.  Maximizing potential use while conserving space and money; this is where common sense and libraries intersect.

Until next week, register to win a free Christmas book for your kids at the checkout counter and read another good book.