My first tour

May 29, 2008 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

Newton Library from the car

My first official librarytour, wherein I intentionally visited a library I had not yet seen to tour it and compare it against my favorites, took me to Newton Free Library.  A friend mentioned it to me in passing so, when my mother was up for a visit one weekend and we had nothing planned, I suggested we head on over.

Librarytour is evolving.  I love visiting libraries but, other than the thrill ofseeing something new, I don’t yet know what I’m searching for.  At Newton, my mother, my partner David, and just wandered.  We read magazines in the periodical section, I checked out the height of the shelves and the color (black shelves -a nice touch), the overall open space (not much available), the plants, the cafe (Newton doesn’t have one), the decor, the study spaces, and, most importantly, the children’s rooms.

Newton Library - Reference

Newton Library -the stacks

I have a special place in my heart for children’s rooms, having spent so much of my childhood in them.  At my hometown library, I used to lay on the floor, gazing at the variation in spine colors, sizes, widths.  Where I grew up, you always had to step over some other kid in the aisle to get to the books.

YA rooms are equally important.  I think they are a relatively new invention -not many of the older libraries have a separate room dedicated to “young adult” use.  If a library has a smash-bang YA room -a space for YA kids with a different look than the main library, that isn’t directly in sight of the watchful eyes of disapproving adults- I am highly impressed.

Newton’s YA room didn’t impress me.  In fact I gave it a D.  Consider me harsh, but I remember it as two to three shelves only, right next to a librarian’s desk.  You can be pretty sure teens aren’t smooching in the aisles there.  In fact, as I continued wandering through the library (doing loops to make sure I didn’t miss anything), the only person I saw spend any significant amount of time sitting on a YA room armchair was my partner David, who was reading a graphic novel.

After we left the library, I got a consensus from my mother and David for this resulting score:

  • Children’s Room – C+
  • Magazines – C
  • Graphic Novels – B
  • YA Room – D
  • Gallery – B+
  • Study Spaces -B+
  • Decor -C-

Unfortunately, I’m not sure what all those grades refer to as I didn’t take notes on them!  And now, looking back, it seems I graded Newton rather low.  Perhaps the grading system isn’t the best idea because, after all, I did enjoy my visit.

‘Til next time!



Entry filed under: Boston. Tags: .

Making out at NYPL The Birthday Gift: In which a good friend reviews her local library!

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In which a library-lovin' lady tours free public libraries.

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