The Birthday Gift: In which a good friend reviews her local library!

July 16, 2008 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

My original college roommate and very dear friend Deborah (Steiger) Fischer sent me a very wonderful birthday gift -a tour of her local library near her home in Leipzig, East Germany.  I pronounce: Let it be know that Debbie is, in fact, one of my favorite people in the world!  Okay. . . on to the good stuff.

The Leipzig Plagwitz Library is as cozy as any hometown library could be.

Nestled in a quiet part of the city, it hides behind a street corner.  It has a brick facade that many Plagwitzians pass by, missing this secret library gem.  While on an adventure walk one day, I stumbled across this jewel and walked right on in . . .

On your immediate right there are six classrooms filled with arts and craft materials to keep little kiddies busy with craft books for hours.  To your left is the check out/return desk with about a dozen health and yoga books breathing down your neck.  I wonder how many visitors take these books out and actually get in tied in knots trying to get back in shape. 😉

The library has three levels.  The first is filled with not only those daunting health books, but travel books galore.  The second floor has a jumble of almost everything . . . a music room with 1970 German rock cassette tapes and every kind of classical music CD ever made. (Geesh these Germans take their classics seriously!)  Then there are cookbooks, mysteries, horrors, romance, fiction, nonfiction and a wee, itty-bitty English section tucked away in the back. Go figure . . . mostly they have here only British and American classics that high schoolers drudge though . . . the same that many American high schoolers are still trying to wrap their head around!  Poor kids!  Imagine reading Shakespeare . . . in German! Yea . . . that is what it is like for them I’m sure . . . 

The third floor is my and my son’s favorite. The children and young adult section is magical!  Colorful journeys and adventures await you to take them out and plunge through.  This week my son and I took out five books and one listening cassette tape about this German elephant that gets a job to be a weather vane on top of a church tower. (The former weather vane, Mr. Rooster, was sick of twisting and turning in the wind for the past ten years and demanded a vacation.)  The cassette tape was from 1977 and still in perfect condition. This just goes to show the care the East Germans take on all their material objects. They can make any object last a lifetime . . . it could be 50-100 years old and still look as though it was made yesterday!

Okay . . . so here are the hard cold facts I will give for the library:

Coziness: I rate it a 10, (if 10 is the best), I love small libraries with a hometown feel. And my son looooved the plastic toys just awaiting his little cubby hands to roll all over their soft floor rugs.

Smell: I rate it a 9 . . . unfortunately there was no musky bookish smell that I so adore . . . these Germans keep everything so well organized and clean . . . I think I smelled a bit of lemon cleaning?

Ovearallishness: Pho would like it . . . I just know it. Especially because the kids section also has over 100 board games you can rent out and bring home for a month. So I would have to give the whole place a 10!!!!

Soooo ladies and gents . . . if you are EVER in Leipzig, Germany, the Plagwitz Library is quite the hot spot.  Just ask my one-year-old son.  He drooled all over the books.

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My first tour Fancy couch

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

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