Ferguson Library

September 26, 2008 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

What stuck me first about the Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT was the grand entrance.  The tall columns, the bright banners, patrons drifting through the front doors.

I wonder if there’s some unspoken rule that library entrances must be grand?  It seems they so often are.  Think long flights of stairs carved out of stone, cement, and marble.  Think stone lions with their giant paws and restful muzzles overhanging the tall, wide slabs on which they sprawl.  Think numerous doors (for the crowds of people rushing in all at once, of course) and great wide porches and terraces, and windows that give only the barest glimpse of what’s inside.

At the Stamford library, the exterior transitioned easily into the interior.  The front hall with its carpeted stairs leading to the upper levels.  The lively aquarium in the children’s room that continually captured the admiration of young patrons.  The cavernous staircase/theater in 1970s (or perhaps 80s) color scheme that walked one’s eyes down to a children’s reference section and, beyond that, a narrow hallway filled with videotapes and DVDs.

Although I enjoyed exploring each of the library’s many floors, I found it felt rather dated.  The children’s section was spacious, but the YA room was tiny, just a collection of shelves off the edge of the adult fiction stacks, and not overly welcoming.  The fiction stacks were tight, with numerous yet-to-be-filled shelves.  Upstairs we found a seemingly forgotten conference room stuffed with furniture, a replica of the blue hippo that lives at Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as paintings, posters and art reproductions on swinging partitions, all collecting dust in the obscure reaches of the library.

Despite showing its age, however, it was not hard to miss the library’s popularity.  Patrons browsed shelves, worked on projects at study booths, and click-clicked away on the public computers.  Every moment, someone was entering through the front doors.

My scores:
Exterior: A
Foyer staircase: B+
Antique (unused?) staircase winding up the walls over the entrance: A
Stacks: C+
Teen section: D-
Children’s room and resources: B+
Fish tank: B+
New book section: C
Overall: B+

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Entry filed under: Tri-state area.

Wait -are THOSE the John Singer Sargent’s? But where are the books?

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