Posts tagged ‘family’

Princeton Public Library

This past weekend, my parents (the original library-lovers in my life) and I visited the Princeton Public Library in Inscription near front door of Princeton libraryPrinceton, New Jersey.  It was one of those places that I immediately felt jealous of and wanted to have in my own neighborhood.

As the three of us wandered the three floors and took turns enjoying the third floor patio (lots of threes), I was impressed by the sense of light and space created by thoughtful architecture and systems for organizing.  At one point I passed the newspapers, tucked away in wooden shelving (cubbies, perhaps?) and thought, “Wow.  Now that makes so much sense!”

For me, the single disappointment was the teen section, a semi-distinct space at that far end of third floor children’s room.  Unlike the rest of the library, it gave the impression of being dark (though with floor-to-ceiling windows, how could that be).  While there, I spotted one teen, tucked quietly on the floor in the stacks.  My opinion not-withstanding, the room is obviously attracting it’s intended audience.

My Princeton Public Library favorites:

  • Outdoor patio
  • Quote inscribed at the front entrance “Libraries are not made; they grow” by Augustine Birrell
  • Fireplace seating areas
  • Swan in the children’s room
  • Children’s playroom
  • Huge, swoon-worthy new books section with lighted shelves and a special area for book-club selections
  • Microfiche reader machines
  • Serious, friendly, curious, and helpful staff
  • List of YA books that adults might like created by the teen section staff (?)
  • Wall of tiles
  • Connections magazine
  • Donors plaque (a big book in the front lobby, really a work of art)
  • The stairwell

Sadly, my camera died, so I’m reduced to disposables, which just don’t cut it in terms of expressing the look of feel of what I saw through the viewfinder.

If anyone has tips for how to make the best of a bad camera, I’m all ears.

August 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Family + Library Does A Good Afternoon Make

Recently, I spent time with a friend who, now twenty years old, has been home schooled her whole life. She mentioned trips to the library with her family, describing the stacks of books she used to check out. Listening to her story, I experienced a sense-memory of standing behind the children’s department circulation desk at the public library I worked at in high school, watching the home school families check out great mounds of books, packing them away in canvass bags. The youngest siblings were usually the most excited to pile their books on the counter, tiny hands reaching up as they dutifully followed their mother’s instructions.

My friend’s story was good reminder that, even as the practice of reading and the art of writing remain mostly solitary activities, a trip to the town library is that much more satisfying with loved ones in tow.

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April 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment


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

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