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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to a meeting in a few days and get to be part of the planning for our new library. I thought I would check in (again) with my friends here to hear what you have to say. Our town will be breaking ground soon and I can't wait.<br><br>
What I will add so far is kid friendly. A place where adults can say "yes" to a child way more than "no".<br><br>
As much natural light as possible.<br><br>
A place where the walls are not so busy. I find many children's libraries are wonderfully decorated but sometimes to the point where it becomes so busy and distracting when trying to read.<br><br>
A place that feels warm and cozy, not retro and cool.<br><br>
A few great reading nooks to snuggle in with your kids and feel like you have it to yourself.<br><br>
So I'm interested to hear what stands out in your library good or bad. Or perhaps something you remember from a library you have visited in the past. Thanks everyone!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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A good librarian makes a good library. Librarians must be open and easy to talk to as well as able to organize or provide a fun storytime. Patience and a positive disposition are a must. We have lived in several states and towns and the librarian is the absolute deciding factor on wether or not we patronize our library.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well that's one thing we already have. They will be (thankfully) the same librarians moving over to the new building. I sure know what you mean though! If you go there often, they truly become family.
 

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We moved last summer and while in many ways our new library is great (return policies, plethora of programming, collection) we really miss two things about our old library.<br>
1. as previous mentioned, the librarians who became family<br>
2. a central area in the kids library with toddler/preschool toys where I could hang with the baby while my others could browse the shelves within my view.<br>
Our new library is not toddler friendly and I just can't figure out what I'm suppose to do with him while his sisters are in long programs or doing research.
 

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I want to second toddler friendly. Big puzzels, those wire/bead things, the cords from the computers hidden. Our library has the shelves for the picture books in almost a complete square, with only one opening so he can't escape in several places, so the comfy chairs and toys are mostly contained (except for all of those cords<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)<br><br>
Somewhere that noise doesn't bother the rest of the library. In our new library the childrens section is in it's own wing and that is much nicer then in our old town where it was just a part of the library.<br><br>
Being able to check out in the kids section would be nice.<br><br>
Our new library drives me crazy because the picture books and paperbacks are not alphabetized, except by first letter. I understand that makes it easer to reshelf books, but it makes it very hard to find specific books<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I also like that our library has the videos almost hidden back in a corner.
 

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What I love about our library is that the children's department has its own floor so I would say an independent children's section because its nice security wise IMO.
 

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Lots of money in the budget for new book acquisitions! The children's book section should have fiction and non-fiction picture books that are up to date!
 

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Our library also has a separate children's section closed off from the rest of the library (though by glass walls/doors, so it doesn't feel too removed from the adult section). I love it because I can leave my nine-year-old there for a bit to search for something in the adult section, and since the tables and chairs and the computers are in the front near the doors/wall, I can see him the entire time.<br><br>
I'd say lots of planned activities for kids - book clubs, presentations, storytellers, crafts, etc. Also, lots of good computers in the children's section.<br><br>
Hmm.... Oh, bathrooms just for the kids' section. That's a really helpful feature.<br><br>
Puzzles and puppets. And bean bags. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
When I was a college student, I absolutely required those small, one-person study rooms. If you have a college in town, that would be a great thing to have. Just a tiny room with a shelf/desk and outlets for a laptop. The bigger study rooms are great too, but when I was writing papers, I found the need to shut myself off for hours in those tiny rooms. Apparently, I wasn't alone - there was often a long wait to get into them.<br><br>
Speaking of laptops, wireless Internet is a must nowadays.<br><br>
You might consider what other items could be lent out. Our library lends framed prints. I've heard of libraries lending toys, tools, etc. Also, homeschooling curricula, foreign language programs and other courses are often a big hit, if your library doesn't already do this.<br><br>
That's all I can think of at the moment, but I'll pop back in if I come up with anything else.
 

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I'm sure my thoughts will echo many of the others already posted:<br><br>
1. A safe area for toddlers to climb, explore, and play. Ideally this will be within viewing area of the children's shelves so mama can stay with the toddler while older kids browse the books. One of my favorite libraries had a pit area that was carpeted and had steps leading up out of the pit. It was a great space for toddlers to climb.<br><br>
2. Soft comfy places to read. I like those big chairs for 2 (or 3!).<br><br>
3. A warm welcoming staff that allows children to explore reading in a welcoming way. Too many rules stiffle creativity and learning.<br><br>
4. I like libraries where the children's area is a separate space from the adult collections.<br><br>
5. My kids have always loved it when libraries include small animals. Our current library has hamsters and gerbils for the kids to watch. Other libraries we've used over the years had caterpillars, guinea pigs, and fish.
 

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I love our library. The building is long and rectangular, and all along both long sides there is nothing but windows! So the building is always filled with natural light and it's just lovely. The best thing is that all along the base of these windows is a sturdy wooden window seat. This seat runs along both sides of the building and is low enough for little people.<br><br>
We have a play area for toddlers too, lots of computers for internet access (including some for kids in small desks), and even a gas fireplace with a leather couch and chairs in front. It's a very family-friendly library, which is why I like it so much. And the librarians are awesome too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think these are so good I'm going to print out the responses and bring them to the meeting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I love the children's bathroom idea. I love the separate wing but glass doors so you can see your child. I really believe each children's library should have a place for toddlers. Its either that or they start pulling books off the shelf <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: because it's fun and they have nothing else to do.<br><br>
The independent study rooms sound excellent as well. We had these at a library in Huntington Beach California where I lived as a youth and always found it so amazing how much homework I got done. Hours would fly by without even realizing it.<br><br>
I like the idea of offering things to do as it makes for a rich environment and a way to connect with community.<br><br>
Thanks so much and keep throwing out ideas if you think of more.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/tiphat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Tiphat">:
 
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