The post office insists I live in Littleton, but since I’m not within the city limits, I’ve never actually been to the Edwin A. Bemis Public Library. For some reason I pictured a small facility, but it’s a huge place –
– not far from downtown. There’s loads of parking and it’s situated in a park with benches and picnic tables (what a fun outing for families – eat, play and learn) and a ball field (so pressed-for-time parents can pop over to the library while waiting for the kids to finish a game).
The entrance area has a nice display case –
– and to remind us that this is the season of giving, there are donation barrels for food, clothes, personal items and pet food from the Inter-Faith Community Services.
With three floors, they’ve got an enviable amount of room – enough for a huge book sale area nicely managed by the Friends of the Littleton Library and Museum.
Close by is the Teen Area, with a large Manga/Graphic Novel collection, two restaurant style booths and a table with barstools – perfect for hanging out with friends or working on a school project.
The large and festive New Book area is also close by –
– as well as a resource center for the visually impaired. They sure have packed a lot of areas into their beamingly bright yellow interior.
Children’s is also on the main floor and, of course, is very large and with enough stuffed animals for a zoo.
This is a really neat place, with a two story castle that affords a wonderful view of the entire area (a quick way for a parent to find a missing child?).
With seven children’s internet computers (with CD Rom and video game shelves close by), kid’s Playaway, subject specific book kits (5-7 books packaged on subjects like cowboys and sharing) and book/CD combos to encourage early literacy, this is a magical place where parents and kids will never get bored.
There’s a huge media and foreign language room (with lots of Spanish language videos) that has the same great view of the Front Range (the mountains to our west) as the Children’s room.
And I love the contrastingly dark accents in the Reference area.
The Teens’ Area and Children’s Area both have their own New Book sections and there’s even a new large print title kiosk. They’ve got wifi throughout the building, self check and 24 internet computers, including those in the computer classroom, which can be used by customers when it’s not in use. Conveniently, they sell flash drives for $5 so hopefully patrons won’t lose their work.
The downstairs is just as big as the main floor (it looked like the third floor was a staff only area with offices) with a cool middle room overlooked by the main floor.
There’s also an art gallery, meeting room, conference room and study rooms.
I spoke briefly to the director, Margery Smith. It’s actually her last day today as she’s retiring after 40 years in libraries. Phyllis Larison, whom I remember from AskColorado, will be the interim director and the city should be posting the job announcement soon, so if you’re looking for a job, watch for this.
What a lively place – I’ll definitely be back here, especially as they are open Mondays, which none of my home library’s branches will be in 2011 😦