Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Library love

I'm writing this at what may very well become my new "downtown office." Which in the past was a fancy way of saying "Aroma Coffee." But table space, comfy chairs, and electrical outlets are in plentiful supply at my new downtown office, not to mention reference materials and librarians. Soon there will be a coffee shop ("Latte da!") and WiFi access.

Yep, the new Champaign Public Library just opened its doors to the public on Sunday afternoon, and it's splendid! Light and airy, with walls made from bamboo (fast-growing, and so a good alternative to hardwood) and energy-saving features, it has tons more space, computers and a much larger collection. Conference rooms and quiet study rooms. The children's section is bright and friendly, with a story room and discovery area and a help desk that does double duty as a light show. There's a separate teen room with YA books, computers and a Wii.

My library scientist friend and running buddy Joan was in town on Sunday, so we decided to pop in on the library's grand opening in the middle of our run, hot and sweaty as we were.

We were stunned. It was mobbed! People of all ages. It was like a party. And people were using the library, not just gawking. The checkout lines must have been 20 people long. I'm telling you, it brought tears to my eyes to see this much enthusiasm about a new library. Joan, too, and as a library geek she also appreciated getting to see the state-of-the-art book sorting room.

My downtown office experience will be complete when the coffee shop downstairs opens and their WiFi is installed.


caraf said...

I saw Jodi's story on it in the paper and can't wait to check it out myself. (Fan of the "downtown office" that I am). My beloved will also be thrilled, as he is a major public library geek too.

Sorry I missed Joan! But, let's run soon.

Sara Latta said...

Oh, and one more thing. I checked out three cookbooks using their new self-checkout system. Kind of like the self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, only much, much better.

Tom said...

I haven't been to the new library, Sara, but I plan to see it during the noon hour today. It was a long time coming, but it sounds like it was well worth the wait.

Barrie said...

I love self-check-out. As does my seven year old! Lucky you, getting a new library!

Lufus said...

but what about Gracie? Do they have a room where large gentle St. Bernard's are allowed to softly snore at your feet whilst you work?

Sara Latta said...

Hey, that's a new identity for you, Lu! But you can't fool me. Well, no, there is no room where large gentle Saints are allowed to softly snore at my feet whilst I work. Unless I could convince them that she's an assistance dog. But to tell you the truth, she doesn't like to go up and down the stairs anymore, and my office is on the third floor. So she mostly hangs out with her cat buddies on her bed while I'm working anyway.