Thursday, July 24, 2008

My New Library Card

The move is official, I now have a new Multnomah County Library card. Actually I still had my old card, but after 11 years, I wasn't in the computer anymore.

This afternoon we visited the Hollywood Branch Library at it's 'new to us' location. I used to take my kids to the old building a block away which is now a bakery and cafe. I kind of miss the 1960s modern structure with floor to ceiling glass on two sides and a pyramid shaped ceiling. The new location is about twice the size and not even half as interesting. The library occupies the ground floor of a new four story building with the "Book Mark" apartments above. 

I judge a library by the size and content of the 700 art and architecture section. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 is the best), this collection would get about a 3 or 4. I was eager to use my new library card, but I was hard pressed to find something interesting enough to check out. Guess I will have to go online and put materials on hold. I've been spoiled by the amazing collection at the Kitsap Regional Library (KRL). Thanks Martha, Gail, John, and Michelle.

One thing I did notice that looked interesting was a row of 6 quiet rooms. Each room was about six by six feet with a counter on one side and a couple of chairs. They reminded me of the listening rooms at old music stores. There was also a large meeting room filled with babies and moms for story time.

KRL is light years ahead in the express check department. Three gargantuan machines were lined up across from the circulation desk. These machines don't work at all unless the bar code is in exactly the right location and it must stay there until the machine is happy which can take up to 30 seconds.

A feature I am looking forward to is being able to download movies online. Only time will tell if I am tech savvy enough to make it work. 

I do love the old Central Branch downtown. Unlike Seattle, the Multnomah County Library gutted and restored their beautiful 1912 building. Maybe I will just hop on MAX and use it as my library.

1 comment:

  1. Ah: a library card. yes! you have really moved it. I bet you look at library facilities differently now, than 11 years ago.

    I second your comments about KRL's bookstock. It is phenomenal for a system of its size. When i walk into a library, I look at fiction, art, poetry and travel. All got very high marks from me the first time I set foot in a KRL library - which also just happened to be my first experience of a USA library. That was Bainbridge Island Branch, which along with my fist experience of a grocery store (Central Market in Poulsbo within 12 hours of my first putting foot on US soil) had me speechless in wonder at all that the USA could offer.