Thursday, November 10, 2011

Library Discrimination!

It is a beautiful day today, so I took Warren out for a walk to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and to pick up a few books at our local library that happens to be about a 1/2 mile up my street.

**side story...I love books but stopped buying them about 3 years ago when our town sent an itemized tax sheet home which showed what percentage and dollar amount of our obscene property taxes was going towards the library... Turns out that we pay a whole lot every year for our library. A LOT! I could buy every book I ever felt like reading, and I read a bunch, in a 12-month period and still not come close to the dollar amount we pay for our local library each year. Thus, I vowed to get as close to my money's worth as possible and I use the library for all the books, music, and  movies that I can.

 Anyhoo......Our library has just recently re-opened after a long construction hiatus and I am always perplexed by the architectural choices that are made for these types of things. Our original library is a beautiful colonial style that was built in 1927, so when planning an addition shouldn't one stick with a similar look? Instead, they added a straight lines modern building. It's nice too, but I think its silly looking next to the old. What's wrong with keeping with  the traditional style? Here's a rendering of the new library from the architects (BKSK Architects). The picture has softened it up a bit...I think it looks much more harsh in real life. 

They did this at our high school as well when they added on. I don't get it.

Another issue I have with are new library is the change in flow.  The new floor plan is completely compartmentalized. It's like a hotel. You walk down corridors and hallways and go into various closed door rooms in order to get books from different categories. Where is the big open floor plan with the comfy ambiance that we used to enjoy? Gone----long gone! Here is what happened to me today at the library  that we pay out the wazoo for...

I wanted to find some more of  my preferred no-brainer reads from the Young Adult section. (I know it's lame, but I love all the mindless vampires, werewolves, magical creatures and fairies etc., etc.. Are they great pieces of literature? Of course not! They are, however,  quick and easy and don't require much, if any, focus to read. I don't have the time or energy to read anything deep and involved, and I refuse to read anything depressing or disturbing, which is so often the focus of adult fiction. Who needs that? I just need a few fun chapters to fill the boredom when I am stuck nursing a baby every couple hours. ( 8 month old still nurses like a newborn.)

So......I checked the library directory and discovered that their Young Adult Section was moved to it's own location on the lower level. After navigating the elevators  and hallways with my giant jogging stroller I arrived at the door to the YA room. I opened it, and found the lights were turned off in there. A librarian approached me and said, "Oh...this is the TEEN room. ( emphasis on "teen" with an added raise of her eyebrows) We don't usually open until 1PM..... closer to when school gets out."

What?! So now, ---not only have they made the various books hard to get to, they are deciding who can read certain books as well? There are only certain hours that these books are available?

Where once a library was an open and "free" resource to find and check out any books that satisfied your hearts content, my new multi-million dollar box says I'm too old to enter the room that houses the very books I like to read?!! Rude!!!

After making it clear that in the future I would be discriminated against and barred from coming into that particular room, due to my apparent maturity, and especially before it's proper hours, she made an "exception" for me today and allowed me to "peruse." Seriously?!! Completely ridiculous!

I was so put out and offended that all those delicious reads lost their flavor for me, and I left the library without a single one. Now, in the future I will just have to drive to a neighboring city's library to avoid the raised eyebrows and dirty looks. Unbelievable!!


Danika said...

That's crazy! I would file a complaint or write a letter. Or you could just tell them you're getting them for your teenage child!

I love our library. I have no idea what ours cost me in taxes, but I'm pretty sure we get our money's worth. I very rarely ever purchase books unless they are used children's books that I buy from Goodwill or DI. And now that the boys are starting to read chapter books, I don't even buy many kids books anymore.

And PS - I love silly, easy-read fiction books (like the YA ones). Have you read Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum series)? She's hysterical! And I recently read the Confessions of a Shopoholic series - those are fun too. Lisa Lutz' Spellman series are very entertaining also. I'd love to hear some of your favorites! :)

Lindsay said...

I would have been furious. Seriously? I agree with Danika. Write a letter!

Kerry said...

Does your library offer an online service where you can put books on hold and then they alert you when they are ready to pick up? This is the only way I utilize the library lately...especially because I can drive up to the pick-up window and don't even have to get out of my car with all the kids in tow!

ZAC said...

CRA-ZY. I would like to say I'd have been bold enough to demand I be permitted to look all over the library anytime of day since my tax dollars pay their bills...but truth be told, I'd be in the same boat as you! You should write a column for the local paper Amanda! All those years of English would pay back...and you could TOTALLY do it!


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