Thursday, December 10, 2015

Library Tourism: Barbara Bush Branch

They are closing my nearest branch library for renovation within the next several days. All meetings are suspended until the branch opens again and that means that the writer's discussion group I attended is on hiatus for the foreseeable future. There were two alternate branches suggested at the last meeting and I decided that I'd take this time to enjoy a bit of library tourism. I've never been to the main branch or either of the two suggested alternates.

I have a to-be-read stack that is starting to give me a headache whenever I consider it, so I could use time to make a dent in it (we won't mention the book that I picked up while buying presents this afternoon). That means that I can just go poke around the branches, maybe get some writing done, and wait for Baldwin Boettcher to open up, new and spiffy, sometime soonish (hopefully).

And it gives me a good topic for bloggery: new library branches are like unfamiliar grocery stores. You feel like you should recognize the layout and merchandise, but you still have that feeling of dislocation from disrupted habits. The thing is...books are my weakness.

Therefore, today's trip to the Barbara Bush branch library didn't quite result in the no-book, all-writing experience I anticipated. In fact, I brought home four books. Two of them deal with franchises, one deals with the rise of the American Novel, and one with writing poetry. The first two I'm classifying as research for an upcoming draft and the last two were the result of just poking around the shelves. This is a newer branch & so they have the lovely stuffed chairs with fold-down arm desks (and I think some of these overlook the museum next door) and yet, I just couldn't settle down to try one out.

This branch has the stacks on the second floor, so, while the building looks huge, I'm not sure that's at all bigger than my local branch. I spent my brief visit in the non-fiction shelves and didn't venture across the great central information desk to the fiction section. I also didn't explore (but, knowing me, I will) the tiny room selling used paperbacks to benefit Friends of the Library.

I have a feeling that when I return these books, I might spend more time there. It will be slightly more familiar and I have to confess that the idea of Baldwin Boettcher being shut down for months makes me sad and that prevented me from enjoying the visit as much as I might have if I'd just stopped in for curiousity. The first floor actually feels very homey--I like the dark blue walls and the librarian who fixed a minor problem with my library card was friendly.

Have functioning card, will travel, right? But first, the stories of the rise of A&P and the American novel.