I had quite a happy surprise today when I went to the library to return some movies and books -- and the whole library was open and ready for business! Since moving to town in August, I have known nothing of the library building but the basement Children's Room. Services in the basement were impressive when compared to the size of the room, but being a librarian and hungry to browse a larger collection of reading and viewing materials, I was definitely looking forward to the reopening of the main parts of the library.
Apparently, yesterday was the grand reopening.
And I was absolutely not disappointed today when I visited.
Inside, the library is a very special place -- stained glass windows, built-in bookshelves, a balcony, dark wood decoration, hanging light fixtures, and set-in windows. A beautiful building, designed to encourage the arts and learning.
This is not your typical library.
(However, it is small inside and very very crowded. Though the state has funded a grant to expand the renovate the library, that money needs to be augmented by a large chunk of funds from the town and from private donations. You can read all about it here. )
I walked around the rooms in awe, beginning with the children's sections and moving over to adult fiction and reference, passing teen books, movies, music CDs, and magazines along the way. I even picked up 2 graphic novels (Bone and Batman), a teen novel, and a movie as passed through those sections -- and had to hold myself back from selecting more -- library browsing can be a dangerous habit to get into (though I highly encourage it).
I have met three of the librarians at the Clapp Library, and they have been very helpful and friendly (which I sense is a Belchertown theme). One of them has even read an article or two on this blog. I have also had the pleasure of meeting the library bulldog (perhaps the director's dog?).
The Belchertown library is a great community library, and I'm glad it has reopened. Be sure to stop in soon to pick up an audiobook, a movie, a book, a magazine, or to use the internet, do homework, study, or just discover something new. People have raved to me about the Clapp Memorial Library, and I am starting to understand why.
Tune in soon when the Friends of the Library run their BIG annual book sale! Coming Oct 13-18.