Saturday, January 9, 2010

Multnomah County Library.

Here is a story about the BPL (Boston Public Library): It was a big, fancy building, right on Copley Square! Sometimes when doing research for papers and projects at Emerson, I decided to branch out and try to use it! So I walked in, found a computer, typed in what I might need. It tells me this record is "lost." Or it tells me where this book/artifact may be, but I wander around for awhile, can't find it, and instead of asking for help just feel intimidated by everything and walk out. End scene. Repeat every single time I ever tried to go to the library. I have also admired the outside of the New York Public Library, which I'm sure purports itself to be the best public library around, but I feel like I'd probably have the same overwhelmed feeling if I ever went inside in order to actually find something, and not just admire the architecture. Don't get me wrong, I obviously love all libraries, but I'm just sayin', I think Multnomah County Library is da best.

I cannot tell you how many times I have used the library since I moved here, to check out books for fun but mainly to help with school. In particular I have used the Central branch downtown a heck of a bunch and although it's beautiful, I've never felt that panicky-I-should-just-leave feeling. I've asked a bunch of librarians a bunch of questions and they've always been super helpful. Today I even had to go into the rare-collections room where I had to fill out paperwork and such just to touch a book, and I didn't even feel intimidated there! There are a few other awesome things about Central: One, since Beverly Cleary is from Oregon and pretty much the best author-celebrity we've got, the children's literature room is named after her, and inside this room there is a huge metal tree sculpture thing with its branches hanging over the reference desk, and with kids and books and animals and an assortment of things carved into its trunk, and I swear I took a picture of it once but for now you can just trust me that it's great. Two, the steps leading from the first floor to the second, which are made out of some grand black stone/marble and are also carved with a variety of whimsical, pretty things.

Stealing facts from their website, they are also the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, and "among U.S. libraries serving fewer than 1 million residents, Multnomah County Library ranks No. 1 in annual circulation of books and other materials." They also have about a gazillion good programs for the community, as all libraries should. Also, they give me a lot of free stuff (mugs, tshirts, etc) for volunteering, and free stuff is awesome. In conclusion, I love this place.

1 comment:

  1. I love that when we came to visit you, you took us to this library to show us the tree.