Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Neighborhood Library - How Do I Choose?

Growing up in Clovis, California, we had one library. By default, that was our neighborhood library. Now that I live in Los Angeles the lines dividing neighborhoods and communities are blurred. I’ve got three libraries that qualify as ‘my neighborhood library’.

The Northridge Branch has been our go-to library since we moved to the Valley. Located near the intersection of Reseda Blvd and Nordhoff Street, it’s a great little library. The staff is always friendly, there is a nice selection of new books near the front, and a fair number of computers available for the public’s use. There’s even a Wienerschnitzel right next door when I’m in the mood for really good fast food fries.

The Mid-Valley branch in North Hills is slowly taking over as our go-to. It’s a regional branch so it is much larger, and it used to be open on Sundays before the cutbacks. It’s also right off the 405 and has a large parking lot. They have a nice sprinkling of everything – magazines, new books, huge children’s section, decent-sized foreign language sections (Korean, Chinese and Spanish), and a great selection of music cds. They also have a Friends of the Library bookstore and a great book sale several times a year.

Our third ‘neighborhood’ library is the West Valley Regional Branch which is on Vanowen near Wilbur in Reseda. It has a nice children's section, public computers, comfortable places to read, and an impressive display case in the entry. It’s also just a hop, skip and a jump from Las Fuentes!

One great thing about living in the San Fernando Valley is that I have a dozen libraries to choose from in a ten mile radius of my house. This includes Los Angeles Public Libraries, a Los Angeles County Library, and CSUN’s great Oviatt Library. No worries if you aren’t a student at CSUN, you can gain checkout privileges (with a few restrictions) by joining their Friends of the Library group.

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