Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Los Angeles Library Tour- Grant R. Brimhall Library (aka Thousand Oaks' main library)

Close your eyes and imagine the library Buck Rogers visits. Its likely that the Grant R. Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks might be a close proximity. I would even describe my initial impression of the library as 'breathtaking.'

A quick zip around the fiction and non-fiction section revealed a nice selection and the library definitely has little touches that show they have the customer in mind.

Things like:

*A sorting shelf at the end of each row that indicates the newly returned books that are waiting to be reshelved but available to be checked out.

* Signage is plentiful and informative but not overwhelming.

* Fliers for events are strategically placed throughout the library (and again, not overwhelming).

* The placement of the public computer stations allows a greater amount of room between you and the neighboring computer.

* They have an honor system coffee cart and vending machines with bottled water.

* Their library foundation runs a gift shop.

* There are lots of spaces to sit and get lost in a book.

*It is quiet without being oppressively quiet.

Aside from the architecture, there are several things that make this library unique. They have a huge children's section (easily larger than any other Southern California library I've been to) which has a large fish tank at its entrance (similar to the Cerritos library), is well-maintained, and has an incredible selection of puppets that are available to check out. PUPPETS!

If at all possible plan your visit to coincide with the hours that the Special Collections room is open (currently Tuesday and Wednesday 1 to 5pm, and Thursday 5 to 8pm). Besides being a remarkable repository of local history, the Special Collections librarian, Jeannette Berard, can show you the library's piece de resistance- the American Radio Archive. Established in 1984 to preserve and document the history of radio. What started as a collection of radio history, it has grown to include all of broadcasting. They have sound recordings, scripts, dvds, and a whole lot of books on every aspect of broadcasting. Its very easy to while away a few hours at this library.