Reflections on the ‘”Shhh…” Library’

Use Your Library Voice blog logoA month into my new duties as branch manager at Drexel seems to be an opportune time to pause and reflect on “the library experience.” When I think back to my youth and I admit, I frequented libraries, well… infrequently; my experience seems to be colored by the “shhh…” factor. Libraries were a place inhabited by dour, gray ladies that hovered in the stacks looking for hapless patrons that spoke above a whisper. In other words the ultimate Hollywood stereotype of a librarian complete with glasses on a lanyard around the neck (ok, I DO wear glasses – no lanyard, yet). Silent as a tomb took on new meaning in these hallowed halls and books were considered paramount.

I contrast that with the experience we try to create at the Drexel branch. Drexel is a small town of right around 1,000 with the library cozily situated between the school and grocery store. We really aren’t close to anything; both Louisburg and Harrisonville are a good 35 to 40 minutes away (if you regard the posted speed limits). Our branch is truly a community library. On any given day we see great-grandparents to infants sometimes at the same time. We want every patron to feel that the library is a welcoming place. We strive to greet everyone and help connect them to the information they’ve come to find. Our library is a place of patrons using computers, teens playing board games, school kids drawing on the white board, and preschoolers listening to books. “Shh…” usually isn’t in our vocabulary.  Our library is a safe place to go and just “hang out” for awhile. Stop by sometime and experience your library, whispers optional.

– Deb Bova, Drexel Branch Manager

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