Today, I went up to the Darien Public Library in Darien, Connecticut on a roadtrip. I had been invited by my fellow 2010 Mover & Shaker Gretchen Caserotti to come up and see the library (and when you throw in lunch, well, I’m no fool). I got the full-on tour of the place from the study rooms on the top floor to the fabled materials management system on the bottom floor.
The word that I would use to describe this library is ‘intimate’; I mean it in the warm, cozy sense. There was something about the arrangement of the rooms and spaces that made it feel like whatever I was looking for was nearby or a place to sit was close at hand. That each room was the place to be. (I might not be conveying the feeling very well, but it’s one of those nuances that may not translate this time around.)
I will say that there is a great pleasure in visiting other libraries. Mainly, I like to steal their ideas. And by steal, I mean gloriously rip off and use at my own library to my own great delight. Although, if I was a better thief, perhaps I wouldn’t given attribution to the people I had stolen from when asked about things I’ve used; perhaps I’m more of a Creative Commons style of bandit. I left Darien with some ideas for my own library and I’m looking forward to giving them a go at my own library.
I’d like to thank the Darien staff for their time and hospitality; I’d especially like to thank Louise, Alan, John, Sally, and Alex for an afternoon of library conversations that touched on just about everything. And, last but not least, to Gretchen for her generous invitation that brought me from southern New Jersey to that part of Connecticut that I used to skip by taking the Merritt Parkway.
In exchange for the tour and lunch, I brought a tray of home made chocolate chip cookies. Based on my experiences today, I think this might be an excellent way to get more invitations to tour other libraries. So, I’ll make this offer:
You invite me to your library and if I come I will bring you cookies (chocolate chip, from scratch).
Yep. Those can be yours.
Once again, thanks to Gretchen and the Darien staff for a great day.