The public library in downtown Redwood City has a brightly colored room filled with child-sized furniture and a sign that reads ‘Family Place’ above the entrance – need I say more? Probably not, but you know I will.
I happened to be in Redwood City on business today and took a few extra minutes to stop by the local library – I wasn’t disappointed.
In addition to the awesome kid’s area mentioned above, the library, which is located in a lovely Cal Train adjacent building [yes, you can totally take public transportation to this public library and rejoice in the glory of government services], has several other features to recommend it.
Upon entering the library, visitors are presented with a number of display shelves highlighting “quick picks” in fiction and a variety of non-fiction subject areas. These shelf displays are just the beginning, though. I wish I had pictures but this library really excels at displays. The walls in most of the common areas are fitted with shelving designed to give visitors a peak at the front covers of books and DVDs. This not only creates a lovely book-centered atmosphere; in fact, I immediately found myself picking up materials I never would have sought out on traditional shelves.
Another interesting feature is the library’s effort to integrate some of their non-fiction collection across all media types. I became interested in this type of interfiling after reading a Swiss Army Librarian‘s post on the subject, but had never seen it in-person. While the Redwood City library still maintains a DVD section, I noticed that they had moved some (or all) of their cooking DVDs into their cookbook section and had mixed these in with the books. Very cool.
Finally, the library’s teen space is located upstairs away from the quiet reading rooms below. While there were no teens present when I visited the library (in the middle of the day on a weekday), the space was furnished with desks, comfortable seating, and vending machines and seemed like it would be prefect for accommodating a variety of activities.
By this point you might be thinking, “has someone paid her to be so complimentary?” Sadly, no. But I am not alone in my opinion that the downtown library in Redwood City is a really lovely public library. In fact, they are one of only two public libraries in California to have received five stars in Library Journal’s ratings of public libraries.
I may have actually squealed when I saw them.
For more information about visiting the Redwood City Library’s Downtown Branch, check out their website at: http://www.redwoodcity.org/library/