Downtown Willows, CA is home to numerous beautiful old buildings – unfortunately, the library is not one of them. My first impression of the Willows Library was the extent to which its building (which also houses the police department and civic center) ressembled my junior high school. This association is particularly damning as it was rumored (never confirmed) that the junior high school’s design was based off that of a prison. Things were clearly not getting off to a good start but I was desperate for internet access so I pressed on…
Upon entering the library I was relieved to find that my initial trepidation had been for nothing – what the library lacks in physical appeal it more than makes up for in spirit. It’s obvious that the library staff have worked to make make the small space inviting for readers and technology users alike. Particularly charming were quirky touches like the literary decals plastered all over the bathroom walls and the the hand-made love your library valentine’s day signage (not pictured).
In addition to the work they put into improving the physical space, the library staff were all over the reference desk! During the hour or so that I spent bumming free internet, they handled numerous patron questions on topics ranging from farm equipment to children’s book recommendations, each with unfailing friendly professionalism. While this library might not be much to look at on the outside, it stands as a warning to all of you who, if you;re like me, are too often guilty of judging books by their covers.
If you ever find yourself in Willows, CA or (perhaps more likely) just on the I-5 corridor in desperate need of wireless, check out the library here: http://www.cityofwillows.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B5BCDD644-FA04-4B3E-BCFA-7DF6B7545DD9%7D