Klamath Falls, OR has let me down before.
In high school I tried taking my SATs there while on a field trip in nearby Ashland, only to find myself rushing out midway through, overwhelmed by my incapacity to correctly answer any of the questions. Then, several years later, I stopped in Klamath Falls (K Falls for short) for pizza only to be served what I can honestly say was the worst pizza I have ever consumed!
These experiences made me (understandably, I say) wary of expecting too much from the main Klamath County library, located in downtown Klamath Falls. The library building did little to raise my hopes. I had heard that the library used to be housed in a lovely historic structure (several of which dot downtown) but that an earth quake in the early 1990’s had damaged the building and it was forced to move. The current location is large, but mostly nondescript both inside and out.
What the library lacks in architectural flair, though, it mostly makes up for by providing a wide range of awesome collections and services that seem to really reflect the local community. In addition to large children’s and adult collections, the library has an impressive number of Spanish language materials, reflecting the growing portion of the city’s population who identify as Hispanic or Latino. (1) The library is also home to a Genealogy section and a collection of materials related to Southeastern Oregon (field guides, local histories, etc.)
Some of the interesting non-collections-related features of the library include a piano (though it’s not clear whether this is available for public use), the Gates Foundation sponsored and super-busy computer bank, and some crazy public art. The library also has a nice, bright, open area with comfortable seating where people could sit, rest, and read.
In addition to housing the public library collections, the main library is also home to the Loyd De Lap law library where patrons can access a variety of legal materials.
Despite my initial prejudice, my visit to the Klamath County Main Library was undeniably positive. I might even consider giving Klamath Falls another chance…
For more information about the Klamath County Main Library visit their website at http://www.klamathlibrary.plinkit.org/ and to learn more about the Loyd De Lap law library, check them out online at http://www.klamathcounty.org/depts/library/law.asp
1. Klamath Falls demographics from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klamath_Falls,_Oregon