Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Threads in the fabric of my town

I spent some time in the newly opened Plainsboro Public Library, to take pictures and bring home to show HP, and thought I would share my huge joy with you, too.



I've been given at least three guided tours around different areas of the place already by the Powers That Be in the libe, when I stopped in at the weekend, first full day in operation, wonderful insights into what's there, but since it's three floors and was buzzing with activity on Saturday afternoon when I was there, I figured on having a quieter time, just sloping about with my camera and thanking the library staff as I met them, and here's Christina, one of my favorite library staffers, caught her as she was registering a new patron




I have some small insight into the endless work and struggle in all ways by everyone working there, to get this to be a reality. I have been given great opportunities here, too, to give input into stuff I would like to see there, and to my huge satisfaction, I can show you here in actual pix, ideas that have become materially real. But more important is that a lot of other people also got their say and were respected and included and it's just wonderful.

Considering this is only a town of 22,000 people, a lot bigger than it used to be, but still small, to have this fab. place is amazing.



The atmosphere, with the colors and the light and the open design, is just wonderful to hang out in. Many great details such as all the different fabrics in the furniture, and the changing colors of the carpet from area to area, and the plexi transparent "walls" on the staircases, and the different terraces, more and more to discover as you wander about and the color changer in the ceiling of the children's area.



The Quiet Terrace, awaiting furniture.

I have to show you the gallery, which is its own space, for exhibits only, not shared space, open but NOT a hallway, lovely shape, great light, and get that seating piece!



a real gallery where you go, sit, observe, study, enjoy the art.





You can see it from upstairs, and from the front and back doors, but it's still quiet. I think everything I was hoping for is there.

And the kids' terrace with the giant chess/checkerboard paving,



which I suggested, on the grounds that it would be no more expensive than plain paving, and would be a ton of fun. And the director went one even better: found giant chesspieces so kids can play fullsize chess games, walking their pieces into place. There was a line waiting to do this on Saturday!

Indoors, the children's area goes on and on, reading nooks and science exploration places, colorful and friendly.



And the plexi staircase sides, all etched with quotations, first lines from local people's favorite works. I was one of the lucky ones asked, and I more or less managed to get a picture to show you my quotation, at least fragments of it. Not easy to get pix of etching on clear plexi, but I gave it a shot.



My favorite quotation, took no time at all to think of it: There are various ways of mending a broken heart, but perhaps going to a learned conference is one of the more unusual, from No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym.



First line in the novel, sets up the whole thing, wryly and sympathetically and sets up the mood exactly right.

And there's the Bookmark Cafe, open soon, note the work still in progress outside,laying brick and setting up plantings



sitting and chatting area, far enough from the gallery to keep food out of it, but close enough to see from there.



Well, I was pretty carried away. This has been a long time coming, great sturm und drang for the professionals charged with getting it all approved, designed, built, finished, politics overcome, money located, years of work and effort, and I only know the edges of it. Such a deal to be a part of, I can't get over it.

So just consider this a huge personal thank you to Jinny B, Carol Q. and all the staff who have been there for us all along! thank you all.

5 comments:

te_roti said...

What an awesome looking library. How nice to have been able to contribute. Hopefully it will inspire lots of people to read more and expand their horizons. Hope you get to exhibit lots of your nice creations there.

Minimiss

dogonart said...

I'm green with envy. Our library is in course of moving to the old town hall, cica 1850's, my opinion ignored. Daft location, no parking, no handicap access, will be on two floors, will have to share with all sorts of unrelated activites. The funding came as part of the economic initiative. My belief is that the library was used as a hook to get the money because someone wants to repair the bell tower and ring the bell. Local council seems more interested in ice hockey rinks than libraries.
Not that I'm bitter or anything!

Heather said...

Wow. That is a spectacular library...I'm so glad that you have that resource in your community!

Stacey said...

What an amazing library! Thanks for sharing :)
I don't think I'd ever leave if that were near me... I spend far too much time in my local library as it is... and that's even when the fluorescent lighting gives me a headache after 30 minutes!

Sparky2 said...

Oh, wild enthusiastic applesauce from me, Liz!!!! I am such a library lover and this is a truly a gem. (furiously taking notes to share at our next Friends of the Library meeting!)