I've read the the various reports about last night's discussion about the future renovations at Durham's downtown library -- see Kevin's lengthy but comprehensive account at BCR if you haven't already. I hate that there's a "98% chance" they will just remodel the current structure (with its "good bones") and just wish there was some way to create some amazing structure like Seattle's library (yes, I realize we don't have $160 million sitting around).
Anyhow, that's now what I wanted to talk about. I'd like to talk about why I LOVE the downtown library.
My family and I are what you'd call fairly heavy users of the library. I'm a junkie of the online catalog and I place holds on books all the time. Since 2000 when my younger daughter was born I've gone into the library weekly to pick up books and I started to worry that folks working at the circulation desk would think I was a nut, since they had to write my name on the hold slips that wrapped around the books.
And yet, the ladies (with the occasional male) at the downtown library have always greeted me very pleasantly and it's become a running joke whenever I go in -- instead of a groan and "oh, it's you again" it's "Hey, we've got your books on hold!" with a big smile. Even better, in the last couple of years if they see me as I walk in they've already turned around to pick up the books off the shelves behind them and have them ready before I get to the counter. Now that's service! It also reminds me why I love living in Durham and feeling like I live in a small town.
Since we've moved to North Durham this summer I'm more likely to be found at the (beautiful) North Regional branch with its self-service hold pick-ups, so I don't have the affinity for that location yet. But I still find time to stop by the main branch to at least say hello.
So one big shout out to all the ladies whose names I know by heart: Cleo, Myrtle, Cecilia and especially Sumayyah -- you rock!