Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

LadyA sounds off: Cambridge Public Library, Main Branch

So, I am now in the renovated public library for the third time.

The first time I was here, it was for the Library Grand Opening. Very fancy party, lots of people there, live music. From my perspective there were three problems:

1) The library was not actually open. You could not look at the books or check them out. (...)
2) Dude, where's my punch? I can understand no cake. You don't want cake on the books. But... punch? C'mon, all you need is a bottle of juice and one of seltzer. It's not rocket science or high finance, and how much damage could we do while problem 1 is in effect anyway?
3) The library now only has one non-emergency exit. This is despite two large buildings and many floors. In addition to feeding my mild hypervigilant tendencies, this is freakin' inconvenient, especially when I was Really Ready to leave and could not do so. There are also fences to keep you from using unofficial pathways to get to the non-emergency exit. I find this annoying.

The second time I came here to nom books. I spent my time in the science fiction section, always a favorite part of this library beforehand. (The other branch I go to to browse at does not have their fiction divided by genre. I respect that but they have a lot of old fiction and it just doesn't suit me.) Kids, this is when I discovered the second problem - sf has been moved to the basement. Le sigh. However, the selection was as tasty as ever - my bookbag was full before I even got to the Js. Also, there was the pretty big line for checkout, probably because there is only one exit with one checkout desk. But I think you already know my feelings on that particular issue.

Today is my third time in the library, and I'm happy to report I'm finding more good things about it. For one thing, there are a LOT of computers in this place, and they all seem brand new. The computer signup is easy and there is no anti-porn rule. (Not that I often look at porn on the library at the Internet, but I don't like policies like that, because who decides what "obscene" means? If you're searching the gay personals, does that count?) There are many open spaces and the chairs are comfy. The new fiction section is divided by genre. The "teen lounge," while being entirely teenless when I arrived (snerk) has adorable diner tables, board games, beanbags, a large manga section, and tons of new books. The staff seems nearly desperate to please. I guess the charm of the new building hasn't worn off yet.

So, I recommend the library conditionally. Check it out; give it a try.
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