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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Library Services

While being one of the Howard County library's biggest fans I have wondered about a couple of ideas that they seem to have discarded. I was pleased to see the new idea of dropping off books and picking up reserve books in a drive thru at the East Columbia library but was disappointed to see it turn into just an regular drop off slot. The idea obviously needed some work to make it workable for the library but I wonder if it was dropped too quickly. Maybe the concept can be reworked in the new Miller library.

The second idea was having a coffee bar in the library as a place to sit and read a book before checking it out. It was an interesting effort to simulate the experience you could have at Borders or Barnes and Noble. I know that I enjoy going to Borders and finding a book I would like to read and sitting down for an hour or two and have vanilla latte (Borders has the best one). For $3 I get the best relaxation deal in town. I will miss Borders if they go under ( Barnes and Nobles doesn't give you the comfy chairs). So back to the library. I know the attempt at Central probably had too few users to continue but it may have been something that was discontinued without looking at how it could have been tweaked to make it a workable concept for a library.

By the way I have just joined the Friends of the Library and would encourage anyone who appreciates our Library to consider doing the same.


Anonymous said...

I love the library! :) I started using the e-reserve system this year (a little behind the curve, but still..) and I'm on the site every week. I didn't know about the drive up idea at the East Columbia branch - neat concept, but I wonder if many of the branches are equipped for that? As it stands, I find I haven't had to wait long at all for reserve books when I go inside.

The coffee bar is an interesting idea - more for the way to attract patrons and bring in a little bit of extra money into the library than for encouraging people to stick around (since you can already sit and read, and since there's no cost commitment for most of the materials in the library and you can easily return what you don't care to read, unlike Borders or B&N).

HoCoRising said...

I wonder if the Library is concerned about coffee spills on their books? Otherwise, I think it is a great idea. The Borders model may not work for profit (some say their cafe's made actual book purchases unnecessary for many customers), but it would be a great addition to our libraries.

Sarah said...

I think the East Columbia Library actually has vending machines in it, including a coffee dispensing one. I would love a coffee bar at the library.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in the Towson area, and the Towson library has a great little coffee shop. I loved having that option at my library, and it served as a great motivator for good behavior when I brought my young kids there :)