A Model Library
May 28, 2013
If you’ve been to visit the Parkville Branch in the last couple of months, you may have noticed some big changes recently. Like several other branches of MCPL, here at Parkville, we have reduced the size of our reference desk and installed four shiny new checkout stations where our old desk used to be.
This new model is designed with the modern library customer in mind. One of the main goals of the remodel was to give librarians more time and energy to put back into the library—getting us out from behind the desk and out on the floor among our customers.
But has it worked that way? Two months have passed since the update, and I’ve asked the librarians of Parkville to give me their thoughts on our new model. Here’s what they had to say:
Almost everyone I asked felt that the new model gave them a new sense of freedom, allowing them to roam the stacks or walk customers out to the shelves without feeling like they are abandoning their post. Without a desk in the way, Parkville librarians feel more able to connect to customers. Several people even said that all the roaming they’ve done has made them feel healthier!
The new location of our reference desk is also a big hit. Not only is it closer to the shelves, but it’s also closer to our children’s corner. Since many parents prefer to have help with checkout after storytime, our new desk’s more-central location means that they don’t have to carry their armload of books as far to check them out. It’s important to remember that, while we encourage customers to use the check stations for easy checkout, a librarian will always be on hand to help anyone who isn’t familiar with the process, or someone who simply needs a third hand.
Even non-desk staff, like me, have noticed a change in the Library since the remodel. Without the desk at the front, we find ourselves interacting more with the customers, something we all enjoy. Our excellent custodian has also noted that the library now seems more open and is much easier to clean than the old layout.
Personally, I think I enjoy the checkout stations most as a customer. With the hold shelves right next to the check area, I can grab my books and be out the door in less than a minute. Hanging out in the Library is also more pleasant with such a big, open space to relax in.
But enough about me. Let us know what you think about our new model!
With special thanks to Natalie, Jill, Liz, Trisha, David, Penny, Erin, Janelle, Cindy, and Cody for their invaluable input.