Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Glenside Public Library

Glenside Public Library
For my individual library visit I went to the Glenside Public Library in Glendale Heights, Illinois. This is a lovely library right in the heart of the city. It is located with in walking distance of an Elementary and Middle School. There couldn't be a better place to build this library.

Glenside Public Library's Mission, Vision, and Values


"Friendly, inviting, innovative and exciting, the Glenside Public Library District shares a world of imagination and information with patrons of all ages and cultures."

  • They are definitely doing a great job with this mission. Everyday I have walked in to this library their are children learning and interacting with each other and having a great time. Not only are there young children but there were all teenagers and adults, which all of them seemed to have their own space to just relax and enjoy their surroundings.


"Glenside Public Library District strives to be responsive to the changing needs and interests of the community."

  • I see this vision put into place when I was walking around the library. I saw many flyers up addressing the public to get involved. I see this as the library taking an active role in trying to bring a community together and really caring about the patrons whats and needs and doing everything in their power to meet these needs.

Our Values

"Embrace our multi-cultural community. Foster caring and professional service. Believe fiscal responsibility and stability are essential for success. Strive to stimulate and satisfy the love of reading. Support a broad range of current information resources Consistently seek new ideas to improve the Library Uphold the principles and rights of the First Amendment, intellectual freedom and patron confidentiality."

The Children's Library

This is one of the beautiful morals that is painted on an entire wall in the childrens are of Glenside Public Library. This area is equiped with couches and little tents that children can read in and this is also a wonderful, quite area for very young ones and their parents to flip through picture books.

This is one of the shelves that is very low to the ground so that young ones can reach because these are all picuture books. I see this as a way for encouraging indepence in little ones because they are able to go to a shelf full of books and be be able to pick a book on their own.

This sections isn't just for the little ones but also the parents of the little ones. This picture is of a section of books on parenting. I really thought it was a neat idea to have these parenting books in the children's part of the library. I think this is a good idea beacause if it is a new parent coming to the library to read up on some parenting tips they also get the visual learning as well when they see the young children interaction with others and their parents in this area.

Young Adult and New Book area

This was one of my favorite parts of the library. This area holds all of the newly published books. It also has some really comfortable furinture. I felt like I was at home in this area. It felf like a space where I could just relax and read a book.

This is a really interesting collection. These are a bunch of books that where set out on display after the Bears won the game that sent them to the Super Bowl. I really see this as a wonderful example of how the library is interested with being up to date with their surroundings and a meeting the needs of their readers.

Main Library

As I have said before this library is located right by two large public schools. So as one can imagine this library is quite the hangout. I went to visit this library about 4pm, which I quickly learned that it wasn't the best idea. There were tons of kids for teenager to preschoolers running around the library. I almost felt like I was walking into a daycare. I quickly realized that this is a large strain on the works at the library. It seemed that the librarians were more consumed with keeping the peace in the library than they were with helping someone find a book. I heard a lot of shushing.

I also noticed all of the computers that were available to the public and the fact that there was a body at every single monitor. These are the computer guidelines for Glenside Public Library:

  • Please limit time to 30 minutes when others are waiting.

  • Printing fees: 5 cents per page for black and white copies and 10 cents a page for color.

  • Library staff only provides limited assistance for basic start up procedures. If users have little experience with computers or have specific questions about the Internet, circulating books and reference books are available.

  • Users may download to preformatted disks. Users are encouraged to bring their own disks. Disks may be purchased from the Library. The Library is not responsible for loss or damage to personal disks when downloading. The Library is not responsible for loss or damage due to data from downloaded data which might contain a virus.

  • The Library does not offer electronic mail accounts. Users may download their e-mail if they know the Internet address of their private accounts.

  • Internet computers are to be used for Internet access or access to CD-ROM reference sources only. Users may not load other software.

  • Internet access must be for legal, acceptable uses only; unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to:

harassment of others;
libeling or slandering others;
disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications;
unauthorized copying of copyright-protected materials;
destruction or damage to equipment, software or data.
material that is obscene or can be categorized as illegal viewing.

Other Aspects of the Library

This library is organized with the Dewey Decimal System, which I am glad it was because I am comfortable with this system.

The library not only has books. The library has movies, both in VHS and DVD, and also many music CD's.

The library had a many study rooms where the door could be shut so that the group does not disturb the other patrons in the library. There was also a special section for the teens where they were not required to be completely quit. They teens were able to socialize and just relax and have fun after school.

Library Hours, Location, and Contact Information


9am to 9pm Monday-Thursday

9am to 5pm-Friday and Saturday

1pm to 5pm-Sunday


The Glenside Public Library is located at 25 E Fullerton Avenue, Glendale Heights, Illinois.


Visit their homepage at: http://www.glensidepld.org/

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Harold Washington Chicago Public Library Visit

On January 3rd our class visited the Harold Washington Chicago Public Library. This is one BIG library. I was so amazed on how large this place really was. The HWCL has a total of 10 floors, this including the lower floor. Here is a break down of the floors:

Lower Floor- Meeting Rooms
1st- Information Desk and Popular Library
2nd- Thomas Hughes Children's Library
3rd- Public Computer Area and Circulation Desk
4th- Business/Science/Technology Center
5th- Government Publications Department and The Talking Book Center
6th- Social Sciences and History Department
7th- Literature and Language Department
8th- Music Rooms and Visual and Performing Arts Department
9th- Coorporate and Private Events (Winter Garden), Special Collections, and Exhibits

I also have found some interesting facts about this library that can help one to visualize how large this library is:

  • 756,000 Square Feet

  • 70.85 miles of shelving

  • 374,073 linear feet of shelving (Linear feet is just the straight distance from point A to B)

  • Opened on October 7th 1991

  • Appeared in The Guinness Book of World Records as the largest public library building in the world

  • The roof of the building has ornaments in each corner of the building they include and owl and seed pods which are symbolic of the natural bounty of the Midwest

Here is the Harold Washington Chicago Library Website CHECK IT OUT!

Chicago Public Library – Tour

Bright and early, around 8 o’clock in the morning, most of our class met at the train station in Elmhurst to begin our journey into Chicago. We arrived at around 9:30 and met at the great circle at the Chicago Public Library. My first reaction, along with some other students as well, was that we were inside a government office building. The place was huge, and did not look like a library at all.

I was a bit surprised by the first thing we were shown, the auditorium. It’s not the type of area you would expect in a library, but it did sound very useful at the same time. It was extremely beautiful, and could obviously hold a lot of people for whatever type of meeting, speech, or lecture that space was needed for.

As for the rest of the library, it was equally as impressive in size. Each and every floor had it’s own unique section, making it very easy to do research as long as you had an idea of what you were looking for. If not, there were plenty of people around to ask that could direct you to where you needed to be.

The d├ęcor, though, was unfortunately not as impressive as the massive size. The colors were very dull and although the artwork was interesting, there just wasn’t enough of it to be awestruck. However, it isn’t an art museum, it is a library. Many people don’t go there to admire artwork, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I was a little surprised by some of the things Greta told us while I was asking questions. I must admit, I was expecting a much bigger homeless problem since it is located in the city. I was also surprised that when asked about vandalism, she said it wasn’t really a problem at all. Once again, being that it was located in the city, I was expecting it to be more of a problem.

Overall though, it was a pretty good tour, and I got a good feel for the library. I feel like I could go there today and have no problem finding what I needed (after looking at the directory again, of course). I was very impressed by the massive collection and size of the place. Who ever knew libraries so large existed? I certainly didn’t before this class.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Thoughts on my Library Travels on January 3rd

I really enjoyed our class visit to the Harold Washington Chicago Library. To be honest about this I was a little scared to take this class. I really have no interest in libraries. I feel like I am only in them when I am required to use them. I am pretty much the type that gets all my information from the World Wide Web. I took this class though because I want to get away from strictly using the net to research. I wanted to learn of all the options I had available to me if I use the library resources. We have only been on a few visits but I feel so much comfortable about hitting the actual printed material next time I do some research. I did really enjoy our visit to the Harold Washington Chicago Library but I don't think it will be my first choice when I want to do some work. It was a little too professional to me. By this I mean it was way to quite and extremely large. I feel more comfortable I the more informal environments like college libraries and small town libraries. In my experiences people that work there are there for the people and not for the paycheck.