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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Take on the South County Library

The Roanoke Times' "The Back Cover" is running a guest blog post from me on the new South County Library...

"Sure, I was a little annoyed that the new South County library meant I would have to drive a couple miles further than I used to. And yes, a little peeved that there wouldn’t even be a drop-off box at the old 419 headquarters, but I hoped I would fall in love with the new one so deeply that those other annoyances would become easily-overlooked, minor inconveniences. Alas, after Friday’s visit, I’m sad to report I’m not in love."

To read the rest of the post, "Not everyone is enamored with new library" click here.

From all the wonderful reviews I've read about the new library, I have a feeling my sentiments probably differ than most. But I feel I have valid points, so please read on and let me know what you think.

Here's some photos I took that relate to the post...No, the photo on top of this page is not for a coffee shop. That's part of the is this one...

These are the drop-off slots, behind the pick-up window, in the one lane roadway...

I panicked when I first saw this stairway. My knees ached just looking at it!

Low bookcases might look nice, but totally impractical for some folks if we must bend for a "Hot Pick" on the bottom shelf...

But the kiddies will definitely love it!


  1. Very good article on the library, Elena. I hope to check it out in the next few weeks when I am up that way.

  2. It is truly the ugliest building in Roanoke...what were they thinking? I haven't made a decision on the interior yet...I'll let you know.
    Connie T

  3. You are right. Steps are far too steep and shelves too low. It was definitely built with youth in mind. Oh well.

  4. Thanks ladies. As I suspected, some of the folks on the Back Cover blog disagree with me. That's fine, but it saddens me to realize people not only have no clue what it's like to have rheumatoid arthritis, and no patience for someone who does, but that they get nasty if someone has a different opinion than they do! Sheesh, I thought I was suggesting constructive criticism. LOL!

  5. You know they have an elevator, right?

  6. Pirengle, I guess you didn't click on the link to read the rest of the post...

  7. Sorry for being lame and JUST reading your blog, but please know I have been looking forward to hearing your opinion on the library.
    I don't have arthritis, but I do sympathize with the things you mentioned. The low shelves do make it difficult to see things, particularly DVDs because of their slim cases - I have this same issue with the DVDs on the bottom shelves at Salem.
    I also agree with the outside design not being to my taste but, then again, I don't expect everything to meet up to my personal taste. Not putting your thoughts on it down by any means though, because I quite agree with them.
    Still, I am going to remain optimistic about the new library. I am going to hope that bugs will work themselves out. That people who have issues will kindly voice them and that the folks at the library will be wise enough to listen to their visitors' concerns.

  8. Thanks for your reply Carrie...I too hope the "bugs" will be worked out. Hate to see my taxpayer $$$ not go to the best possible use. I don't care whether I use it or not, as long as the majority of the valley, especially the younger generation, can. Clearly what I'm looking for in a library is different than what others are. No problem here.

    I did hear something that I found odd...the new library doesn't have enough shelf space for all the dvds. If that's true, that's ridiculous! As far as the location of new 101 is most important product placement should be at eye level, not foot level. Even the supermarkets know that!

  9. I think the outside of the building is absolutely beautiful and I'm not usually big on modern design. I love all the interesting angles and textures mixing things up. It's a big building that looks appropriately designed for its mountain backdrop, not too formal and stately (boring!), just warm and inviting. In fact, I found the building so aesthetically pleasing that I was moved to photograph it and submit the photo to the County even though I'm no professional photographer and merely used a point-and-shoot camera for the shot. It's my photo that's being used on the Roanoke County website.

    I agree that the low placement of many books is tough to bear. My neck aches from looking down and twisting to the side. And there always seems to be a bottleneck of activity to navigate around near the main desk. Overall though, I've enjoyed the guest speakers and other activities at the new branch and am very thankful to have this new library so close to my home.

  10. Thanks Anon for your comments. I haven't been back since this post...I had hoped they would have changed the placement of books by now...guess not. Also, by the time I get the emails about guest speakers it's usually too late, so haven't checked any of them out yet either. I wish I had a library in my neighborhood, although I am getting used to not going to one :(

    Congrats on your photo...that's cool!