Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit two regional public libraries in my area, libraries in two different counties, and thus in two different public library systems. Both are very nice facilities, modern-looking with lots of books and displays. One regional library was buzzing with activity the whole time I was there, while the other was quiet, with a few patrons milling about, but not many.
Over the past 24 hours or so, I’ve been thinking about the difference in atmosphere of these two regional libraries, and why it was like it was. Some things I thought of:
1) Location, location, location
2) Time of day (I went to the quieter library closer to closing time, with about 30 minutes between each location.)
3) Timing of programming
4) Population served (I’m thinking numbers here, vs. anything else. The busier library has more housing developments around it.)
5) Marketing of resources. (Both libraries, by the way, have elementary schools nearby.)
Now, I haven’t had a class in public libraries, so I’m sure there other factors involved. I wonder if I would’ve seen something different if I’d reversed the order of my library visits. Sometimes, timing is everything.