Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bath Central Library--July 28, 2010

The Bath Central Library is located in a shopping center near the city center of Bath. A classmate and I happened upon it by chance on a day trip to Bath and found it to be a lovely public library.

We entered the ground floor of the shopping center and followed the signs up the escalator to the library.

Bath Central Library is part of the Bath & North East Somerset Council Libraries. It is also part of the LibrariesWest partnership.

Just inside the entrance are all the amenities patrons might need for a quick "in and out" visit to the library. There are four self service kiosks that allow patrons to check items in or out, renew items, or pay fees.

(Image courtesy of Bath Central Library Facebook Page)

There is also a large display of "Quick Select" items that appear to be new and/or popular books. A patron could easily run in, grab a book from the quick select display, step over to the self check out, and be in and out of the library in less than five minutes. This could be very handy for patrons who are stopping in on a lunch break or while running other errands.

(Image courtesy of Bath Central Library Facebook Page)

One thing that I really liked about this library was their signs. They have a conversational tone and seem to focus on how the patron might view the library, as opposed to how the librarian might view the library.

Displays are neat, simple, and eye-catching.

The shelving is generally set up in short rows. It gives the library and open and inviting feel.

One thing that stood out to us was the fact that the shelving all appears to be on locked wheels. It seems that this would make it easy to rearrange the space or to move shelving out of the way to accommodate a program or special event.

This is one of the best circulation/reference desk signs I've ever seen. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the sign takes up about half the wall above the desk. It makes it very clear what patrons can hope to gain from approaching the desk.

I also noticed that there is a small rack of reading glasses for sale near the information desk. This seems like such a brilliant idea.

Another interesting thing about this library is how much they emphasize the fact that the library is FREE in their promotional materials. According to their Facebook page, a person doesn't even have to fill out a form to obtain a library card. The library seems very intent upon removing any perceived barriers to service.

The library has a great Facebook page with many more pictures.

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