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Pinterest, Daydreams, and the Perfect Library

April 10, 2012

The Kansas City Library is having a contest on Pinterest: Pin your Perfect Library

It’s a smart, creative way to engage the community and use one of the newer entries into the social media scene.

And I’ve been having entirely too much fun using this as fodder for daydreams as well. I think I finally understand what Pinterest is for.

Here’s my dream library on Pinterest

From the look of it, I think it looks like a suburban library, or at least an outer borough one. Note the yard, and the porch. Also, the house-feel of the rooms. Or, some of the rooms. I also have a fondness for giant, vaulted ceilings,and multilevel rooms with bookshelves.

This is teaching me a lot about what I love in a library.

The essentials:

Collection: Includes foodie lit, poetry, a strong YA section. The things that are my favorite to read.

Space: While I alternate between the idea of a cozy house and a giant castle-of-learning with big windows and catwalks… I want both cozy reading nooks and a lovely sense of art. And a porch.

Giant comfy chairs and couches. Ideal sprawling spots. And a papasan.

More baroque/classic aesthetic than ultra-modern. (No surprise there, I see that in my house choices too.) Lots of curved surfaces, rich colors, gold-suffused sunlight.

It makes sense that I’ve been borrowing imagery from local libraries that are very dear to me. The iconic NYPL, whether the Schwarzman Main NYPL branch (with the lions) or the cozier beauty of the Jefferson Market branch. (It used to be a women’s prison, but looks like a castle.) But also the airiness of the Poets House, with its nice windows. It’s aesthetic, but also bound up in memory, and affection for libraries as really cool spaces. Conjuring my perfect library one Pin at a time is a love letter to my favorite parts about each library I love.

Before I started this, I don’t think I realized what have a fondness I have for the lofty, and for big windows and catwalks.  I think I imprinted on that from the Thompson library at Vassar. Majestic windows, catwalks between shelves. If I’m being honest, I’ll say that studying and reading there felt creepy, but it was beautiful.

The Ottendorfer library in Manhattan, has catwalks as well. And beanbag chairs by its YA section. I love that.

So- catwalks in my perfect library! And books I love to read! (A foodie lit section. A huge poetry collection! YA novels!) Weekly Scrabble nights! Poetry readings! Memoir readings! Speed dating for bookish people!

And then I started getting fanciful. I want a library with a porch and a yard. That fondness has less to do with libraries than with ideas about memory and family and long summer evenings on a screened-in porch. Why couldn’t an ideal library have a hammock strung between shelves? And a cat. There should be a cat named after an author.

Most of all, I would really, really, really love to work there.

What’s in your dream library?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2012 8:03 am

    I’m one of the employees at the Kansas City Public Library who selected you as the overall winner of our Pinterest contest. I’m so happy to hear that it meant so much to you!

    I have to say – I love this blog post! It tells me a whole lot about how and why people come to love and value libraries. Granted, I don’t know how well your perspective mirrors that of the average information consumer (if there even is any such thing!) but I love the idea of finding emotional ways to get people to love their library.

    Written out like that, it strikes me as a bit of a “Well, duh!” statement – of course it’s an emotional connection! How else do people fall in love with their library? But, somehow – that had never really occurred to me before. I spend so much of my time thinking in terms of service and formats and ease of access… I don’t always remember to think about joy and reward and happiness.

    Thank you for reminding me!

    • April 17, 2012 8:06 am

      Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello and share your thoughts. I’m just starting a MLIS degree, motivated more than a little bit by my own love of the library, and a desire to share and inspire and wallow in that love. Possibly in some employable way.
      I really enjoyed the Pinterest project, and have grown quite fond of the Kansas City Library through it. If I make it out to your corner of the library world, I will come say hi!

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