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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Network

This shot of the main reading area at the Central branch of the Glendale Public Library is misleading. It looks dark but in reality, the tall windows let in the perfect amount of natural light. It's a good space for a good read.

My book group has been getting book kits from Glendale. We can check them out with our Pasadena library cards because it's all part of the same system. I so appreciate that. A book kit is a nice canvas bag with 15 copies of the same book in it, along with a notebook full of information about the book and its author. Sending one person to the library to pick up the kit beats sending 15 people running around to book stores and library branches all over the San Gabriel Valley, trying to find copies of the book we're reading this month. You do have to reserve them ahead of time because there are a LOT of book groups in the SGV.

Pasadena has book kits too, at the Linda Vista Branch. And quite a few book discussion groups meet at the Central library. I doubt if they get to have wine and cheese, though, and certainly not homemade coffee cake.

19 comments:

me, not you said...

Petrea, I learn the most interesting things from reading your blog. And here's another....book kits! Who knew? I've never heard of them before. I'll be looking into them when it's my turn to host our book club meeting.

I've always been very impressed with the Pasadena/Glendale library systems and right there's another reason why.

Dina said...

You Americans have it all figured out. Maybe some decade we will catch up to you.

You make me want to open a book.

Susan Campisi said...

Book kits are new to me, too. An excellent idea.

Oh how I miss having more time to read. That's a yearning that nudges me to restart the Adopt Louise campaign. Sigh.

Petrea Burchard said...

me, not you (I'm tempted to make witty comments about your sign-in but you've heard them all, which renders them not so witty):
Thank you! I like our libraries, too. I suppose there are fancier systems in the world but ours do well with what they have. I especially appreciate the "library within a mile of every citizen," I think the maxim says. They've stuck to it all these years here in Pasadena.

Petrea Burchard said...

That part about us having it all figured out--let's hope you say that again after the election.

I make you want to open a book! That means I achieved my goal.

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm beginning to think I shouldn't have mentioned book kits. There's a lot of competition for the best ones. I admit, though, when we were forced to choose from among the leftovers last time around we ended up reading some marvelous stuff we'd never heard of before.

BaysideLife said...

I really like the idea of book kits. How clever and economical. I don't know if we have them at our libraries. I'll have to check my next visit.

Petrea Burchard said...

I should say, Bayside, that if your library doesn't have them it could be a financial thing. Our library's website says it costs $180 to put a book kit together. People can donate books or kits or money for kits; it's all welcome.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Yes, Glendale is light filled. It doesn't surprise me that Glendale offers this service. They are a great library and the librarians are incredibly helpful when I've needed them for research; (and the Brand). Also, they have an auditorium upstairs where you can attend concerts.

John Sandel said...

Cracking picture. Did you run out of color film?

Deb said...

Sounds like you belong to a very civilized book club, and book kits are a great example of joined up thinking by your library service. In these financially constrained times I cannot understand why more people do not use the libraries over here, especially as many are threatened with closure due to under use. Better not get started on that hobby horse. Really like the picture.

Leslie said...

Book kits! How fantastic! I will have to look into this!

altadenahiker said...

I love the Glendale Library. It reminds me of the Fullerton Library of my kid-dom.

Ms M said...

I agree with other comments that book kits are a great idea!

Interesting photo; the B&W works well. Did you use an infrared "filter"?

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm thinking my book group is going to punish me for letting out one of the library system's best-kept secrets. But yes, book kits are excellent. I think you can even donate books to the library and as they build their kit collection, a donated book or two added to a kit cuts the library's costs.

As for the photo, I did not run out of color film or use an infrared filter. I took the shot with my pocket-sized Olympus, put it up on the computer screen and chose "B&W." And I upped the contrast. And...lemme think...I think that's all I did.

Katie said...

I really like this photo, and the B&W adds a timeless quality to it. Do you think the architect chose the style of the upper windows as they kind of look like books? I've never been in a book club but I'd consider joining one that served homemade coffee cake.

Petrea Burchard said...

This is my first book club, Katie. I was afraid at first that it would end up being gossip and chatter (because I like those things), but we actually discuss the book. It's interesting, too, to see how we all end up reacting to the same material, what different things we take away from it.

Dina said...

Within one mile??! I remember how far I had to walk, then ride the CTA bus, then walk, in order to get to a not great public library as a kid in Chicago.

Margaret said...

Who knew!