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Novi (MI) opens new public library June 24, 2010

Posted by michaelpawlus in Uncategorized.
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Novi Public Library
First, I apologize for having only this poor-quality picture.  If anyone from Novi Public Library reads this, I would happy to come take some more pictures.  However, for now I want to just write about this library which just recently opened amid so many library closures and budget cuts.

It is a really well designed library.  Almost the entire first floor is dedicated to children.  There is a lot of soft seating for kids, child-friendly computer, and a bank of rooms along an entire wall that allow for tutoring.

Upstairs, there are another set of study/meeting rooms which vary in size.  There is also an accessibility room for those with special needs.  There are a number of computer clusters in addition to a computer lab.  One of my favorite parts of the new library is a dedicated teen zone which includes a video game station.  I feel that gaming is a great opportunity that is still too often neglected by libraries.  The upstairs also includes a local history room.

Other features of the library include a cafe downstairs, self check-out stations, and a self-service holds pickup.  One other really great idea is pre-assembled book club bags with a number of copies of a given book and discussion suggestions.

The library was really well used when I visited.  It benefits by being situated right next to the high school and I noticed a lot of use by students.  It also has a park on the other side for reading outdoors.  There are a number of options for reading in the library from semi-enclosed soft seating to more traditional long wooden tables.  With all the library offers, there was also a good stock selection and I was able to find three Drupal books and a number of Joomla books as well none of which were available at the library in my area.

What I feel that this library does so well is offer such a wide range of opportunities for its users.  It is a really good example of providing a community hub which is a role that libraries are increasingly being asked to fill.  The space is well delineated and I feel really provides enough options to meet the needs of all users.

I feel that this library will be successful and it will be important to watch its success.  They did receive a large pool of funding but if the service is well-used in the community it will be clear to see that it is a good use of tax money.  With libraries facing a lot of pressure to prove their worth during this time of decreasing government budgets, I feel that Novi will be an important case study.  If libraries can point to this example as a way of saying that with proper funding the public library can be repurposed to meet the changing needs of users than maybe libraries can begin to win the budget wars and continue to provide a much-needed and valuable service to their users.

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