Thursday, June 23, 2011

Library #37 Central Library; Mission Accomplished!

On Tuesday, June 21, we visited the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library in downtown Buffalo, thus completing our goal of visiting all 37 branches within a year of our start date of June 25, 2010. It was a great visit! We were met by several library officials including Joy Testa, the PR person, and Maureen McLaughlin and her team of librarians. It was great to be so graciously welcomed. Within a few minutes of our arrival, newly appointed Library System Director, Mary Jean Jakubowski, temporarily left her meeting to greet us at the door. The staff was gracious and welcoming with children's librarians, Kerri Allessi and Kathy Goodrich, taking us on a tour of this beautiful, giant library (holding 2.5 million books!). On this tour we saw the Mark Twain Room, marking the time he lived in Buffalo and displaying some of the pages of the original manuscript of Huckleberry Finn owned by the library. It was a neat room and also contained a chair belonging to Mr. Clemmens and the original fireplace mantle from the home he occupied while in Buffalo. We also found a card catalog and of course, we had to learn how books used to be found before computerized card catalogs.
The highlight for us was entering the "Staff Only" freight elevator to descend into the closed stacks; a vast collection of non-circulatining books held off the main floor. We completed our tour in the children's section of the library where the girls saw nearly every book they have ever wanted to read!!!
Following our tour and our million questions, we left for a great dinner at the Washinton Street Market. The staff was polite and welcoming, providing us with a great meal and some extra chocolate chip cookies too!

We plan to enter a few more blog entries citing our lessons learned from Operation Reading Road Trip as soon as we can. We have been invited back to the Central Library next week for some final thoughts and comments.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing trip. I still go to the OP library to study even though I am almost finished with college. Still think fondly of you Mr. J and the rest of the Polaris teachers of 99-01.

    -Stef Strosky