Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Differences between Maze branch and Main

The Teen Area
Originally uploaded by Sandrilene23.
Oak Park is fortunate enough to have three public libraries: the Main branch in downtown Oak Park, the Dole branch on the north side, and Maze on the south side. The main difference between the Maze branch and the main library is the amount of space. The main library is very similar to the Elmhurst Public Library, with three floors and more resources than either of the branch locations. The main library's collection is greater in depth, particularly in reference materials.

With limited space, the Maze librarians need to choose their materials carefully. There is little display space, limited to one or two shelves in each area of the library. Popular adult novels are weeded fairly quickly; once they lose their popularity, they are removed to make room for the newer popular materials. The hardest part, says Peggy, is finding space for children's books, particularly picture books. This is because the old books never really lose their popularity (Dr. Seuss, anyone?) but new picture books come out all the time.

However, there are some advantages to the branch library. Located on a quiet street, parking is always easy to find at the Maze. There have been virtually no resident complaints about patrons, especially since librarians have their own parking lot now. Since the Maze is a neighborhood library, the librarians and patrons get to know each other. Everyone is friendly and helpful.

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