Saturday, November 26, 2016

Big Thinking for a Little Branch

For the Love of Bryant Park
and the girl who introduced us!

Bryant Park is a 9.603-acre privately managed public park located in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues,  between 40th & 42nd Streets  click here for more

Once upon a time, seems like only yesterday, my daughter lived in NYC.  She told me of this park, her favorite for all it has to offer, and it happens to be located on the back side of the New York Public Library.  Can you even stand it?  For this librarian is a dream come true.  I stop at Bryant Park almost every time I go to the city.  I actually stop at the park more than the library...hush! That will be our secret!  That and the champagne!

A library colleague visited the park a month ago and she was thrilled to have a fencing lesson!  Yes, fencing in the park!  In those fancy fencing jackets! There is so much to do here.  They have ping pong tables, checkers, chess, backgammon, wi-fi, an art cart, putters & putting and yoga.  During November the park is teaching juggling and they featured the movie, Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving, on Monday the 21st.  (follow them on Twitter and you'll be in the know!)

This park with the stunning skyscrapers of NYC marking the four walls and the generous open space middle is a dream come true for many in my field.  Libraries across the nation are reclaiming space.  Removing outdated reference sections, replacing heavy furniture with small footprint pieces and opening up floor plans. It is exactly what many community members want in their libraries.  Bryant Park offers open green space anchored by the amazing NYPL. It doesn't get better. 

When you can't find it inside make it happen outside!  Many librarians work in small busy libraries with popular collections.  Removing a stack and opening up the space visually is good but if we have some outdoor space to utilize...I say go for it.   Open the doors, people!!


Now on to the point of today's blog!  Of course I have a motive here!  Three library directors and three branch managers into this little branch and I'm still singing the same song...can we be "like Bryant Park", please?  Can we look at the NYPL/Park relationship? Think big, little branch, think bigger!  Do you think we could have....
     A shady outside patio by the bay window for chess, and checkers and wi-fi users
     Ping pong tables on the side lawn
     Art cart by the picnic tables
     Yoga in the early morning in the parking lot, (free street parking)
My little branch has some usable green space.  Not much, but some.  Enough for the above! If we ever offer a day for hula hooping again we shall do it outside.  On our first day of Yoga for 2 we had more than 80 people in our community room - they were climbing the walls and that's not a yoga position!  We need to take that outside.  Our children's movement class - Party Like a Preschooler would be joyful with the green grass all around.  

We have an abundance of Teen volunteers each summer.  Volunteering is required in some of our high school courses.  Our Teens can help with this open air addition to the branch.  

Bryant Park is an outstanding model of community engagement and there's much to learn from this library/park proximity.  Thank you Bryant Park for inspiring dreams for the community.  Maybe I should suggest a field trip? (we can sip champagne or a steamy hot chocolate here before taking the train home - that's what Piper does!)

Many thanks to my daughter, the former NYC dweller, now suburban mom in N.C.  She visits a few area libraries with her children; one even has a small playground tucked into the property.  Swings!  Don't worry I won't go there!  But really, swings!  Or I could just ask for the Bryant Park Carousel!  #aparkforallseasons #librariestransform

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  We love city parks as well.  How about you? 
~ Jane & Piper

P.S. (Piper Script) If management is by any chance reading this...Piper and I have many more ideas for our mid-century modern library.  We'll be happy to show you our pinterest page!  We're available!  


1 comment:

  1. SO fun! Can't wait to see what summer programs Faxon comes up with! They are always so much fun! :)


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