Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Library Lovers' Month & The Bexley Public Library

February is Library Lovers' Month, which has inspired me to start a blog series celebrating some of the libraries I love. Some of my very earliest memories are of going to the library with my parents and getting to pick out my own books, which nearly always included at least one Beatrix Potter title. I've loved libraries ever since so I figured what better time to celebrate that than during Library Lovers' Month?

The first library I'm spotlighting is the Bexley Public Library. Bexley is a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, and a charming little village in its own right. The library definitely adds to that charm.

I have been there twice in the past year for meetings with the Sisters in Crime regional chapter, of which I am a member. Maybe it helps that I've really enjoyed these meetings, but for whatever reason I am totally enchanted with the Bexley library.

I love the building itself, especially the gold door. The library was built in 1929 by architects O.C. Miller and R.R. Reeves, who were influenced by 17th century French and Italian architecture for the design, and I love that the original building is still in use. I love old buildings and the history they bring with them, and it often seems like we are all too quick to tear down and rebuild in this country.

When you first walk into the library, there is a reading room off to your right that is a book lover's dream. I didn't get a picture of it, but found this from the State Library of Ohio site. The room is gorgeous!

Source: State Library of Ohio

The basement holds the brightly colored children's area, and I have no doubt I would have loved exploring these shelves as a kid.

Source: State Library of Ohio

Right outside the library sits this statue. I couldn't make out the inscription on it, but I like it just the same.

To me the Bexley library has the feel of an old-fashioned library in an era when those are becoming increasingly uncommon. Both times I have been there I've felt like I was returning to the libraries of my childhood when I entered the building. That alone is reason to love it.

I hope to share more libraries I love even after Library Lover's Month has ended. Do you have a favorite library?


  1. I love that reading room! And the gold door is pretty cool. I haven't been to a library in forever, even though they recently renovated an old one right across the street from my apartment. I should definitely check it out.

  2. What a beautiful building. Only a couple of photos loaded, but it was lovely to read about the library.

  3. I love how they still use the original building!

    Our local library was renovated last year - actually knocked down and totally rebuilt. It's bigger and airier and more modern. I do kind of miss the older, smaller building but it really did need an update - it wasn't all pretty like the one in your post. :)

  4. There was an old library somewhere I lived that was a 1 room building. Truly, it was tiny, but I adored it. It was a bastion of intellectual thought in a very rural area. That's what makes a library valuable to me.

  5. What a gorgeous library! I'm lucky to have an absolutely awesome library here in town. The kids' floor is spectacular. So many different areas for various ages. The quiet room is my favorite place, of course!

  6. I love the smell of libraries. It's the best smell, maybe only topped by the smell of babies...and puppy breath.

  7. I have always loved libraries, but my favorites are the ones I belonged to in the Baltimore area. When we moved to Georgia in 1971, our local library was so tiny, it was actually in the living room of a tiny old house... and there was neither rhyme nor reason as to how the books were shelved. The first time I saw it, I literally cried. (And immediately joined two book-of-the-month clubs!) Thank goodness, a really nice library was built nearby in the late seventies or early eighties, and now plans are in the works to re-purpose that building and build a NEW library. Bigger and better. I don't care about its size... I'll be happy if they continue to use the Dewy decimal system. :)

    I was a card-carrying member of multiple libraries in Maryland, but my favorite was probably the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Library in downtown Baltimore. It's a huge old building with gorgeous architecture, and multiple floors containing every book imaginable. Even had Edgar Allen Poe's writing desk there! It was one of my favorite places to do research for school projects. My second favorite place was the library on the Johns Hopkins University campus.

    I guess kids of today don't get to spend days doing research in libraries any more. The Internet is great for doing research, but it isn't nearly as grand as spending the day in a magnificent library surrounded by piles of books. (sigh) Yeah, I'm old.

  8. I don't spend nearly enough time in libraries these days. I should work on changing that.

  9. I did I not know this month is Library Lover's Month? And I haven't been to the library once!

    I wish there were libraries are beautiful as that where I live. My favorite is in Cocoa FL. It has a gift shop and a cafe.

  10. @Sarah, isn't that room amazing? I just love it.

    @Annalisa, oh, that's weird, I wonder what happened with the pics?

    @Madeline, my local library renovated a few years ago and it did really need it, but I still kind of miss the way it used to be, I can't help it.

    @Crystal, agree 100%

    @Christine, I can believe that LOL. I hope your little guy enjoys the kids' floor.

    @Elizabeth, I never thought about it but you are so right. I love the smell when I walk in. Although I don't know if it can compete with puppy breath LOL. Definitely has dog breath beat though. :D

    @Susan, I am old too so I feel the same. And that Baltimore library sounds absolutely amazing.

    @Michael, I work in an academic library so I'm always there but I haven't browsed around in the public library in ages. I should do that too.

    @Chrys, oh that sounds nice!

  11. I love libraries. The Wellington City Library is one of my favourite places to hang out.

  12. Wonderful! I love libraries, too. That's a great idea for a blog post series, and I feel a strong need to go out and take pictures of my local library now. :)
    You know that statue looks like one at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium - similar art and subject matter although the one at the Zoo has a four figures - two adults and two children all in a circle holding hands/arms. I wonder if it's the same artist because it looks like the same "touch" if that makes any sense.

    Thanks for sharing your library!

  13. We have a fairly new Library! near my house. There's actually an exclamation mark after it. :) It always showcases something like trains or art. It's pretty nice. The main Library! down town actually has a 3D printer. I love how people can go and learn.

  14. It's a great idea to spotlight your favorite libraries! Libraries are one of my favorite places to spend time. It's like an adventure every time, never knowing what treasure you might uncover. The Bexley library looks like a lovely one to spend time in.

  15. Libraries are awesome and that's a great one. Our town library was dinky, but I loved it. Read almost everything in it. :D

  16. @Kate, I've always felt that way about my library too.

    @Tyrean, oh, that's interesting! I tried to find info about the statue but I couldn't. I should have just called the library and asked but I admit I was lazy LOL.

    @Loni, the exclamation point makes me laugh. How fun! And our main library has a 3-D printer too and I think it's so awesome.

    @Kathryn, that's a great way to describe a visit to the library. :)

    @Mary, I think I probably read every kid's book in my library for sure. :)

  17. Ooh! I love the look of that building. Nothing better than reading inside an old building. It adds so much to the ambience.

  18. Now that's a door! I do love libraries, although I haven't been to any public libraries (beyond the academic library where I work) in ages. I tend to purchase my books instead of borrow them the past few years.

  19. Oh, I love that building! I can see why it captures your attention so much, it does mine too! I love visiting different libraries, and this is a beaut!

  20. @Ken, agreed!

    @Cherie, isn't that door awesome? It almost seems like a magic door.

    @Leandra, totally agree. :)

  21. Hi Julie - I was going to do something for library month - but haven't got there .. seeing as the West Country has still been happening.

    Our library here in Eastbourne was bombed during the War .. and for now we still have a library in the town - I don't often use it - but it's nearby and do go in. They've a theatre/music/film venue Underground - which is well loved and computers around in the library.

    Wonderful door way ... no wonder it's a favourite .. cheers Hilary

  22. @Hilary, oh, that's a great idea to have a venue like that underneath the library. How cool. Looking forward to catching up on more of your West Country tour. :D


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