Browsing: Pages at the Chandler Public Library

One day on the way to the library, I was stopped by a policeman and invited to take a tour of the Chandler courthouse. On the appointed day I came to the courthouse early to learn that I was in the wrong place. I walked a four block area searching for the courthouse. The Chandler Courthouse is a large multistory building set back from the road. It says “Court” on it. Once you get to the door of that building a small white sign directs traffic court people across the street. Once you get to that building and you go through security and get to the courtroom, another little white sign directs you to check in at the front desk. Then you queue up. After making a significant contribution to the municipality and being told I could skip the tour I found myself childless, not at work and in proximity to a history museum, art gallery and public library.

I have the morning free, absolved of my vehicular iniquity. I go to the library.

The Downtown Chandler Public Library is set on park like grounds flanked by the Chandler History museum and a community center. Outside the library are rows of concrete seating walls with a relief designed by Carl Jansen (named Entropy Walls) suitable for climbing and playing. The library has a small coffee shop, a generously sized seating area for working with natural light and rows of shelves with used books and magazines. On a quarterly basis they host a book sale, I think books are 4 for a dollar or something outrageously persuasive like that.

Inside the coffee shop are 4 tall shelves with the “rare” books. These books were old, unusual and intriguing for any bookworm or crafty type. I imagine as we move to e-books and more people jettison their home library, a small shelf of curated books with unusual titles or covers will become more popular. The books cost between 4 and 20 dollars. The shop accepts credit cards.

I had a lemon poppy seed muffin, a drink. I selected a beautifully bound Jane Goodall book and a book about touring the Panama Canal (small, green linen bound hardcover from 1930’s). I’ll give that book to my mom. She is going on Panama Canal cruise and she is interested in the locks. For four dollars it makes a stylish and unique gift. The old Webster dictionary and the singing primer from the 50’s with its retro illustrations tempted me. Those would make great source material for craft projects that I see online. I left those behind for another day.

If you are a fan of old books, especially ones with embellished covers you might like one of my favorite blogs, Cassandra Considers. She is a bookworm and a nature lover. I enjoy her perspective.

I am guilty of considering using these pages to stamp like she did here:

I don't know if it is a crime but I did consider buying this book to cannibalize the pages in a craft project. Is that wicked?

The rare book shelf is inside the coffee shop at Pages

Love the embellished cover, this would look nice in a boy's room.

Staring into the Sun by Kevin Berry

Maricopa County Library Bookstores

I realize that I like to read more than normal. In addition to working as a school librarian, I patronize my public library weekly. I love to add to my home library and I love to pick up guilty pleasure reads for less at the bookstore. It’s a two-fer because my purchase benefits programming I value for our community.

My favorite Maricopa libraries are South East Regional and the Queen Creek library. They have million dollar buildings. When I visit, the environment elevates my spirit. Best of all they both feature bookstores run the Friends of the Library. I know someday when my children are older if I am not working I am going to be one of those fabulous dames running the store.

Queen Creek Library

Yes, I buy books from thrift stores but not often. I prefer the library bookstore. It is cleaner and the selection is more current. The library routinely culls it’s best sellers to the bookstore. You can’t beat the prices, typically .50 to 2.00. If you need a book for a plane or the beach, stop here first.

Fun fact: the Queen Creek Library is the first municipal building in Queen Creek constructed under the town’s green building policy. If you have a youngster interested in the environment or design, have them take the Green Building Tour at the library. On my list to visit next, White Tank Mountain Regional Park (near Loop 303 and Olive Avenue) the new nature center is another “green” building and includes a Maricopa county library. And it has a bookstore!

Citizen note: Consider becoming a “friend” of your library. As a “friend” I enjoyed newsletters about plans and challenges of my favorite library. I also learned when my favorite library was at risk of closure for budget issues and I could call my representative to let him know my thoughts on that issue.

The Friends of the Library pay for the children's programming