These webpages were designed to teach people, and not just children, what is in a public library. As a library director, I am often amazed that people believe the only thing in a public library are old, dusty books. The public library of today has so much more to offer. Yes, we have print books but we also have audiobooks, VHS and DVD movies, computers, WiFi hotspot, printers, copiers, fax machines, etc. The libraries in today’s world are becoming the information centers for our society. If a person has a question, who do they ask–a librarian. If that librarian does not know the answer, she will in all likelyhood look until she finds the answer. Librarians in general hate unanswered questions because we believe the answer is out there if only we look in the right place.
There is much talk today if libraries are really worth having. That is like asking if information is worth having. Information is what differentiates humans from animals. It is the key to our power of thought and learning. Our ability to better ourselves and the world around us. So yes, we all need public libraries!
In this website I have listed the many different categories of items that can be found in the Roanoke Public Library. By clicking on the category name, you will see a still picture of the items or its representative. I have included a description of the category and a link as to where that description can be found on the Internet. There is also a brief video showing where that item or category of items can be found in the Roanoke Public Library. The basic script that goes with those video follows:
The board books are located along the front, west wall of the library in 3 plastic milk crates. Because of their constant handling by young hands, these books are arranged by size and shape rather than by author or topic at the Roanoke Public Library.
The picture books start at the west end of the north wall and extend to not quite halfway down the room. These books are arranged by author’s last name. As you can see this is a popular genre at the Roanoke Public Library.
The easy reader books are located in the first-most western row of shelves going north/south. The first 2 of these shelves are shorter than the remaining shelves and are thus restricted to childrens’ books as shorter shelves make easier for children to reach materials.
The juvenile fiction books or “chapter” books start on the western most north/south shelves right at the end of the easy readers and continues around to the back or east side of those shelves. Like the easy readers before them these books are arranged by authors’ last name.
The Juvenile Non-Fiction including Juvenile Biographies cover the second set of north/south shelves from the west wall. These books are arranged by their Dewey decimal numbers. Some of the popular categories are informational books, fairy tales, insects, animals, sports, poety, joke, history and biographies. But as you can see there are many other subjects available also.
The Juvenile Magazines are located in back of the entry door to the library on the top of the red shelf unit. Magazines are not very popular at the Roanoke Public Library so we don’t have that many. Back issues of magazines can be found nearby in colored boxes on the colored shelves along the west wall.
Young Adult books are located starting on the east side of the third north/south shelving unit from the west or the first of the tall shelving units from the west. They continue on to the west side of the 4th set of shelves. As you can see there are holes in this section as a lot of the juvenile fiction books were mis-classifed into this section and that is now being corrected.
Adult fiction books start on the North wall when the shelves get taller not quite halfway down from the west wall. These books are arranged by the author’s last name. This is a large and popular area at the Roanoke Public Library as this is what most of our adult patrons like to read.
Christian novels are located on the west side of the third north/south shelving unit from the west or the first of the tall shelving units from the west. They continue around the corner into part of the east side of the shelves. These books are arranged by the author’s last name. These books are very popular at the library and that is why the section has grown to around the corner.
Adult Non-Fiction books are located in two separate areas. They are arranged by Dewey decimal starting along the south wall at the back entrance to the library and going west for that entire shelving unit-continuing on west you come to the videos. The non-fiction books continue with the history books on the southside of the east/west shelving unit in the northeast side of the room. There is a local history section in the southeast corner of the northeast section of the library.
Paperbacks are located on the east side of the last north/south shelving unit. They occupy this entire shelving unit side except for the last set of shelves. These books mainly help fill our series or are series books. They are books that were missed when they first came out but were needed to make the collection as complete as possible.
Adult Biographies are located on the northside of the east/west shelving unit in the northeast side of the room. They start at the eastern most part of the shelves. These books are arranged by the last name of the person covered. This is an area that the Roanoke Public Library is looking to increase.
Large Print books are located on the northside of the east/west shelving unite in the northeast side of the room. They start near the western end of the shelves. There are very few of these books as they are costly and the library participate in the Talking Books from the State Library Program where they send the library different books which we circulate and then send back and exchange them for others.
Adult Magazines are located at the start of the east west shelving unit in the northeast side of the room. The new magazines are displayed of the south side with older issues stored on the north side. Because the library does not subscribe to many magazines they are arranged as to the popularity with our patrons.
Reference books are located on the east side of the last north/south shelving unit. They occupy the northern most set of shelves. There are very few reference books as the library staff has found that patrons would prefer to look up reference information on the computers rather than a book.
Adult Audiobooks are located behind the back door of the library at the east end of the south wall. To get to this area the patron has to pass through the checkin/out area which is not convient but with limited space there is no choice. This is an area that the Roanoke Public Library would love to increase as all our audiobooks are on cassettes.
Juvenile Audiobooks are located behing the front door of the library near the front west wall on the red shelving unit. As you can see we have books with cassette tape sets in plastic hanging bags and we have regular audiobooks in cases. We have a few books with CDs but most are with cassettes.
DVDs & VHSs Films are located on the south wall right passed the front door of the library. Children’s VHS are on the first shelves. The book cart is holding some series VHSs and will soon be replaced with more shelving as this collection is really growing. The middle shelf has the DVDs and some other series. The east end shelves have the adult movies. If you see a red dot on the movie that means it is not appropriate for children.
Classic Books and VHSs are located on the south side of the northeast part of the room. These shelves go along the library’s office wall. It starts with VHS movies on the first shelves then books going back towar the east wall.
There are 6 Computers available to patrons on a 6 stations round desk located just beyond the north/south shelving units. All of these computers are connected to the internet and have Microsoft Office including Publisher and Powerpoint downloaded on them.
The library is a wifi hot spot. Patrons can bring the laptops, games or phones to the library and connect easily to the internet. The wifi is mounted high on the corner of the outside of the library office wall.
The library offers printing in black and white or color. The black and white printer is located above the computer on the computer desk’s second tier. The color printer is located on the east side of the east/west shelving unit in the northeast part of the library.
The library has a scanner attached to an OPAC computer. The scanner and the OPAC computer are located in the southwest corner of the room. The library staff requests that patrons seek assistance before using the scanner to scan to email or to one of the printers.
The circulation desk is located in the back east portion of the library. It is very hard to miss when entering from either door into the library. There is a computer with hand held scanner for scanning the bar codes on patron library cards or on the circulation materials and a receipt printer that tells the items that are checked out and their due dates.
A copier is available at the east end of the checkin/out desk. This is a black and white copier but does allow double sided copies and adjusting the size of the duplicate.
There is no script to the long virtual tour on the main page as this is the basic tour that I give each new patron right after we get them signed up for a card. It is amazing that when people that have been patrons of the library for years overhear me giving that brief tour will say, “I never knew that”. So we can all learn new things if we will just pay attention and listen.
I hope through this website that you learn that a public library is more that just a place to store old books. It is a place of information, learning and fun. Go visit your local public library today — you may be surprised by what you find.