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Old 04-09-2010, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
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I'd love to hear the differences between the various local libraries. What's yours like?

I live near Cascades Library, and I love that place. They have a large collection of books, and a particularly impressive collection of CDs and DVDs. I've found all sorts of things there, from maps to sheet music. They best thing about Cascades is the number of programs. All sorts of things, for every age group. They also have 4 meeting rooms for the general public, which means every night there are a variety of programs or groups meeting there.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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My closest library is the Ashburn Library. It is nice, relatively new, spacious - mainly because there aren't a lot of books! (in the adult section, anyway). The children's wing is very nice, with lots of free programming - including Babygarten and music classes. As I said, the adult fiction and the non-fiction sections are fairly small, but you can get anything from any other Loudoun County library by request. They have a very popular DVD and CD collection, and quite a few terminals for Internet and online catalog/database access. There are always a lot of people there, so it's not really a good place for silent study. My favorite thing? There are self check-out stations, so if you're just getting books, you can do everything yourself. Makes me feel like I'm actually using my MLIS degree.

When the Gum Spring Library is finished in Stone Ridge, I will probably go there instead since it is just a little closer to me than the Ashburn Library.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
There are self check-out stations, so if you're just getting books, you can do everything yourself. Makes me feel like I'm actually using my MLIS degree.
Love those! The things that amazes me about libraries here are how many people use them all during the day. In California, I was used to libraries that were very quiet during the day and maybe had 20 or so people on the weekends. At Cascades library they have at least 20 people just using the computers! That place is always hopping, especially when the weather's bad and people just stop by to read magazines.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
When the Gum Spring Library is finished in Stone Ridge, I will probably go there instead since it is just a little closer to me than the Ashburn Library.
I haven't seen the plans for that one. Is it going to be big?
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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Originally Posted by normie View Post
I haven't seen the plans for that one. Is it going to be big?
Here's the plans: Gum Spring Library and an interesting article from the Post: New chapter in Loudoun library history. It's a public-private partnership; Van Metre is providing a four-story building in Stone Ridge (on Route 50), giving the two lower levels to the county for the library, and selling the two upper floors as office space. The library will have its own separate entrance, and it is the county's first multi-story library.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
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My current library is the Martha Washington branch of the Fairfax Co. PL system. It's been in a temporary location in the "Krispy Kreme Mall" (yes, the actual name, apparently - I guess its main anchor is a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts) on Rt. 1, just south of Huntington, for about a year now - the old/'permanent' facility on Fort Hunt Rd. must be getting the makeover of the century. (Somehow I doubt it, but anyway.) On top of all this, the branch is microscopic, but obviously it's easy to request stuff from other Fairfax Co. branches (and other local systems that have some sort of reciprocity with them).

In any case, though, I'll be in Fairfax City in two months and will be able to start riding my bike to their amazingly gorgeous new branch at least once a week. It's part of the county system (Falls Church's library isn't, though - FC opted to go it alone on this, as they did with their schools), though, which kinda sorta worries me, given the many and varied examples of inteptitude on the part of Fairfax Co. I've witnessed since moving here two years ago.

The main beef I have with Fairfax County public libraries at this point is that they apparently really, really, really don't want you to make Interlibrary Loan Requests. They'll do it, but they'll make it all uncomfortable for you by requiring you to have, like, a personal interview with the library director regarding each item selected. In this respect, the PG Co. libraries blew the Fairfax Co. libraries out of the water - ok, so maybe half the stuff wasn't where it was supposed to be (I used to use the Hyattsville branch, and I always suspected theft might have been a pretty big issue there), but they had an electronically submittable ILL form right on their web site and didn't even charge to have a request fulfilled. (Loudoun is weird this way - I checked out their site after I saw this thread, normie, and was pleased to see that they offer online ILL requests; unfortunately, though, they charge $3 a pop for them!)
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,776,806 times
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Originally Posted by Alicia Bradley View Post
(Loudoun is weird this way - I checked out their site after I saw this thread, normie, and was pleased to see that they offer online ILL requests; unfortunately, though, they charge $3 a pop for them!)
They do? Is that just for people making requests from outside counties? I make ILL requests from the other Loudoun libraries all the time and never have been charged, but I live in Loudoun. I wonder how they charge for it? It used to be the reason they didn't charge for overdue books is they didn't have a way to collect the money anyway. But maybe times have changed with all these budget restrictions.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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Originally Posted by normie View Post
They do? Is that just for people making requests from outside counties? I make ILL requests from the other Loudoun libraries all the time and never have been charged, but I live in Loudoun. I wonder how they charge for it? It used to be the reason they didn't charge for overdue books is they didn't have a way to collect the money anyway. But maybe times have changed with all these budget restrictions.
Here is Loudoun's ILL FAQ. ILL is for obtaining items outside the county's system. You don't pay for requesting something from another branch.

With all the great library resources in this area, and the reciprocal borrowing at most of them, it is probably just easier and cheaper for you to get it yourself if you need something from another county's system (assuming that they participate). Otherwise, yeah, expect to pay fees for ILL. Libraries have to pay for resource-sharing collectives like WorldCat and other union catalogs.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,776,806 times
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Here is Loudoun's ILL FAQ. ILL is for obtaining items outside the county's system. You don't pay for requesting something from another branch.

With all the great library resources in this area, and the reciprocal borrowing at most of them, it is probably just easier and cheaper for you to get it yourself if you need something from another county's system (assuming that they participate). Otherwise, yeah, expect to pay fees for ILL. Libraries have to pay for resource-sharing collectives like WorldCat and other union catalogs.
Thanks cdmurphy, you're always a good source of useful info. Wow, sad to see these little changes coming in, but it makes sense. Soon we'll be charged for overdue books, I guess. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it was a nice little luxury not to have to worry about it.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:35 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,400,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Here is Loudoun's ILL FAQ. ILL is for obtaining items outside the county's system. You don't pay for requesting something from another branch.

With all the great library resources in this area, and the reciprocal borrowing at most of them, it is probably just easier and cheaper for you to get it yourself if you need something from another county's system (assuming that they participate). Otherwise, yeah, expect to pay fees for ILL. Libraries have to pay for resource-sharing collectives like WorldCat and other union catalogs.
Fairfax County doesn't charge for ILL - they just give you a teensy bit of attitude about it. When I lived there, PG County, MD didn't charge for ILL, either, and even allowed patrons to make requests online via a simple form (the way Loudoun Co. does, I'm assuming [I can't log in, obviously, because I don't live in Loudoun], but, again, without the fee).

Last edited by Alicia Bradley; 04-09-2010 at 05:52 PM..
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