First stop on the Montgomery County PA library tour! If you want to know what I am talking about, look here.
On December 27, 2022, my husband and I visited the Pottstown Public Library.
It’s a long trip to Pottstown from my house, about 40 miles, which is why I have never been in this library. In fact, I have rarely visited the city; it’s just way off my usual track. So, I was really looking forward to seeing the place.
After I came home, I read up on the history of the library, something I now resolve to do for each library before I visit its site. There has been a library here since 1810, working its way through several locations as it grew, finally ending up here in the former post office in the 1960’s (the post office moved to a newer building down the street).
Pottstown is a faded small industrial city awaiting its renewal (which I am sure will come, as surrounding areas have been gaining population over the past couple of decades due to better transportation access and other factors). It’s got a wonderful main street with a lot of great old buildings and the library fits right in. I like the look of the place.
We entered the big front doors. The circulation desk is on the left, seating over to the right, and there are two levels of adult books on a main floor and a mezzanine.
A librarian noticed our gawking and shuffling as we stood wondering where to start. I explained my mission and she gave me a quick orientation on the layout of the building. We walked around the main floor a bit:
Guess what, they have specialty cake pans you can check out. I’ve seen this in one other library and I love the idea. It makes me want to bake a shaped cake. I would have selected one but I did wonder if the countywide policy of being able to drop off a book checked out from one library at any other county library would apply to a cake pan, so I didn’t since I would have to come so far to return it! I love the idea, though, that the library can circulate such items.
Next we went up on the mezzanine. Here is a view to the main floor. The first looks back to the entrance; the second is along the main floor.
Did you see that tiled area across the front of the building in the first photo, just as you come in the entrance? I had been puzzled why it was there, but once I learned that the library had been a post office, I understood. The tile floor was the lobby area and I bet there was a long counter across the whole room across which the postal transactions were made, with the sorting and etc. area behind it.
I do love figuring out the mysteries and secrets of old buildings.
Next, we went down into the basement, now the children’s area. This space was wonderful, large and with lots of nooks and crannies for different ages of children and their reading needs.
I meant to take more photos but I got absorbed in talking to one of the children’s librarians, who told me more about the library and mentioned that there was an attic yet to be renovated, with plans just in the beginning stages. I would love to see such a thing work out – just imagine what it could be like!
On my way out of this area I noticed they had a display of books directed at adults: Old Favorites to re-read. I picked up a Nancy Drew book to take home.
Once back upstairs, I got to work on my poem. I chose to write my Word of the Day poem (Look here if you wonder what I am talking about).
Here it is:
cajole : to persuade with flattery or gentle urging especially in the face of reluctance : COAX
how it cajoled me
the book from the bottom shelf
flinging out drama
I hadn’t known I needed
in wild strings of sentences
tanka 374 : 12/27/22
Attribution: “Cajole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cajole. Accessed 27 Dec. 2022.
After I finished my work, I checked out my books, chatting some more with the librarian at the desk. Now that I know how to get to this library, I hope to return and spend more time writing. I felt very at home here. Thank you, Pottstown Library!
12 thoughts on “Library Tour: Pottstown Public Library”
So interesting, Claudia! Thank you for sharing.
It does look like a wonderful library. There is something extra special about old libraries or libraries in old buildings. (Though of course, there’s also something to be said for libraries in new buildings with their amenities.) 🙂
I’m not sure that I’ve ever been in Pottstown–maybe in high school.
The library has just the right feel to it. I really enjoyed the whole experience. As for Pottstown, I went there several times way back in the 80’s when I worked for the bank, but only a couple times since. One day that city will be a treasure. Not yet, but someday.
I love that aspect of books–finding what you didn’t know you needed. And what a great use for an old post office! (K)
I usually choose my books from the internet catalog and get them sent to me at my home library, so I don’t browse shelves much anymore. Not to mention the pandemic putting a curb on my library activities. I was glad to have the thrill of finding something unexpected and enticing once again.
It’s one of my farthing about the library.
Thanks Claudia, I enjoyed this post and look forward to seeing more. I think it was Austin Kleon who suggested visiting libraries in un familiar towns and cities and I have done that several times in various European cities. You never know what you will find and see. BTW I love the cake pan loan facility!
I visit libraries wherever I go; the library is my second home and so in any city I can find a place for me! I have had so many nice experiences at big and small libraries over the years. Book people are just all right all right! I also think the cake pan loan program is great. I have seen other objects on loan at other places, too – and my own library lends out board games.
Got your pillbox people and card, i might animate them or eventually add them to a scene. They are so cool, and my wife finds them highly creative.
Thank you. Glad they made it. They are easy to make if you take the kind of eyedrops that come in vials that can be recapped. Here is the post about the process to make them. — https://claudiamcgillart.com/2021/11/01/tiny-people-made-from-eye-drops-vials/
This was smile inducing! We used to be able to check out and drop off books at any library – city or county but politics killed it in search of $$$. Such a step backwards!
Oh my goodness you can borrow specialty cake pans – love it! I so enjoyed the library tour!!!
I think the cake pans thing is fantastic. As I said it makes me want to make a shaped cake. Our local branch of the library offers board games. Libraries are doing all kinds of things these days.
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