Many Americans this holiday season will be heading to the hundreds of shopping malls that dot the landscapes, and spending that hard earned money. Lucikly, the librarian for the Newburgh Free Library (NY) had gone to the mall and noticed a vacant space that used to be a bookstore. Since they were able to obtain a 12 month lease for hardly anything, and the place already has ample shelf space, the library system jumped at the opportunity to place a branch library inside the shopping mall.
This is a great idea for several reasons:
1. It places the library in a high traffic area, where it will have great exposure to the public.
2. It provides a place in the mall for those people who are not there for shopping.
3. The library is in a location where people who may not have used the public library before, now will see it everytime they go shopping.
4. The library provides free wi-fi, and a place to sit back and relax.
5. The library provides computer training, and the resources for self-education, and unemployment help as well.
Overall, more cities and towns should be considering this option when pondering as how to build a new branch. This methodology lowers the costs of opening a new branch and increases the funding for building the collections and resources to fit the informational needs of its user population. Since bookstores are on the decline seeing more of these take places in the near future is not only probable, but must be done in order for the public library to stay relevant.