I admit, I’ve only lived in York for a little more than a year — but I thought I had Martin Library figured out. I know where the fiction and nonfiction books are, and I’ve seen the DVDs and the new items near the checkout.
But as business reporter Lauren Boyer and I spent a few hours working at Martin this morning, information services librarian Laura O’Grady and director of operations Brian Grimm shared a few things I hadn’t known.
Here’s a bit of what I learned:
- The library has been on the corner of Queen and Market streets since 1935 — it just hasn’t always looked like it does. Additions were made in 1956, 1987, 2002 and 2004.
- The brownstone just west on Market Street is part of the library — Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff donated it for the library’s expansion in 2002 and it now houses offices. (It’s also beautifully redecorated inside — check out that photo! Wish that was my office.)
- In addition to the children’s area along Queen Street, there’s also a Teen Forum in the basement. It has tables, computers, a giant TV for video games and a pretty big selection of teen books. My favorite part? They’re organized by “BFs and GFs” (boyfriends and girlfriends, for those not fluent in abbreviations) for books about love and friendship, and “Overcoming obstacles” for books that chronicle a journey — instead of “mystery,” “romance” or “nonfiction.”
- Martin is the headquarters, if you will, for its district, which includes York and Adams counties. It’s in charge of distribution, so if you request a book from Hanover, it will arrive in York for pick-up within a few days.
- Nonfiction DVD rentals are free. I knew there was a fee associated with DVD rentals ($2 for seven days, typically), but I’d assumed it was across the board. Not so! If you’re a documentary lover, check out the nonfiction DVD section on the second floor.
Believe me, this is just the beginning. It’s incredible how much the library offers — and how much I, even as book editor, didn’t know! Next time you stop by to browse (or next time you’re at the York Libraries branch closest to you), be sure to fully explore all nooks and crannies — and ask questions, if you have them.
Is there anything you were surprised to know or find out about the library?