The morning I visited the New Britain Public Library was surprisingly warm. When I arrived, the parking lot was filling up and it appeared I wasn't the only one visiting before the weather turned cold.
I was amazed by how busy the library was!
Patrons filled the library! Sunshine poured through enormous windows while people shared weather updates, checked out materials, and chatted with their neighbors.
Near the audio books, a group of men conversed in Polish while sharing photos from their cell phones. A woman wearing a pastel hijab read quietly at a sunlit table, and a group of teens walked past the circulation desk teasing each other in Spanish. I looked around, imagining that I had walked through some sort of magic door and had found a beautifully diversified city.
This library is a cultural hub!
The Library in New Britain has always catered to multilingual communities. When it was first established it had roughly 400 books written in German added to their collection. It has always recognized that libraries should be welcoming of all nationalities or heritage.
When the original building was built in 1900 it catered to adults. In 1930 a children's library was built next door, and the two beautiful buildings were connected by a spacious addition in 1976. Like its community, the library is an eclectic mix of old and new that honors the city's past while looking forward to a socially conscientious future.
The New Britain Library is a great, glorious ship and Pat Rutkowski, the director, is comfortable in its walls. She gave me an extensive tour, and a good thing too or else I would have gotten lost! More than once we stopped to chat with patrons, who often referred to her by name. She is the captain of this literary vessel and considering the library covers half a city block, I was impressed by the small town feel.
The community at the New Britain Public Library loves their library and visits often. The patrons are sharing their resources in a way that many other libraries have yet to achieve. They are also using the local history room and the literacy agency which are both housed on site. The staff is large and dedicated.
Shout out to the super-welcoming staff!
New Britain Library may not be the shiniest library with the most up to date technology but the dedicated staff recognizes the vast needs of the community and are working hard to make it happen. You can borrow a guitar (how cool is that?!) and the book selection is enormous! I don't think they discard books often because they want to make sure they can accommodate the needs of as many people as possible. So neat!
There were many places in the library displaying artwork, including walls decorated by local artists.
A colorful mural welcoming you to the children's room and another outside the community room were so unique that I stopped to admire them on my tour and then went back AGAIN before I left!
Like visiting a new city, I was nervous by the size, the sprawling layout took some getting used to. However, my nervousness quickly changed to excitement as I realized everyone was there for the same reason I was. Everyone appreciated the library as a place to gather and explore.
Everyone there was acquainted with the library as a non-judgmental place.
If you haven't been to the New Britain Public Library I highly suggest you go. It is a true adventure worthy of a passport stamp.
Have fun! Thanks for checking in.