When Tom and I moved our permanent address from Akron to Columbus, one of the first things I did was apply for a library card from the Columbus Metropolitan Library. I figured a library in a big city would have plenty of e-books. I have been able to check out and read all kinds of books from wherever I am. When we were in Death Valley and had our once-a-week internet connection, I would download several books every week to read while I was cut off from the internet.
Tom and I decided, while we are here in Ohio, to make a real, physical visit to the Columbus Metropolitan Library. We went to the Main library location, next to Topiary Park. Tom has very fond memories of this library. When he was in high school in Columbus, he would come down to the library regularly and check out books on mathematics and science. I had not been to a library building since we retired, so I was was also looking forward to browsing the stacks.
The Main Columbus Metropolitan Library is newly remodeled and it is gorgeous. It is a huge building, or series of connected buildings. There is a new, spacious lobby with a reading room and the Carnegie Cafe where you can order a sandwich, coffee, or baked good. There is a three-story atrium and it was decorated for Christmas with the Huntington Model Train display. The woman at the information desk gave us a map and told us where different sections were located in the building.
We decided to start at the top, where the non-fiction books are located. Tom rarely reads any fiction and he was looking for some specific books on Colonial history prior to the Revolutionary War. I browsed in the knitting and cooking sections, finding several books I was interested in reading. I also picked up an autobiography (review in a later post). Tom found a few books but not the ones he was looking for.
I headed down a floor to the fiction section. The second floor also has DVDs and CDs. Because our technology is all about streaming these days (unless you have limited gigabytes like Tom and me) the movie section is very small. The fiction section is good sized, but most of those books are also available as e-books.
Tom and I were disappointed in the number of books at the Main Columbus Metropolitan Library. Although there is room for many more books, the shelves only came up to our waists and most of them are only half-filled with books. There is more open space than space where there is bookshelves. We were hoping to get lost in miles of books but it was easy to find each other among the 70,000 books that were spread out over the thousands of square feet of the library.
The Main Columbus Metropolitan Library is impressive and beautiful. There is artwork, a genealogical library, and a nice children’s section. But if you are looking for books, Tom and I found the Worthington Library (affiliated with Columbus Metropolitan but not a branch) much more satisfying for our bibliophile souls.