[Justine Roberts, posting]
In this series I mentioned that there are some existing Experience Libraries that make use of the museum model, and there are also some existing Library/Museum partnerships. Here is a quick look at some of those. Many are not specifically with a children’s museum and all have varying degrees of collaboration.
- Cerritos Library, Cerritos, CA: This 88,000 sq. ft. public library has museum-like features throughout to encourage exploration. It showcases a permanent art collection, large dinosaurs in the children’s room, a green screen interactive, and changing exhibits. After opening the Library saw a 50% increase in circulation.
- Broward County Children’s Reading Center, FL: Not yet open, this building will combine a reading center run with the new 40,000 sq. ft. home of Young At Art. There will be a shared lobby, staff space and multi-purpose space. The partnership is based on the premise that art and literacy go hand-in-hand.
- Las Vegas-Clark County Library, NV: This Antoine Predock building houses the downtown public library branch and the Lied Discovery Museum. The museum rents the first floor from the library, which lives on the second floor. Although planned as a joint facility, the two organizations function completely separately.
- Hemphill Branch Library, Greensboro, NC: This project is based on the idea that early exposure to art benefits learning. The building contains a 15,000 sq. ft. library that contains a drop-in hands-on art studio for children run by the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art. Library staff are cross-trained in running the art studio and the library hosts Green Hill at no charge.
- ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center, Charlotte, NC: ImaginOn is a partnership between the Public Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. The two organizations have a shared programmatic mission of bringing stories to life and exciting young minds. The building is fully shared by both organizations. In addition they have joint staff that manage facilities, exhibits, and programs.
- Highland Sam J. Racadilo Library and Environmental Learning Center, Highland, CA: This library specializes in environmental education. It features a zone with rescued animals, an outdoor classroom, a laboratory and a rooftop garden with native plants. Funding from the EPA allowed them to purchase a collection of books on environmental topics. In addition to story times they host “critter times” and educational programs.