Neatest Library ever!

Driving around Nahant, MA we found the greatest little Library.

"The Nahant Public Library was founded in 1819, the third oldest in Massachusetts after Franklin and Harvard. Our library became a free public library in 1872. The present library building was designed by the Boston firm of Ball and Dabney, and opened June 1, 1895, and was the first electrified building in Nahant."

Nahant Library
I had a nice long talk with the head Librarian about all things library; History, collections, special collections, digitization, classification and history.  

She gave us the grand tour!

The floor of the main stacks, which reside on the second floor, are thick panes of glass. 

Glass floor on the second floor main stacks.
Because it was the first building on Nahant with electricity, and the power was weak and unreliable, a skylight in the roof provided light through this glass floor to illuminate the first floor during the day. The glass is all worn and etched now but the edges are still clear to see what it might have been like.  They have no movable storage... just these very heavy stacks on the second floor of this amazing old building.

The cast iron stacks have embossed classification "area's".

Cast Iron stacks

The Special Collections area also had a skylight, and offered more direct light to the main lobby through a lovely glass floor.   

Which is seen on the ceiling of the two story grand hall.

Glass ceiling design (the floor of 3.5 th floor of Special Collections)
Grand Hall view from the entrance
View of the entrance to the Library and Grand Hall.
A grand fireplace (no longer in use) existed in pretty much every room... including the Children's section that used it as an awesome reading nook.
Children's reading nook

I was enthralled with this little place.

They will be starting a digitization project of their Special Collections next year... 
So obviously I shared the Islandora and Discovery Garden solution with them. :-)

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