Sunday, May 20, 2012

Please Turn Off the Lights When You Leave (Rule #5 Mountainside Free Library)

 I love to take photos of libraries when I travel, yet one of the more unique examples I've encountered is located not far from my home.

The Mountainside Free Library, near Dunham's Bay, Lake George, NY, has electric lights, but few other modern conveniences: no automated check-out system, computers, heat, or air conditioning. It relies on donations and volunteers to function. Patrons can unlock the door at any time to borrow reading material, using a simple honor system.

According to the facility's informational pamphlet, Mountainside is an original Carnegie Library, "built in 1904 with funds from private donors and Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist..." It does not meet the stringent requirements for a public library, but is designated a "reading room." Although used most heavily during the summer season, Mountainside is "open" year-round.

A quick scan of the shelves reveals a respectable collection of current titles and classic literature. There is a children's section and an assortment of magazines, with comfy chairs and rockers, for those who wish to linger for a while.

 When you turn the key and step inside the Mountainside Free Library, you enter a timeless haven for books and their readers. Sometimes, simple is best.

"Mountainside Free Library" by dmcordell
"The key is always available" by dmcordell
"Interior, Mountainside Free Library" by dmcordell
"Check-out is on the honor system" by dmcordell