Everyone knows I live in Arlington Heights. But not everyone knows that I love libraries. I started volunteering at a library when I was in middle school and then got a job at the same library when I turned 16. It was a great job, especially since I loved to read. Before moving back to the Chicago area, I'd always worked in a library. ALWAYS.
The libraries here are a lot different than the county systems I'm used to in other parts of the country. In the suburbs of Chicago, the libraries aren't part of a county system. They are either village or town libraries. That's the case here in Arlington Heights. The AHML is a really big library with lots of things always going on. There are always programs and special events. The library also buys pretty much anything you might want to read, watch, listen to or play. This makes it a great "third place."
What is a third place you might ask? Its a place in the community besides work or home where people come together. AHML is a great example of this and will be even more so next year when they finish their huge remodeling process. The new library director has really taken this concept to heart in his remodeling plans. There will be more meeting rooms and areas for teens to study. Also a bookstore for the Friends of the library.
You can also find nifty things on display like this flower balloon. I was at the library yesterday and admiring the creativity and complexity of the balloon flower display at the desk. I actually mentioned how much I liked it to one of the staff. While they didn't know who actually made the balloons, she took this one out of the arrangement to give to me!
If you don't already use your local library, I definitely recommend you stopping by to check it out. Libraries have changed in the past 10 years. They are now more like extremely active community centers. You never know what you might find there. :)