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Libraries

Little Free Library movement begins to blossom in Richmond

The concept is simple: a handful of books in a wooden box, mounted in a public space. The books are free. Peruse the selection. Take a book if you’d like. Leave a book in its place if you can. Enjoy. Called the Little Free Library, these informal neighborhood lending libraries have popped up in front of schools, homes, parks, bike paths and cafes in all 50 states and more than 70 countries since a man named Todd Bol installed the…

Small efforts help library accessibility widen in Richmond

Sixth grader Clemon Brown loves reading books, but he has a hard time finding books outside of school. “Two weeks ago, I was sitting in my room [and] I want to read a book,” Brown said. He said he wanted to visit a library, but his mom’s car wasn’t working at the time. Brown lives in North Richmond, almost three miles away from the nearest Richmond public library. “That’s really the difficulty,” Richmond Public Library Director Katy Curl said. “[We’re]…

Main Library

The Main Library has an urban feel and a lot more traffic than either of the branches. High ceilings and bare linoleum floors remind you that you’re in a government building, not a living room, and the only places to sit are at wooden tables and chairs. Patrons of Main are there to get things done, not to relax, and the noisy, bustling atmosphere reflects that. Most of the system’s collection is housed here, so for research purposes it is…

Richmond Library System

The City of Richmond operates its own library system independent from the county, and has since 1907. The system consists of a main library, two branches and a traveling bookmobile for children. The staff move around regularly between the branches, the Main library and the Bookmobile, so they have a good sense of how the entire system works. While specific books might be hard to find at the Bayview and Westside branches, the librarians will bring books over from the…

Bookmobile

The Richmond Library’s Bookmobile is the system’s library on wheels, serving children. The program was founded in 1947, and was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi. The converted bus travels four days a week and visits 21 schools around the city. Students can climb aboard the moving library when it stops at their school for just under an hour and check out up to six books each until the next week. They can also register for a…

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