“People streamed into a storefront on a recent summer day at an upscale Dallas mall, but they weren’t drawn to a heavy discount on designer clothes. It was story sing-a-long time for babies at one of the city library’s newest outposts. The library for kids 12 and under has been wildly successful in offering unconventional access to families who might not make a trip to a traditional public library, and it’s one of a growing number of strategies used by librarians nationwide to reintroduce communities to their local library.”
It's about the Bookmarks branch for kids 12 and under in Dallas' NorthPark Center.
I've heard of this before, and in fact had published news about it in my Marketing Library Services newsletter--twice. In the May/June 09 issue, I published a news story about a branch of the Henderson Libraries opening in the Galleria at Sunset Mall in Nevada. It was so successful that Henderson Libraries got back in touch with me recently to say that the Galleria had won a Gold U.S. MAXI Award from the International Council of Shopping Centers for partnering with the library branch! Note that this wasn’t a library award, but a countrywide retail award.
While Marketing Library Services’ news section is not posted online, you can find the complete PR that explains the award here. It says, in part:
The Galleria at Sunset won its award in the Category Integration category, which honors a broadly defined effort and its combined elements to recognize the specific and unique contributions of design, development, operations, finance, leasing, specialty leasing, management, and strategies covered in all of the other categories. The Galleria at Sunset won for its multi-discipline program, “Galleria Library Branch.”
Faced with an economic downturn and one of the center’s anchor tenants closing, the Galleria at Sunset partnered with a non-traditional tenant, the Henderson Libraries, to create the only in-mall library branch in Southern Nevada and provided a traffic-driving and community service oriented use for the center. A Library Lounge cafe-style seating area was added so patrons could enjoy free Wi-Fi and reading materials from the library.
If you surveyed the people who lived around your public library, would they be interested in having a branch at a mall or shopping center? Would it make their lives easier? Ask and see!!