This week's Sepia Saturday prompt shows the main reading room of the United States Library of Congress. Every Library has a main reading room as a focal point to the facility. It is a library after all, and what would one do at the library but reading?
library, local, salisbury, massachusetts, reading, room
Salisbury Public Library

I remember the little town library of my youth in Salisbury, Massachusetts. The original building had just two rooms. When you entered, in the main lobby sat Mrs. George behind her desk ready to stamp the due date on the back inside cover of the your book. 

To the left were the stacks with what seemed like to me thousands of books. To the right was the main and only reading room. They had many of the latest magazines and newspapers on special racks. There were about four very large tables. Interestingly they had some great reading for children. The library was on my way home from school so this was a frequently stop.

Mrs. George, the town librarian, was an elderly widow at the time. She went to our church and visited the schools to show off some of the library's latest acquisitions. She was very nice and helpful when it came to school projects. But when it came time to control a room full of rambunctious elementary school aged children, to keep us quiet she was a pro at shushing.

The Town of Salisbury has recently appropriated the funds to build an entirely new building on the same site as my little library of years ago.

Photo: Boston Public Library - Flickr
The sepia photo and lower photo here are of another library, of different stature, which I frequent now. This is the Boston Public Library. The upper photo shows the main reading room, Bates Hall, just before the building was open to the public in 1895. The lower photo, shot by myself shows the same room today.

The main part of the Boston Public Library is the McKim building named for it's famous architect. This magnificent room is named for the Library’s first great benefactor - Joshua Bates (1788-1864). It occupies the whole front of the building on the second floor level and is lighted by those high arched windows you see on the right. The green table lamps not only help in seeing your books but really add to the aura that is a library. The room is 218 long, 42 feet wide, and 50 feet high, to the crown of its barrel vaulted ceiling.

Photo: Doug Peabody
Quietly make your way over to the Sepia Saturday library for more great posts.

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