The Doors Of Perception within LaPorte

 

The books, for example, with which my study walls were lined. Like the flowers, they glowed, when I looked at them, with brighter colors, a profounder significance. Red books, like rubies; emerald books; books bound in white jade; books of agate; of aquamarine, of yellow topaz; lapis lazuli books whose color was so intense, so intrinsically meaningful, that they seemed to be on the point of leaving the shelves to thrust themselves more insistently on my attention.  

– Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

 

It doesn’t seem like ten months, but on May thirteenth of twenty sixteen, the main branch of the LaPorte County Library located on Indiana Avenue in the city of LaPorte, close its doors for a prolonged period of time for an extensive remodeling of the building. This past month, on March tenth, twenty seventeen, the doors were once again opened to the public. While there is some minor work, tweaks and fine tuning to do, it is none the less, a fresh new library.

As one enters through the front entrance, you enter into an area with two study tables and to either side, the stacks containing the branch’s fiction collection. in the distance beyond the two study tables, you catch a glimpse of the Information and Help desks as well as a glass room with writing on the glass. To the left of the glass room you an see book stacks beyond, these are the books of the non-fiction collection.

Information desk
As you enter into this open area facing the glass room, the Information desk is to the right. It is a double sided counter height, uh, counter to be exact, with a librarian position on opposite sides at either end. Perhaps a bit less imposing than the inner circle surrounded by desk space of the former branch design, it does cause one to wonder if you walk up to the librarian to ask information, on the side of the counter opposite the librarian, or do you approach from the side they are seated on? Although it might be a choice left up to the patron, one has to wonder if one of more librarians might feel as if their personal space is being invaded.

Now, I did mention two desks, although the counter shaped desk to the left as you are facing the glass room, isn’t really a help/information desk, despite it being exactly the same as the one to the right. Among other uses, this desk might be used for the administering of proctored exams.

Teen Room
I mentioned the glass room more than once. The writing on the wall, uh, glass, in perspective for those outside of the room to read, is a quote by author Aldous Huxley – There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception. [1] There are so many levels at which one might interpret this statement, although let it be known that the glass room is set aside for teens. Since the glass is two way, who is doing the perceiving? If the glass was for the non-teen to observe the teens, then an equally enlightening Huxley quote could read “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”

Just in case there is any doubt as to whom the room is meant, the glass on the back side says it all.

At this point we return to the front entrance for the perspective on locations of other points aroun the perimeter of this main room. To the left, behind the fiction stacks in its former location on the South wall, is the remodeled Indiana Room.

Indiana Room
Perhaps the best explanation of this room is HISTORY. From within the confines of this room, you can look through one hundred and fifty plus years of local papers on microfilm, view property maps back in the late eighteen hundreds and into the twentieth century.
Read through books written in the early nineteen hundreds on what at that time they considered the history of LaPorte County, or even research your ancestors, through
the microfilms of various church records, court documents, marriage, birth an death certificates of LaPorte County, and through the use of the online databases, genealogical records from not only around the country, but throughout the world.

Study Rooms
Back outside of the Indiana Room, along the same wall but towards the rear of the room, are two Study Rooms which can be reserved by the public. These appear to be ideal settings for a study group or other group meeting and wanting to present audio visual information. Both of the rooms have flat panel screens and some form of access from the patron’s own computer. Patrons may reserve the study rooms or the meeting rooms online.

Periodical Reading Room
Crossing over to the Northern wall, to the rear of this main room in roughly the same location as before, is the periodical reading room Also within this room are the displays of new releases. On the wall between the periodical room and the main room is flat screen display,

Quiet Reading Room
Towards the front entrance along the wall from the periodical room, is a quiet room or reading room. At the time of this writing there is yet to be a door on the room, but that is in the works. One thing I observed in the reading room, and I have to believe it runs throughout the entire library, is that the electrical outlets contain USB charging ports as well. Of course your own cable is required.

Onward to the Beyond
Back in the main room, there are passageways on the left, and on the right of the glass Teen room. We’ll save the right passageway for later, and instead venture down the left passageway. Just behind the Teen room are shelves where books which the patrons have placed a hold on, may be found.

Continuing beyond, we enter into the computer lab and audio visual area. An area about forty foot square consist of public use computers set out in a lab format. Along the West wall, overlooking the parking lot, is the location of the audio CDs and video DVDs. The two meeting rooms are located off of this room, one on the North wall an one on the South wall. In an open area in the Eastern section of this room is what can best be described as a living room type of layout, with a flat screen display being the focal point.

Going from the audio visual room through the other passageway I mentioned earlier back towards the main room, we find the checkout desk and the self serve checkout terminals. It is in this small foyer area where the elevator and stairs to the side door are located. Also downstairs is the location of the children’s section which is not covered in this article. If you have not yet been to the newly revamped Main Branch of the LaPorte County Library, you just might think about visiting it, and see what they may have to offer for your mental consumption.

 




 

[1] “The Doors of Perception” was a book written by Aldous Huxley about his about his experience with mescaline, a psychotic drug. It was also the inspiration to Jim Morrison in the founding of The Doors.

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