Westerville Public Library

Jane Hawes

I have to admit I am a fan of cozy libraries with quiet nooks and corners. All the better to read in and, despite its size, the Westerville Public Library provides just that kind of experience. The facility, located just south of the Uptown Westerville business district on State Street, has been expanded and renovated several times in its 61-year-old history, most recently in 2006. The result is an interestingly configured but comfortable floor plan.

The atrium is bright, airy and has an all-important beverage stand (serving Crimson Cup coffee). The youth area is reached at the end of a long hallway to the left, past the extensive media-collection space, and you have to choose to enter either the Children's Place or the Teens room.

The Children's Place has many zones to hunker down in (comfy seating for all sizes is amply available). Be sure to enjoy the beautiful dollhouse just as you enter the Children's Area, and then the "funhouse" mirror behind the old-style wooden door. The book collection includes a decent-sized selection of books in Spanish, plus a growing selection of Somali materials.

There are "early literacy" stations for the youngest computer users (and the people who drive them places), plus an adaptive technology station. The baby and toddler room is bright, colorful and enclosed, so no one has to shush in there.

The Teens area is more compact but also features a good collection of media, plus a Homework Help Center (open 5-8 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays).

There are several parking lots to the east of the building, as well as a couple dozen covered parking spaces (including handicapped accessible) adjacent to the building. Getting to the parking areas is a little tricky if you don't know the area because there isn't any signage from State Street, but you can reach the lots by turning down the driveways north and south of the library building.