Friday, July 1, 2011

A Library Tour: North Valley Branch

I highly recommend North Valley Library (North Vallandia on your passport) as one of your destinations during Summer Reading & I believe, as the above poster claims, you may meet the book of your dreams there!  I had a delightful visit.  I like a place that tells you up front where you need to go first-I need all the help I can get!

North Valley Library is located at 7704 2nd Street NW, on the east side of 2nd Street, approximately 9/10 of a mile north of Osuna Blvd and approximately 9/10 of a mile south of Paseo del Norte-for directions by car or bus, visit the ABC Libraries' website. The library has 12 public computers including 1 express and 2 children's. North Valley also offers many of the standard amenities of the ABC Libraries' branches: fax service; voter registration forms, None for the Road DVDs, & bus schedules are all available, but the branch does not have a magazine swap. This library is a dropoff point for Roadrunner Food Bank. North Valley does have a community room & 2 study rooms for public use-their study rooms are available on a first come, first served basis.

I can't say enough about the pleasant grounds of this library.  There is some nice landscaping on the west side of the building, but the real beauty spot for me was the east side of the building, where you can find the shade structure & trees.

Once inside, there is more to admire! North Valley Library's decor is Southwestern, featuring high ceilings with wooden vigas & carved wooden furniture upholstered with a local flavor.  Another nice touch is the carved bookshelves.  Don't miss the library's showpiece: the Reading Ribbon, a 1% for the Arts piece by Evelyn Rosenberg, a sculpture you can look up to!

But the Reading Ribbon isn't the only thing on display.  Swing by the display case, check out the woodcuts (very popular with library customers), & when I was there I also saw work by a local artist, "Spring Birds of New Mexico" by Lisa Dines.  Looking around for displays gives you a chance to scope out a cozy nook to hang out in-the library has those in abundance!

You won't get to see Lisa Dines' artwork if you visit North Valley in July, but be sure & stop by for her book talk on July 7th!  Ms. Dines is also an experienced horse woman and local author & she will be speaking about Why Horses Do That...why our equine friends sleep standing up & more.

If you can't make it to the booktalk, don't worry, North Valley Library has Summer Reading activities for all ages!  The North Valley Knitters is weekly drop-in needle craft group that meets Thursday afternoons with a skilled knitter on hand for instruction and questions. Teens can take advantage of the T-Shirt Stenciling program (bring your own shirt)  in July. Kids will enjoy Summer Storytime, weekly storytimes for age 5 and under that incorporate literacy skills in a fun way. (Summer Storytimes are Tuesdays at 1 p.m. through August 23rd.)  For a complete list of North Valley programs & times, check out the library website!

The blue sign in front of First Choice says Enter Only & the sign in front of the library (not pictured) says Exit Only.

Something you'll want to be aware of for your visit is that the library is next to First Choice Family Healthcare Center and shares the incoming parking lot entrance with the Center.  The front entrance of the library faces the parking lot rather than 2nd Street. If you are coming north on 2nd Street, the entrance is just before the blue & brown NORTH VALLEY LIBRARY sign. If you are heading south on 2nd Street, you will pass the library & turn right after the sign.  I mention this because I entered the wrong way on my visit!


While you are in the area, I recommend a stop at the St. James Tearoom, one of my favorite North Valley attractions (the sign in their parking lot says "Park Tidy")!  If tea is not your thing, consider Sadie's or Annapurna's on 4th Street.  Another favorite summer spot of mine is Itsa Italian Ice, at 2nd Street & Phoenix-just make sure you finish eating your ice before you come in to the library! If yours is a more outdoor bent, La Ladera Park, which includes a playground, soccer field, & tennis court, is also nearby. The Village of Los Ranchos has some great antique shops, I hear! The library is also not far from a Rail Runner stop-enjoy those weekend trains while they last!

Can I just mention North Valley Library's outdoor area one more time?  I don't know about lounging there in the heat of the day, but it sure looks lush & welcoming around 9 in the morning.

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