You know how you can be inside some libraries and almost not know whether it’s day or night? Sometimes the windows are tiny, or located very high up on the wall, or even blocked by book shelves.
Now that can be a valuable quality when you’re cramming for a big test or trying to get lost in a great novel. But when I take my toddler to the library nowadays, we’re more in the mood for light and charming than dark and cozy.
Light and charming is definitely what you’ll find at the Montgomery campus of the Oswego Public Library. This location only opened about 1 ½ years ago, and it is a real beauty, with a stone front and a low-slung quality that reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style architecture.
Inside, the library has giant windows facing to the east, west and south, and the light just pours into the building. Because there is not much development in the immediate vicinity, you have a great view of some farmfields and patches of prairie.
My daughter and I spent about 90 minutes there last month, and during that time, we watched as the sun disappeared below the horizon. It was just a wonderful time to spend a sunny, but very chilly, afternoon.
The bookcases in the Youth Services department are all very low to the ground, allowing easy access for kids. But unlike all the previous libraries I’ve profiled, there were very few toys or puzzles to play with --- just a couple wooden tables with those wooden bolts you can move around. And I didn’t see any computers loaded up with kids’ games, like they have in West Chicago.
So we occupied ourselves with reading books; my daughter loved laying in a very cool cubbyhole cut out into the wall, with a floor-level window looking outside. On busy days, I’m sure that’s a coveted spot to claim!
But in addition to the lovely building, there is another reason to check out the Oswego Public Library, not only the Montgomery campus but the location in downtown Oswego as well: They offer lots of great, drop-in children’s programs, open to everyone, no matter where you live!
For instance, the spring calendar for Montgomery features “Read & Play Baby” storytime on Tuesday mornings, “Saturday Morning Stories” for kids ages 2-6 on Saturday mornings and “Book and Movie Storytime” for children 3-6 on Monday mornings. Both locations are having events tied to Earth Day and Free Comic Book Day, and the Oswego campus offers Pajama-rama Storytime on many Thursday nights, as well as a “Wiggles & Giggles” storytime for 2-3 year olds on Thursday mornings.
You can find exact details on these events on the library’s events calendar, as well as in the Go West Calendar. The library offers some very cool-sounding programs that require registration, too, but again, you can register for them whether you are in the Oswego Public Library district or not. In March, those included art classes, a safari-themed class and a chance to read to a dog from the Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club.
The only downside to the Montgomery campus of the Oswego Public Library is that it was hard for me to find. I have absolutely no sense of direction, and my GPS didn’t recognize the address because it’s newer than my car. Thankfully, a nice kid at a fast-food drive-up helped me out!
For the record, the library is located at 1111 Reading Drive (love the address!). It’s located just north of U.S. Route 30 off Goodwin Drive on Montgomery’s far east side.