Public Library to Open 15th Branch on May 1 at St. Louis Marketplace

Article excerpt

So many books, so few shelves.

This is the conundrum of the St. Louis Public Library as it prepares to open its 15th branch library on May 1. This one will be in the St. Louis Marketplace at 6548 Manchester Avenue.

The library initially will be stocking about 8,000 volumes, says Deputy Director Waller McGuire.

But which 8,000? Will it be the history of Henry Steele Commager or the passionate prose of Danielle Steele? P.D. James or the King James?

The answer is basically new books, especially those published in the past year, McGuire says. Beyond that, "it's going to be kind of a cross-section of the whole spectrum," he added.

Most of the books will be of general interest, geared to relaxation rather than research. The collection will be split between fiction and non-fiction, with a large section for children.

And the stock will be very customer-driven.

McGuire said library officials would cater to readers' demand, plus what's getting lots of attention in the press.

"It's more than likely that patrons at Marketplace will be going in and browsing; they might not be looking for a specific title," McGuire said.

"Our users tend to go to several branches," he continued. "If they're researching a paper, they might go to a larger branch. If they're just stopping off with children or for a children's hour, might go to smaller one. They kind of pick and choose among locations."

The new library will feature a new type of shelving that allows books to be displayed face-out, so a well-designed cover can snare a browser. The shelves also will convert to the traditional spine-out displays if the books are checked out quickly. …

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