One of the library branches in my sister's area received funding for an extensive remodeling project, and so it has been closed since last spring for renovations. In order to keep the library open during the renovation period, they have opened a temporary location in a storefront in the local mall. It functions like a mini version of the library, complete with a window display, a moderate selection of books, and a checkout station where the cash register would be.
They even have a small kid's section with a number of books and some computers, and I guess they still do a lot of children's programming. They had a big summer reading program, and they do story times that take place in the mall, including a Pajama Tale story time that my sister was thinking of taking her little guy to. One of the stores in the mall lets them use an open space area on the upper level for their story times and other events. A quick look at their calendar of events shows that most events are youth services programming: bilingual story times, pajama story times, a young adult book club, and a preschool story time.
I thought it was an interesting idea to open a temporary location in the mall, and it definitely has its advantages. In terms of reaching a wider audience, surely you would get more foot traffic being in the middle of a mall. You would definitely be able to reach out to a larger portion of the population that might not otherwise specifically visit the library. In that sense, it is a great opportunity for community outreach and advertising the services of the library. Since their events take place in an open space on the upper level, parents/caregivers walking by could see and be able to join in on a story time or other event with their child. Still, it is pretty strange to read on an events calendar that a story time will take place "on the upper level near Kevin Jewelers"!
Photo credit: Crystal Chatham, The Desert Sun