Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Durham County Public Library (Main Branch)

What it is: The Main branch of the Durham County Public Library is a very large two-story building that holds 466,000 books, a quarter of which are children's books. The downstairs children's section has two main sections, for young readers and for older readers. The younger kids' section also has tables for quiet play, with puzzles. The library also hosts a wide selection of kids' storytimes, for which you need to sign up ahead (some are full, but the wait list time is usually just a few weeks as kids age out and up). Even if your child is a rambunctious type, they are well-trained and equipped to handle little ones.  You can read more about their lapsit story time in one of our previous posts.

The upstairs has a small section of foreign-language books which they received quarterly from the Cumberland County International Library, with titles for children in their selections. Upstairs, you will also find the regular adult holdings, with fiction, non-fiction, job searching, and internet resources. There is also a good collection of audio-visual stuff, such as music CDs, books on tape, and DVDs for borrowing, which can be found in both the children's library and in the A-V library. One great way to manage your library visits is to link your library card with an internet account, which allows you to reserve materials ahead of your visit, that way your week's worth of Disney movies will be waiting for you in the holding area.

What we like:  This is a nice place to start or end the day. If you're looking at a day of errands, why not load up on books for your little ones in the car seats? The kids' space is really child-friendly, and the librarians are truly helpful, and will intervene if you need help to calm your little ones down.

What we would change: The building is a little dated now, and the hours of operation are a little patchy--It can be hard to remember not to come on a Friday morning. The location off the Downtown Loop makes it a little confusing the first time you come. Be smart about staying ahead of late fees: use your library card number to link to your account online and renew items regularly so you don't accumulate fees! It's great to get free books and movies every week until you get fined...

Website and other important information:

Address: 300 N. Roxboro Street, Durham, NC 27701, (919) 560-0100


Monday, Tuesday and Thurday 9am- 9pm
Wednesday 9am-6pm
Friday 2-6 pm
Saturday 9:30 am-6 pm
2-6 pm


1. The Main Entrance
2. The Children's Section

3. The Young Readers' Section

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