In 1985 the first North Park Library opened in the Parham One shopping center. It was located in a triple-wide trailer close to the Big Lots. While it was there, the staff did a great job of serving the people of Northern Henrico. It was a little library but it was a busy place. In 2001 a new, larger North Park was built on Franconia Rd. ‘Little’ North Park is still in use as the King & Queen branch of the Pamunkey Regional Library.
North Park is a great example of a neighborhood library. There are many people who walk or ride their bikes to it when the weather is nice. It’s big enough to have some quiet areas but small enough to allow the staff to know almost everyone who visits.
One of the busiest aspects of North Park is its meeting/study rooms. Those rooms are always busy. Maybe it’s the proximity to I-95 and the ample parking? Almost every time I visit they are in use and that’s great! That’s what they are for.
When it opened in 2001, North Park was the second library in Henrico with a dedicated computer lab. The lab is used a lot for computer classes. When it was new, only North Park and Glen Allen offered regularly scheduled classes. They were so popular that we began offering classes all over the county. We now have more libraries with labs and are able to offer classes almost daily. The computer classes held across the county have helped many people learn new skills and become more comfortable with computers. Those are two skills that can’t be undervalued.
I have to admit something here. I have a soft spot for the North Park Library. There, I said it. The reason is this. I got my first professional librarian job at this library. I was fortunate to be part of the team that helped open the current location on Franconia Rd. It was a great experience and I’m happy to have been apart of it. I enjoyed working there and learned a lot about Henrico and libraries during that time.
Have you been to the North Park Library? Care to share any stories?