I think that the library should be filled with good things. Often libraries suffer because of budget cuts, staff cuts, and low circulation numbers. What pray tell should some of these good things be? Let's make this yet another one of my fantasy lists.
Objects endure. I am thinking that any good library should be equipped with a chandelier. Ambient lighting leads to reading, and reading leads to literacy. See how practical that is?
Leather club chairs. They are still found in several Gentlemen's clubs (not the lap dance kind) across London and Paris. They have been there since thier inceptions. Why not add these timeless objects to the library? Long term investments. The lovely fabric and particle board chairs that most libraries are equipped with stain, and become uncomfortable after just 10 years of use.
A fireplace. OK, mind you, we'll need a fabulous fire grate infront of it. The first library I ever worked at had one, in the mystery room. You have to admit, that is the prettiest library you've ever seen. It was filled with beautiful things. Including me.
Dark wood shelving. Its portable. Just read any Pottery Barn catalogue, you'll find the shelves I mean. They can be moved around, and in the long run, can be cost effective, compared to sagging metal shelving. Which is often avacado green.
Cute Gay librarians. Or fashionista lady librarians. No bunheads. Make the patrons feel like they've slipped into "something more comfortable". It'll be like a stay at the Savoy , minus the fluffy towels.
Why don't we also throw in tea in a silver service at 4 o'clock. With little sandwiches. The patrons eat in the library anyway, and G-d knows they drink (see mention of patron drinking a 40). Lets spice it up, and this will also pull patrons in, and help to increase our circ. numbers.
Of course all of this is coming from the guy who hopes to work at Sotheby's. Public libraries should be just as pretty. Even if it is fantastical. If budgets don't let us buy books for years at a time (my state is #2 in the country for funding-we still are waiting for our "best sellers" to come in), we might as well make the place they read the old books nice.
And last, just for the staff, a butler. I mean, we have a cleaning person, and security. Why not throw them in a different uniform? Pinstripe trousers are flattering on almost everyone, and so are Mourning coats.
Gorgeous libraries. They're a good thing.