TOWNSEND -- At the old library, three was a crowd. Three families in the children's library, that is. There were only a couple of chairs.
With so much more space to hold activities, former children's librarian and current director Stacy Schuttler is looking for ways to engage more people while they are in the building.
"Here we have plenty of room," she said.
The magazine area takes up the back of the adult library. The space is lit by a two-story high arched window. Comfortable chairs lure readers.
When considering ways to broaden the collection and serve the patrons, Schuttler hit on the idea of expanding the magazine collection. She was inspired while visiting a perennial readers' favorite location: Barnes & Noble.
Libraries always have the same few magazines like "People," "Rolling Stone" and "Vanity Fair," she said, comparing a typical collection to the magazines available at a supermarket checkout.
Townsend will offer "a little more eccentric" collection.
The expanded collection is a work in progress.
The staff reviewed magazines purchased at the book store. Schuttler asked patrons for their suggestions.
"We added about 30 magazines," she said.
"There's something for everyone," the director said. The selection of cooking, outdoor activities, literary, crafts, sports, film and music magazines have all been beefed up.
Children and teens also benefit from the expanded collection with age-specific additions.
"I was just trying things," Schuttler said.
The library will monitor magazine usage to see which ones are most popular and which ones are not, she said. The data will be used to tweak the collection.
Patrons can sit in the magazine area and read current issues. They can also take them to other areas of the library to read.
Perhaps some parents would like to look at magazines while their children use the play station in the children's room, Schuttler said.
Past issues of the periodicals can be checked out and taken home to read.
Each year the library is certified, it receives a state grant. The amount changes yearly, but was about $10,000 for fiscal 2012, Schuttler said. The library can use the funds as they need. In the past, it has been used for library supplies and to increase the collection. This year, it will fund the magazine purchases, she said.
The state grant is in addition to the funds from the town, about $171,000 for 2012, Schuttler said. The state grant is an important tool for the director as she builds the collection.
"Without that money, our book budget is pretty low," she said.