CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Some are reading, others are online- but everyone at one Chesterfield library is inside to beat the heat. And since the county doesn't offer cooling shelters, this is a popular place for free air conditioning.
In the dead of summer people are drawn to cool relief. This is no mirage. It's a library.
"It feels like a furnace outside," said Marcel Ficklin. He has no qualms about parking it inside on a sunny day.
"It's blistering outside. I just want to stay cool and work on this paper because I don't feel like sweating," he said.
Patria McGuire doesn't want to sweat or worry about her pair of grandkids.
"It's a danger because they can't really tell you when they're hot," said McGuire. "They don't really understand it. And they will run around a lot more and get heat exhaustion a lot faster."
So like one of their favorite stories: it's too hot for the park, too hot for the pool, but a seat here is just right.
"We really wanted to get out so we decided to go to the library- read some great books, interact with some children- and beat the heat," said McGuire.
The Chesterfield library system has cut its hours of operation at all 9 locations due to budget cuts. It's hard to tell if it's the changes or the heat that's drawing a crowd.
"What we do know is that there has been an increase on the Thursdays at Central, probably about a couple hundred people on each of the Thursdays," said Carolyn Sears, spokesperson for Chesterfield libraries. She says you don't even need a membership card to sit and read a book. If you do want a card, signing up is free.
"I don't want to go outside. So I wouldn't expect anyone else would," said Sears.
In this heat Patria says only vehicles should sunbathe, everyone else should grab a book and wait for the sun to set.
"Stay in the air conditioning!" McGuire said.
Snacks and covered beverages are allowed and most days there is a line of people waiting for the doors to open.
Hours of Operation:
- Monday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Tuesday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Wednesday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Thursday CLOSED ** except for Central Library location
- Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Sunday CLOSED