Tuesday, July 16, 2019

507 Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, Mansfield, OH

I started my 8th annual drive from Minnesota to New Hampshire a bit differently from earlier trips. I started on Sunday by driving right through Chicago on the big, scary highways! Not so bad as I'd imagined, but I'm glad it was Sunday traffic. I stayed in Michigan City, which is not in Michigan, and in the morning drove right across Indiana, to Mansfield, Ohio, where I found an inland library with an ocean theme.


My first clue to the nautical theme was this model of the Cutty Sark, perched safely above the tall periodical shelves.

The periodical collection is extensive, and this picture only hints at the cluster of chairs that invite patrons to sit and browse.

In the adult collection, fiction is shelved on stacks and non-fiction along the wall.  Those books on the end cap with yellow notes sticking out are "Customer Picks," a nice way to encourage folks to share book "likes" with each other. In the non-fiction collection I found a small sign on the shelf near the medical books:
Find the Medical Information
You Need
with your library card.
(for details, check with staff)

I once saw a similar sign directing people to online car repair manuals, but this was the first for medical information. Good idea!

DVDs are shelved at the end of the fiction collection, at the far right in the picture. Music CDs are in bins beneath a flexible panel that allows the display of books and posters. The magazines in the circular rack are the current, non-circulating issues.

A reading and studying area with round tables and Windsor chairs is a pleasant departure from the rectangular lines of many libraries.

The catalog computer is adjacent to the adult stacks, right where it is most needed.

I liked this poster, with words of Thomas Jefferson that I don't recall ever seeing before. My Dad was always able to find four-leaf clovers--and he certainly worked hard. It's a good combination. (I was no good at finding four-leaf clovers, but he showed me how to peel one leaf from a three-leaf clover and hold it together with a second three-leaf clover so it looked as if it had four leaves. Hard work, luck, and a little sleight of hand!)

I believe there are six computers here for patron use. It's fun and a bit of a surprise to see the red screens, not the familiar blue!

Now we move into the children's area. The summer reading theme is A Universe of Stories. As you can see from the display, the universe here goes beyond stories.

This area has a sign indicating that it is a family area for play and books. The possibilities are extensive. Behind that shelf on the right is an area for kids that I can't show you for the best possible reason--because it was occupied by kids. I could share it if I had audio, because two or three little girls were engaging in very vocal creative play. It was a great example of cooperation, elaboration, and adaptation as they built on their story line. Fun to listen to, hard to share.

After the model ship that I noticed right away, I saw other examples of ocean influences, and they really shone in the children's area. Notice the rug, for example. And the two pillars, one painted as a lighthouse, the other with an under-sea scene with an Orca.


A mural above the picture book shelves continues the ocean theme, and other bookshelves held a collection of large aquatic stuffed animals.

A third column was unpainted but was circled with nice foam seating, which was in use on the far right. I was thinking "don't move, don't move" as I worked to find an angle so I could show this. (In libraries, I get permission for pictures so long as NO people are in the pictures.)

As I was preparing to leave, I asked about the nautical theme in such an inland library. Well, a recent former Library Director was very partial to the ocean, particularly the Cape Cod area. Over his years at the library, he evolved the theme. And he very thoughtfully left so much behind.