Friday, August 24, 2012

106. Hennepin County, Brooklyn Park Library

This building is large and light, but apparently older than it seems, as there is to be a replacement in a few years. It's very busy, so I'm sure the replacement is justified.

In the kids' area, I saw three "little kids" computers, all being used by young girls, and six "kids" computers, with three pre-teens busy at them. There is a security person who walks through casually and obviously knows all these boys by name; that's nice. The children's librarian says that she, too, knows many of the children by name and something about them. Many children come to the library unaccompanied from nearby apartments.

The children's area has a long mural that was commissioned by the Friends of the Library after a competition among local artists. It features polar bears, pears, building blocks, and whimsy--the librarian says that it's at least partially based on toys the artist had as a child. At any rate, it's very attractive and amusing. Many Read Write Draw papers from this summer's Bookawocky program are posted, with the child's name in a large, colored font. A stack of sticky notes next to a "postal box" invites kids to write the title of their favorite book on a note and put it in the slot; completed notes have been posted nearby.

Moving away from the kids' area, there is a quiet study room with eight carrels, about 20 public computers and 12 teen computers, most in use mid-afternoon.

The librarians told me that this is an "all-purpose service center" where they answer every kind of question: about school, civic issues, just about anything. This speaks well for the staff and the atmosphere created, because there are civic buildings close by. It must be that people have learned that the library is the comfortable place to come for answers.

8/24/12, bus


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