Friday, August 17, 2012

97. St. Paul, Rondo Community Outreach Library

I have attended training sessions for Experience Corps literacy volunteers here, so I can vouch for the quality of meeting space. This is the first time I've walked through the whole library, however. One large room is called The Swamp, and is used for homework help during the school year. A table right outside this room is reserved for a MN Literacy Council tutor.

I like a poster that was headed "We immigrants want people to know..." I'd like to see that in more places. Nearby is a large world languages section; I saw books in Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, and Chinese. There may be others.

There are large collections of teen and adult fiction and non-fiction, periodicals, and a comfortable quiet reading area near the north windows. The reference desk is in this area, at the opposite end of the library from the circulation desk. It seems unusual to have this much separation--but that doesn't mean it isn't effective, of course. It puts the librarians near the books, not as close to the technology and meeting rooms, which makes sense.

The windowed northeast corner holds children's books for all ages, starting with three bins that look a bit like train cars. There are "big books" and a half-dozen or so dolls for creative play. I noticed that tables and chairs had a variety of sizes, to suit kids of many ages. A section of parenting books and brochures of various sorts is nearby. The library was busy enough that staff did not seem available to talk, so I did not ask "what should I be sure to mention?" Comments are welcome, as always.


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