Saturday, September 1, 2012

111. Great River Regional, Big Lake

This was a real two-fer: A train ride AND a library. On Saturdays, the NorthStar train and Big Lake's library hours combine to make a visit possible. I recommend the train ride, just for fun, but I'm glad there was no Twins or Vikings game today.

The library is in the noble tradition of store-front libraries, though larger than most of that ilk. The first thing I spotted was a display of "challenged books" decorated with yellow CAUTION tape. Nice job.

The kids' area seemed quite extensive in proportion to the entire space, and the emphasis on kids was also evident in the "Blue Ribbon Readers" essays displayed, and the "One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten" program, Sadly, I missed the culmination of the latter program by one day. It would have been fun to see.

There a study room, a large meeting room, tall tables with tall chairs, plenty of seating of various types, and a light, airy atmosphere although windows are limited in this space. I spotted six public computers and a couple for the library catalog. There must be an active Friends organization, because a silent auction was in progress on a large table near the entrance. All of the auction items I saw were bags of themed books.

Art includes a beautiful quilt on the wall, made by the Friends, and a miniature sculpture of the Swans public art displayed at the train station, a sculpture by a local artist.

Perhaps my favorite moment in the library, in addition to chatting with the branch assistant, Jenni, was listening to a child giving a tour of the children's area to a younger child: "And these are harder books, for bigger kids like me."

9/1/2012, bus, train, walk

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