It's difficult to follow a large regional library with a small community branch, but Waite Park is clearly a special space. It definitely fits "good things come in small packages" and "don't judge a book by its cover." Several walls have large, attractive murals. Chairs and a table in the children's area are painted with images from well-known children's books. This area is well-stocked and includes a wooden train set and a small kitchen play set to help little ones feel at home and use their imaginations. There is a display of leaflets encouraging parents to help children develop early literacy skills. All picture books and J books are on shelves (not in bins) and signs that stick out from the shelves help young patrons find their way through the selection. A small area of books for teens is marked by a vinyl record (a 78?!) and a few inflated plastic guitars hanging from the ceiling.
The adult area is down a few steps (a wheelchair lift is available) and has a pleasant browsing area. The AV selection has a sign indicating that there have been recent thefts, prompting surveillance, an unfortunate but common situation these days. I thought it refreshing that the sign comes right out and mentions the thefts, rather than simply saying "surveillance cameras are in use" or something like that.
I was intrigued by an array of many glazed clay bowls, all different, on the tops of shelves. To learn what these are about, go to www.MeyerFarmProject.com, as I did. It's very interesting and a very worthy cause. I am guessing that "bouja" is the local version of what is spelled "booya" in St. Paul.