Saturday, September 15, 2012

115. Hudson, WI (MORE Group)

One of the few two-story libraries in my travels so far, Hudson Area Joint Library has a prime location by the river. The first floor has a lobby seating area designated a quiet area, with a sign indicating just what that means (occasional quiet conversation, no cell phones, etc.). There is a small piano or keyboard. Also on the first floor are the computer area, some study rooms, the service counter, and a pop vending machine.

Stairs or an elevator go to the second floor. The stairs are broad, with low rise, very easy to ascend. Upstairs there are two information desks, one in the children's area, one in adults; only the children's was staffed, and a sign on the adult desk directed one there. There is an inviting teen area with funky seating--but no teens on this nice Saturday afternoon.

The Friends' bookstore is large and very well organized. They stock some magazines and have a rack of greeting cards. From the prices on the cards, I'm guessing they've been donated. If so, I applaud this as a way to clear out the cards one buys and never sends, and also make a few extra bucks. There are also some free books, and down a short hallway is a volunteers' workroom and a shelf for donations. I like the idea of a specific place for donations, though a staff person told me that they do still get donations in the book drop--along with those volumes that might be donations or might be books picked up by mistake when collecting the library books at home. A chronic problem in libraries!

Lots of windows look toward the river, a view that is largely screened by leafy trees now. I spotted a small reading porch with just room for a couple of Adirondak-style chairs; very cozy. There are a number of small meeting rooms with policies posted on the door (no money-making activities, like tutoring for pay, for example), and one large oval meeting room.

The entrance to the children's area is dominated by a tall model of the Eiffel tower made of craft sticks, and another made of Legos. There is a reading are with rocking chairs along the west-facing window wall, and a small room for little kids. Another wall has a series of small rooms. The first is for magazines, with at least 13 titles and a couple of beanbag chairs for comfy browsing. The next is for parents or teachers and has a collection of books on special-needs kids, especially those on the autism spectrum. It included a corrugated-cardboard "b-calm" box for "peace within the noise." This seems to be a commercial product, but not one I'm familiar with. (A non-commercial version, 3x3x3 feet with a door and window, painted on the outside to look like a playhouse, is in the main children's area.) A third room is for games, and has a collection of board games and puzzles and a table with a chess/checkers board built in. It also houses many books on cassettes.

There is a history display with booklets for sale. And of course there is a nice walking path along the river, where a father-son team directed me to a fine ice cream place. Great visit.

9/15/12, car

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