Saturday, September 15, 2012

113. New Richmond, WI (MORE group)

You have to love a library that greets you with a display of jokes, comics, and humor books marking "National Smile Month." The building has a number of discrete areas that sort of radiate from the center. The first has plenty of windows, with upholstered chairs and tables with wheeled chairs. This appeared to be a browsing area, with large-print books. A passageway to the teen and children's area passes the restrooms and a windowed workroom for library staff; I like it when patrons can see staff at work! There is also a display of historic photographs, another sign that libraries are often repositories of town history.

The teen area is small but has a bright neon sign to identify it, a slight sense of privacy, soft chairs, and some tall chairs at a counter. It even had a teen patron on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

In the children's area I saw a "book fortune teller"--a jar with tongue-depressor sticks, each with a Dewey number. The challenge: pick a stick and choose a book with that number. That would be an easy idea for any library to copy. Two long tables with benches and a sort-of-round table with scooped-out bits (I wish I could sketch in here!) provided some unusual seating. I could imagine a school group or program group using either of these effectively. In addition to the J collection, there are shelves of picture books, bins of board books, and a toy area with dinosaur figures.

Another area has a copy-print-fax station, at least 7 public computers that were being well-used, and Wii games. I think this is the first place outside of Ramsey County that I've seen computer games available, though I may not have noticed them at other sites.

The final area was the stacks, which included some "classic" aisles of books with glass-brick walls at the end.

There's a nice park outside the library, with a ... thing ... that wasn't explained. It seems to have eyes. See second picture.

9/15/12, car

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