Friday, October 19, 2012

120. Great River, Paynesville

When I entered, I first saw the YA "den," with beaded strings hanging in front of a window, a couch, and a boom box with headphones, as well as books. It looked very teen-friendly.

There are US and world maps on the wall, which I always like to see. I also noted that biographies have their own section. Classification is DDS and 920 is "collective biography," but the true biographies are at the end of the 900s, labeled "B". I think there are many biography fans who appreciate this practice.

The reference section includes several old volumes of Stearns County history, and there are about five public computers.

When I got to the children's side of the space, I was surprised to see a large "log cabin" as the central element--see the picture. I talked to the staff person about it and learned that she and her husband built it for another purpose, then brought it to the library "temporarily." Of course, children love it so much, it has to stay! She said that they find books and head straight to it to settle in and read.

I also learned that this relatively small branch has a large circulation. On any given day, they receive 150-300 items to fill patron requests. The whole collection "floats"--that is, items "live" where they are returned, unless collections get severely out of balance. I don't recall whether this was the entire Great River system, or a sub-system; perhaps someone reading this will add a clarifying comment. The advantage of this practice is that patrons coming here do not always find the same titles by Patterson or Grisham, for example.

There is art on the walls that changes monthly, and a magazine exchange in the lobby, a nice practice for smaller libraries.

Off the subject of libraries somewhat, but a reflection of Paynesville: I walked around the main street a bit before getting back in the car, and in the window of the local newspaper a saw a poster titled "Kid Kindness." It was about a project (perhaps on-going?) in which kids prepare "birthday bags" (cake and frosting mix and candles, for food shelf patrons) and "snack bags" (five nutritious snacks, one week's worth, for lower-grade kids who otherwise would not have a snack at school. Hooray for the kids of Paynesville who do this!

10/19/2012, car


  1. Ellen: GRRL has a floating collection system-wide. Branches may house some items of local interest that do not float, such as local histories. GRRL uses collectionHQ to manage its collection.
    John Pepper, Communications and Fund Development
    Great River Regional Library

    1. I was talking to co-workers today and told them about GRRL's collection being (almost) totally floating. A question came up: We recently had a recorded book disk come in--"Oops, we found this after we returned the case." (Right, somebody didn't check carefully. It happens.) Our talking books float, and I guess folks are having a hard time locating the case from which the disk is missing. As it happens, the patron can't remember which of several branches the case was returned to. Do you have problems like this? If so, how to you solve them? If not, how do you prevent them?

    2. Ellen: Of course, we have procedures. We check to ensure all discs are present at check-in and at check-out. At check-in, we know who had the item so we can track down missing parts. At check-out, we would intercept the item so a missing part could be replaced or, if necessary, the item could be withdrawn. We are diligent, but if something slips through the cracks, we have a designated staff person who is responsible for all missing parts. A case without a disc will end up at her desk, as will a disc without a case. She's good at putting things together.

    3. That sounds a lot like our system, John. I may seem a bit defensive because it seems as if we have more slipping through the cracks than we should. RFID and AMH may have made us a bit complacent!

  2. Thanks for the clarification, John. I was talking to my manager at Shoreview (Ramsey County) yesterday, about the floating collection. Ramsey County "floats" talking books and large print books, but the rest of the collections stay put.

    By the way, I've really enjoyed the people and facilities at all of the GRRL branches I've visited so far, as I hope you can tell. I'll keep working away at them during the coming months.



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Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.