Thursday, November 8, 2012

123. Great River, Little Falls

A nice day for a drive, so I decided to tackle the farthest-northwest branches of the Great River Regional Library, starting with a Carnegie Library in Little Falls. That's the location of the boyhood home of Charles Lindbergh, by the way.

Like the Carnegie library in Sauk Centre, this one has had an addition "wrapped around" the original building. It was done so artfully here that it took me a while to recognize that the stone and brick walls, with windows into the lower level children's area, were once part of the outside wall.

The library is on four levels. [The entrance is accessible, and there is an elevator.] The top floor houses a teen area that I hope gets a lot of use, because it is very cool. Some good teen programming must be going on, judging by a poster about a book club. From the photos and names it appears to be mostly, but not entirely, girls. There is also a display about the book club exchanging letters with a similar club in Scotland in 2011. The space has a diner booth and a number of tall tables with tall stools to match; one of those tables has a jigsaw puzzle in progress. The collection was modest, but of course patrons have access to the entire GRRL collection.

The next level down is also part of the original library, with a fireplace at each end. The tables and chairs look as if they may be originals (and that is a compliment, folks). The Lindbergh Room is available for quiet study or small meetings. There are periodicals and newspapers, and the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature for years 1990 to 2007, which I haven't spotted anywhere else. Perhaps I've missed it.

The main, entry level includes circulation and the adult collection. The adult fiction, non-fiction, and media sections seem to have been rearranged recently, and the signage hasn't quite caught up! Spanish books are available. There are couches, chairs, DVD and VHS movies, books on cassette, both checkers and chess sets ready to go on small tables, and another jigsaw puzzle in the works.

The lowest level is the children's area, just as it was in my childhood library. The space is half underground but is brightened by many windows at ground level. I like the small bright blue rugs with the "library" logo on them. The picture book area has books in bins, of course, and also puppets, a wooden train set on a table, and a play kitchen. There are couches for adults.

In the older kids' area I like the list of series available, with the shelves marked alphabetically. I know from experience that series books can be very challenging to shelve and maintain. And I especially like the sign on the non-fiction shelves, "If the book you want is not on the shelf, ask a staff person to request it for you." This would be very helpful since the GRRL collection floats.

11/8/2012, car

Original building to the left; the addition blends nicely.

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