A nice touch that caught my eye as I entered the lobby is a courtesy phone "for local calls only."
There's a browsing area by the windows, with comfortable-looking chairs and a collection of newspapers and periodicals. The adult fiction books are on the first floor. There is a history corner with a microfilm reader, a wooden card catalog file (but with larger drawers) with a newspaper index, drawers of newspapers on microfilm, and a collection of local history, some in a locked bookcase. (Key available from staff.)
On the wall on the way up the stairs is a "wreath" made partly of book pages with a sign "The gift of reading lasts forever." Two gerbils live upstairs in the children's area; I saw one of them, briefly. The teen area has two set-ups for video games; this is the only place where I've seen video games in use at a library, except for a couple of branches in Ramsey County. Young teens were using laptops; it looked as if these might belong to the library; perhaps the kids can check them out to use there?
The adult non-fiction collection is upstairs. The shelves are painted a cheerful yellow and have woodgrain ends; the result is very light and bright--I like it!
At the other end of the upper space is the children's are. A small boombox was playing children's music softly. One area had a poster on the wall that said simply "Storytime," surrounded by eleven smaller signs telling the skills that are developed by listening to stories. There are also a play house, a "workbench" with tools, toy kitchen, play store, some dress-up clothes, and manipulatives of various sorts mounted on the wall. One shelf holds parenting books, another has children's books in Spanish. (There are also some Spanish books elsewhere for adults.)
I like the sign beside the elevator that asks patrons to "Save energy, use the stairs if possible."
Back downstairs, I visited the "Back Alley Bookstore" run by the friends. It's about the size of the store at Maplewood in Ramsey County. In addition to books for sale, it offers jigsaw swaps and free magazines.
When I was on the corner waiting to cross the street back to my car, I saw a window display about plans for a new or renovated library. There was a picture showing a Carnegie library that was in use until 1978. I didn't see the building as I drove out of town; I wish I had gone back in and asked about it.