Today's trip was inspired by this library, which is written up in Main Street Public Libraries from the University of Iowa Press. The original building, a Carnegie now serving as the City Hall, is a few blocks down the street from current library.
[A maple theme pervades the town]
I have a variety of impressions of this library, all good but rather scattered. I like the display cases, which today house very well-crafted handmade vehicles like ox carts and covered wagons, complete with animals. An alcove that appeared at first to house reference materials also had a display of materials relevant to caregivers and a collection of medical and nutritional books; a nearby computer is "reserved for medical research," and apparently has access to special databases.
There are photographs of librarians from early days to more recent, and also a display of photos and brief biographies of local notables from the early 20th century to near the present.
A fireplace provides the focal point for a very nice "living room" area, with upholstered chairs, stone-topped tables, and homey touches. Art on the walls is available to borrow. Other things available to borrow--I saw these on the library website and now I've confirmed it with my own eyes--include folding tables, coffee urns, electric roasters similar to the one my mother used to have, and just about every size and shape of cake pan you could imagine, each in a hanging plastic bag!
A Youth Activity Room holds 4 round tables, 16 chairs, a couple of adult chairs, and a lot of easy readers and early chapter books. The sign made me think "teen," but the furnishings make it clear this is "early elementary." There is a clever bulletin board display with a paper tree and rake and small reproductions of children's book covers on paper leaves. The title is, of course, "Rake up a Good Book."
Story packs are in large zipper notebook binders. Some are labeled Chickasaw County Extension: Exploring Avenues for Getting Literate Early." It's nice to see the library and extension service collaborating.
A sign by the DVDs says that "Age 17 and up may check out R-rated movies. Younger borrowers must have a signed parent consent form."
A table in the entrance is used for patrons to drop off items to swap or give away: magazines, stationary, paperback books, and more.
Last but not at all least, this small town library has a children's program that has grown to 90 kids, from pre-K to grade 5, and their activities have had to move from the library, across the parking lot to the large meeting room at the police department! Clearly, this library is connecting with the new generation!