Saturday, November 10, 2012

127. Southeast Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) Owatonna, MN

It took me a while to grasp that the whole first floor of this library is the kids' area! There are many windows, a dollhouse, puzzles, lots and lots of books, a large parenting collection, and at least 10 computers for kids. About half of the space can be closed with folding doors to create a large program space. How large? Well, there is ample room for eight tables, each with four chairs--room enough for an entire class from the nearby elementary school. In addition to children's programs, this space is used for movies; coming up soon: Auntie Mame. [I think that came out when I was in college!]

There are story bags with books and audio and lots of recorded books. Near the entrance is a glass case that today had a nifty display of animal books and many small animal figures, grouped near each book.

I thought this was a Carnegie library, because of the beautiful fireplaces, classic oak tables and chairs, and large windows. However, a plaque in the entranceway says "In memory of Elisha Y and Elizabeth C Hunewill whose generosity made possible the founding of this free public library." [And I just discovered that it is not listed in Carnegie Libraries of Minnesota.]A nearby plaque states that modernization in 1954 was made possible by the Gainey Foundation. It clearly has been modernized again since then, with the addition of the new part. There are many old photographs indicating pride and interest in the history of the building and the area.

The newer part upstairs, above the children's area, has windows on three sides, some oak carrels, a good-sized collection of fiction and non-fiction (in addition to  mysteries and "Christian fiction" in the older area), about a dozen public computers, a reference collection, many large-print books, audio books, and DVDs, including Blue Ray DVDs, which I have not noticed at any other library I've visited.

I registered my St. Paul library card in the SELCO system, but did not take out a book as I don't know when I'll get back down this way.

11/10/12, car





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