This is a storefront library, and it's much larger than I guessed from the outside. I learned that the library moved here last June from a smaller space, and part of the open feeling is that the old shelves and other furniture are now spread out.
The welcome starts right inside the door, where the Friends of the Library have a magazine exchange, with a small table and two chairs. A table in the very center of the space appeared to have materials for a kids' art project, but there were no kids; I was there during school hours, which happens all too often.
There is a pleasant browsing area near the windows with chairs, newspapers, biographies, periodicals, and new books. A teen area has a computer just for teens (there are also computers for adults), a world map, a chess board set up ready to go, and a selection of books including graphic novels and manga.
A very large animal-themed quilt hangs by the children's area; in front of it is a row of kid-sized chairs, each with a storybook character doll (Raggedy Ann, for example)sitting on it. There is also a kid-sized rocker, and I saw a bin of Spanish books that appeared to be all or mostly for kids.
After making the rounds, I met the librarian, who spotted me as "the blogger." She had the blog on her Favorites list--what a treat for me! We talked about different branches I've visited, and I was surprised at how many MELSA libraries she's worked at. I learned that one unusual thing about Clearwater is that it's financially supported by six surrounding towns. Over and over I see these examples of how much libraries are valued. Another sign of the value placed on the Clearwater library (or, I should say, the Stickney Crossing Library) is the beautiful eye-catching quilt behind the circulation desk. Fantastic!
I like maps, and Clearwater has five globes, two large "in memory of" floor models, two that live on top of the shelves, and one that has a handle added to the top, in order to serve as a treasure box for the summer reading program. What a great idea!
Before I left, a first: the librarian took MY picture standing outside HER library. An honor!