Thursday, January 17, 2013

144. ECRL North Branch

Before I even got past the lobby, I saw three signs that I like. First, "Library personnel are not authorized to give tax advice." For sure! Second, "Please turn off cell phones before entering the library." I wonder if anyone sees that, or complies? At any rate, it's direct, not like "please use cell phones responsibly". And the third, in the photo below, is one I wish could be posted where I work.

This library is a wide rectangle, like Chisago Lakes, but laid out with the fireplace straight ahead, on the long wall, which seemed very inviting. The visual impact was muted somewhat by having a computer and low-vision adaptive equipment in the foreground, but they are important, too. I saw a display of "Very Short, Very Stimulating, Introductions" from Oxford University Press. There must have been several dozen small paperbacks on all sorts of topics. I've never seen these before, and they intrigued me. I must see if they are available in MELSA, my home district.

The windows provided a natural view; there are houses, but they are quite far away. Single-person study tables are ranged along the windows. One corner has a large study table and a variety of comfortable-looking seating.

The tops of the shelves in the children's area are decorated with a variety of old books combined in different ways with small stuffed animals; these are very clever and attractive. Two spaces in the kids' area are defined by shelves, and each holds a table and four chairs. There is a long alcove with a low counter and three computers for kids to use.

A teen area has a couple of floor chairs and some upholstered chairs with armrests designed for writing or holding a laptop. There are six computers for adults in a row across from the information/circulation desk.

At this site, I discovered that there are four spacious unisex restrooms in the lobby, bright and clean with blue and gold tiles. I'll take a guess that the other libraries visited today have the same facilities. As one who visits libraries frequently, I applaud the presence of clean restrooms everywhere I go!


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