This is quite a large library, and seems fairly new. An alcove inside the front door is dedicated to local history; it seems to have a lot of material, compared to other libraries with similar collections. Right outside it were some books for sale, and some free periodicals--thanks for the two issues of Library Journal, I'll pass them along when I've read them.
The computer room is a long, narrow space with windows facing the children's area. I think there are about 12 computers here for adults. It looks like a nice arrangement.
Heading for the children's area, I first noticed a large column, about 3' in diameter, painted with numbers (both numerals and words in several languages) and animals, all the way to the ceiling. That drew my eyes up to a bright band of colors around the wall just below the ceiling, and a vaulted ceiling also painted in bright colors. Very nice! There are five computers for kids, and paperback series books are shelved in revolving racks. Some large plastic bins are labeled "China," "Food," and "Gardening I." I didn't peek.
The highlight of the children's space, for me, was a large windowed alcove lined with upholstered benches and "guarded" by two impressively large fabric dragons. I'm sure these colorful creatures are more effective at drawing kids in that at keeping them out. Signs indicated that the library hosts LEGO Fun on Thursdays for grades K-5. There were display cases with LEGO projects; I was sorry to see, based on the names, that they all seemed to be done by boys. No girls build with LEGOs in River Falls?
The Marita Hallquist Children's Program Room is a separate space with doors, handy when children's programs get loud--and they always do. Today, shortly after opening, it was hosting an adult craft program.
I particularly liked the signage; I could stand in the middle of the library and easily read large signs near the ceiling indicating where to find FICTION, LARGE PRINT, CIRCULATION, etc. Standing in the center like that, I felt that the library was very large and open; walking around, however, it seemed to be made up of many separate spaces.
The teen area features a photomural of a river with a falls (coincidence? I doubt it) and lots of foliage, plus a large live plant. There are upholstered chairs, windows, and a notice about a teen book club.
There is a large adult reading/browsing area with a curved wall of windows, more large plants, and good seating. A lot of the chairs and carrels have a classic oak look that would not be out of place in a Carnegie library. The metal bookshelves are softened by wooden ends, again with a classic look.
On my way out I saw some notices on a computer in the lobby. Here I learned that one can check out laptops for use in the library, recycle batteries and printer cartridges, try out a variety of e-readers, and print from anywhere at the library--then come in to pick up your print job. Nice service.
Not a library thing, but a town thing (and I've seen it a few other places): safety-orange flags available at intersections, so pedestrians can help themselves cross safely. Nice idea!