I visited this library several times last summer; I heard Alexander McCall-Smith talk here and I got a gamecard for the adult summer reading program. But I spent very little time in the library, and didn't do it justice when I wrote about it. Today I hope to make up for that.
The library itself is part of a large community complex that includes an indoor park and a YMCA. The children's area is to the right as you enter, and is set off by the shelves of J fiction books. There are five carrels with computers for children, each equipped with a wooden "rocking" chair; the chairs don't exactly rock, but they have bases that allow several positions for restless kids. There are large windows to the outside and to the indoor park.
The Collector's Corner reminds me of Rice Street Library in St. Paul. There is a display case of interesting objects and a bulletin board with commercial posters plus pictures and reports by kids. A nearby space has an estimated 500 juvie audio books and 200 DVDs; I like that ratio! There are also book-and-CD sets, book club in a bag sets, and music CDs.
Each of the two AMH book returns has a shelf, about 8" x 30" in front of it; good idea!
I saw at least 22 public computers in the adult area, and large windows to the outside on every wall. There is a meeting room for up to 12 people (must be reserved) but I didn't notice any small study rooms. There is, however, a glassed-in Quiet Study Room with 10 tables.
The fiction shelves are shaped a bit like A-frames and have grayish ends; they are five shelves high.
Non-fiction shelves are straight,with blue, red, or yellow ends. They are seven shelves high, but the top shelves are not used (yet) and the bottom shelves hold over-sized books, lying flat. All non-fiction is shelved together: adult, youth, juvie, DVDs, and Reference. I asked about shelving reference with non-fiction, and learned that reference books seem to get much more use this way, with only a small increase in the number of patrons who try to check them out.
I ended my visit chatting with a librarian whose husband was born in the same small NH town as my Dad.
Well, no, I really ended my visit next door at the ice cream place. This library has the best location!
For more information, go to http://www.co.washington.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=467.