Tuesday, April 23, 2013

81a. St. Paul, Arlington Hills -- Revisit

Once again, the desire for a specific book had me revisiting a library. This one is a Carnegie gem, but the land is being cleared for a new building a few blocks away. The sign near the new building says that a community center will also be located there; these combined-use buildings definitely seem to be the future around here. I was assured that the Carnegie building will be put to use by some community organization; that's good.

I thought this was one of the few Carnegie libraries that had not succumbed to having an addition, but learned from the librarian that it does, in fact, have a small one, added to accommodate an elevator. It also houses an office that I could just peek at, enough to see an impressive collection of puppets.

A sign that was probably posted last summer, but I didn't record it then: "Please keep children and other valuables in sight at all times." I like the explicit sense that children are valuable.

The book I was after, and got, was Rain!, a brand-new title by Linda Ashman. I just read about it on Facebook, in a Children's Literature Network post. The kindergarten class I read to on Fridays is taking an "umbrella walk" every day this week, rain or shine, so I decided this would be a must-read. I am very fortunate in having many, many libraries, in several systems, within fairly easy reach by car or bus. When I really want a specific title, I can usually track it down!

Had to jump back in here with something I noticed about the library website; I assume this is true of all St. Paul branches. When I went to the "Locations and Hours" to refresh my memory of the exact location, I was able to link to Google Maps; very nice. But when I looked up the book I wanted and specified that I was looking for it at this branch, I got a map, driving directions, a link to customized directions from my location, AND (best of all, IMO) a link to the schedules of two bus routes that serve this location. That's service. That's good UX, in the current jargon.

Another addition, 4/24: This branch had a uniformed security person who was chatting with a patron as I entered. After I had roamed around, making notes, and peeked into the back where I found the elevator to the lower level and the office mentioned above, I headed for the service desk to pick up my reserved book--and there was security, seemingly keeping a very close eye on me. When I started chatting with the librarian, he drifted away; I guess he decided I was harmless. Good!

4/23/2013, car

This is the picture from last summer; the trees have not leafed out yet this spring, and there is still some snow on the ground from a 6" dump last night!

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Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.