Interesting lobby with the entrance to a Community Room, coat racks, a couple of benches for waiting, putting on boots, what have you, and a Lions' collection box for eyeglasses. Outside, a bikerack shaped like a bike--cool.
The adult area has 10 computers, a public fax machine ($2 for the first page, $1 each for additional pages), two readers for microfilm/fiche, a cabinet with, among other things, newspapers back to 1846 on microfilm. There seems to be a lively interest in history and genealogy across the UP.
Media includes both VHS and DVD. A gorgeous quilt on the wall is the "EUP Peace Quilt." I'll take a guess that EUP stands for Eastern Upper Peninsula; if I'm wrong, I hope someone will leave a comment to correct me. Please. I like the quotation displayed with the quilt: "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way."
There are dozens of puzzles and a shelf of paperback books that are not marked on the spine. They puzzled me until I saw paperbacks in the fiction collection with a sign reminding patrons that "These books must be checked out." In the genre collections, the number of mysteries and romances didn't surprise me, but the fact that there are as many westerns as romances blew me away! I must have missed the sci-fi collection; there surely is one. There are a lot of audio books on CD, large-print books, and a good-sized non-fiction section. This is another library that shelves oversized non-fiction flat on the bottom shelves. Good idea!
A sizable area for browsing and study has large windows that look out on a park-like area. Very nice.
The teen area has a number of the small, low, round chairs that I started seeing early in this trip. The advantage I see is that they will make the area definitely for teens: teens can get in and out of these low chairs; most adults wouldn't even try.
A yellow dot on the spine of a book indicates that it is a new book and circulates for three weeks. A red dot indicates a best-seller, one week only.
The children's area houses a delightful miscellany. The tops of shelves are used for storage (floor chairs) and display (a prize-winning doll from 1993--happy 20th anniversay to the doll--and a LEGO construction). There is a large section of biographies, a bench with hooks for outerwear, a changing table. Four round tables with 24 brightly colored chairs made me wonder if school classes come here.
The pre-school crowd has a bright area with a large window and many toys. Sign: "Did you remember to pick up the toys?" A wonderful semi-circular amphitheater with a mural and a storyteller's chair is a great place to host programs. One program I saw described is the Brown Bag Family Book Club for kids ages eight through 12, each with an adult. Participants bring a sandwich; the library provides fruit, veggies, and a beverage. The summer reading program started today, and judging from the name cards posted on the amphitheater walls, at least 80 kids have already signed up. That's great!
There are three computers for kids, and a fourth that is labeled "Sorry, there are no games on this computer. This is the card catalog. Look it up here!" An adjacent sign explains three levels of availability: the local library, UPCat (Upper Peninsula Catalog) and MeLCat (Michigan Electronic Library Catalog. It seems to me that explaining it clearly like this empowers patrons in their searches.
Finally, I like the large full-color poster showing a local middle school teacher exhorting the viewer to READ. It's from 2009--I hope she's still teaching, because someone who is willing to be on a poster is probably dynamite in the classroom.
For more information, go to http://www.uproc.lib.mi.us/bpl/.