Thursday, June 20, 2013

84a.. Roosevelt Branch Library, Minneapolis--Real Visit

SOMETHING NEW: Here's a link to a fine article about this well-loved library:

I may have said in the past that I visited all of the MELSA libraries last summer. And in a sense, that was true. However, there was one that I could only admire from the sidewalk because it was closed for renovations. Today, I have truly completed by goal of visiting all of the libraries in the seven-county MELSA area.

This small library is nestled into a residential area, across the street from Roosevelt High School. The most interesting features architecturally are the window seats and corner posts around the outer walls, all with tile highlights. The corner posts are topped with lamps that I'm sure must be original, with glass shades. The lights hanging from the ceiling look original, too. I had the good fortune to be able to talk to the librarian about the renovations, and the first thing she mentioned was a no-longer-leaky skylight. They also downsized the service desk, moving some work functions to a back room, and put in main-floor restrooms. Some public art, a tile mural behind the service desk and some other tile features, will be installed later this summer. I hope to go back and see it in the fall.

The summer reading program has only been underway for a week or two, but already a three-ring binder of "Read-Write-Draw" pages is starting to fill. Picture books fill bins, with more on shelves beneath, a pretty standard practice, but the child-sized table shaped and colored like a leaf, with its four animal-themed chairs, is unusual and very nice. Beyond the chidlren's area to the rear of the building is a fairly large room with sliding glass doors, ready for children's programs or community meetings.

I like the metal signs that designate areas of the collection: Audiobooks, World Languages, Fiction, Nonfiction...  The World Languages available are Spanish and Somali. They have a classic look that fits well with the woodwork and tile.

The rest of the library has 12 public computers and several areas with tables and chairs for browsing and study. Teen novels, travel books, biography, and urban fiction have their own areas on the shelves.

I was intrigued to learn from the librarian that when Minneapolis was first laid out, the planners made sure that every home was within one mile of a public library. With urban expansion this has not been maintained, but it must be said that libraries are everywhere in this city.

Great WELCOME sign out front.

To learn more, go to or

To read and see more about the public art mosaics, try this article:

6/20/2013, bus, train, and walk

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