When I visited last year, I never got to the top floor where non-fiction is shelved. This year I determined through the on-line catalog that a book I wanted was there, so I started at the top.
Most of the floor, especially the west wall, is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. From this level, you can actually see a long way to a tree-filled horizon, rare in an urban library. [Of course, the foreground is mostly parking lot and a large Target store--raise your eyes!]
There are many computers, plus tables for two or four, some with outlets for laptops. In addition to the extensive non-fiction stacks there is a very large reference section, quiet study rooms, and both circulating and reference periodicals. This is the first library where I've noticed bound back issues of some periodicals, though I'm sure St. Paul Central and Minneapolis Central must have them. This area includes paper editions of the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature through 2009 and the New York Times Index through 2004. The only other place I recall seeing these was LaCrosse, Wisconsin, though again I expect that St. Paul and Minneapolis have them.
Signs near a computer with special law software reminds users that "Print jobs must be picked up at least 15 minutes before library closes" and "Printing stops at 9 PM M-Th, 5 PM` Fri, Sat, Sun." Since these are the closing hours for the library, I'm not sure how a patron who can print until 9 pm, say, can pick up a print job "15 minutes before closing." Unless a print job is something someone else does for you? Perhaps someone will comment and clarify. Someone from the large Information and Services Desk, possibly?
A "living room" area near the elevators and top of the stairs provides comfortable and attractive seating for those browsing the newspaper and graphic novels.
Moving down to the lower level...I dealt mostly with the children's area last year, so I'll just make a few comments now. A number of large and small figures hang from the ceiling, providing an underwater ambience which is enhanced by a large mural with 3-D figures on one wall. As on the level above, the walls have many large windows. There are at least seven computers for kids. Central areas between Children and Teens have signs indicating that they are for "Kids and Families" or "Teens and families" after 3 PM and on weekends. I was there at 2:45 and noticed several unaccompanied adults using these areas; I almost wanted to stick around and see if they moved at 3 o'clock.
There were a number of teens in the teen area, and when I walked through, more or less by accident, I got some looks; the old lady didn't belong there!
This level houses the adult fiction collection. A living room-type area is near the world language corner, which holds books, DVDs, and periodicals for all ages in Spanish, Russian, Chinese, French, Somali, and Vietnamese. I even saw copies of the Harvard Business Review in Chinese!
Book returns on the first floor are labeled for books, media, and "children's and YA" books.
7/19/2013, bus and a bit of walking
Sorry, no new picture