This library once shared a building with the City Hall, but it grew and took over the whole space...way to go, Pine City Library! The enjoyment starts outside, with a winding blue/green "river" and a Native American in a canoe; see the pictures below. This stone river has five poems printed in it. [Special connection here: I'm from St. Paul, where we have a six-year-old sidewalk poetry project, and I learned recently that when my neighborhood sidewalk is replaced this week, a poem will be printed in the concrete in front of my house.] Here are two of the Pine City poems, and you can see a third one in a picture below.
You might just be / Passing by, / But stop. / Take a moment / And look around. / What you seek / May be just beneath / Your feet. Keziah Lakedon
Days flutter past like / the pages of an open / book read by the wind. Angela Foster
OK, let's head inside. There are eight public computers, a printer/copier, a teen corner with shelves of fiction and a tall table with a couple of chairs. Teens must like these, because they are everywhere.
A Used Book Room houses books for sale and a comfortable chair. The books are orderly, with the shelves clearly labeled. A sign says "Breastfeeding mother welcome." I haven't seen that at any other library. [But I have seen a couple where 'emergency' diapers are available from the librarian!]
A periodical browsing area has a large fireplace with a glass-fronted display case on each side. Over the fireplace is a very large copper nugget found nearby in some past time.
More than 50 volumes of the Great Ideas Synoptecon grace the non-fiction shelves, all in identical bindings, and all classified 808.8, even Adam Smith and Freud.
There are two special wooden wall racks to display quilts, with two attractive quilts displayed. At least outside of the Metro area, almost every library has at least one quilt. [In New Hampshire, it's grandfather clocks, for some reason.]
By the children's area, a door leads to a fenced reading patio with a number of outdoor chairs. A plaque says that "A significant portion of the new library was gifted by Henny Boo Hudson's husband and children" and she was "a lifelong friend of children, books, and libraries."
As a former dollhouse builder, I enjoyed seeing the handmade log cabin with furniture and dolls. Bins of picture books are enhanced by tall wooden figures of a frog, turtle, raccoon, and loon with baby. A "Little Tikes" desk with a computer was donated by 3M. There is a sturdy wooden rocking chair and two tables of different heights, with chairs to match round out the children's area.
Artistic touches abound here, and the last I noted was a series of tiles mounted on the front of the service desk, showing a dragonfly and other figures, with the names in English and a Native language.
For more information, go to http://ecrl.lib.mn.us/pinecity.html.