Thursday, August 1, 2013

182. Viroqua, Wisconsin, McIntosh Memorial Library

This began life as a 1904 Carnegie library. Unfortunately, a 1970 remodel was not as graciously done as others I've seen, but the Carnegie features still come through in the windows, wooden shelves, and the fireplace. I learned today that in a week Viroqua will break ground on a new library...a reason for a future trip!

This is the first library where I have noticed convex mirrors mounted high on the walls to allow staff to keep an eye on the place from the service desk. Good idea. Another thing I've never seen before was a series of "lockers" behind the service desk, labeled alphabetically. I learned that these hold DVDs; patrons select a case, bring it up, and get the matching disc. Sounds awkward, but it would keep the DVDs from wandering.

There are at least four public computers and a variety of study tables. A Wisconsin area includes a four-drawer vertical file (Feel free to browse), and way up high I spotted a very old set of 12 card catalog drawers with unusually elaborate knobs for the rods that hold the cards in place.

The children's area is downstairs and is one of the most dynamic I've seen. [No, I can't really explain that. It just felt very energetic.] A group of thematic backpacks was familiar, but Science Kit Discovery Packs for older kids were new to me. They include topics like Early Structures, Rockets (with some additional goodies that don't fit in the packs), and Electricity. They have to be checked out by adults, and they looked like fun. I hope they are used a lot.

Large bright graphics decorate the walls between the windows. Brightly painted shutters are folded back from the windows. I noticed that this area is designated as the tornado shelter, and wonder if the shutters are closed for that purpose. That would make sense.

I spotted a sign that reads "If knowledge is power, libraries are power plants." Good one.

Both upstairs and down I chatted with friendly staff. One of them suggested that I visit Soldiers Grove Library, not far away, and told me a bit about the town. (See the next entry for how that went.)

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8/1/2013, car


1 comment:

  1. The new library is open. It is quite beautiful inside.


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