Thursday, September 26, 2013

200. Redwood Falls Public Library, Redwood Falls, MN

Each library I've visited has something I have seen nowhere else. There are several "new" things here, and the first is a sign, "No sunflower seeds in the library." There is also a near-full-size Orca hanging from the ceiling in the kids area, and large cutouts of animals on a ledge over the exit. See the picture (when I get it posted) of the animals. I was told that they were made by a local artist for prom decorations! There is also a paper chain looped from the ceiling that begins over the Children's Librarian's desk and extends down to the Teen area--so far. Each link bears a patron's name, adults as well as kids, and the goal is to "see how far it will go." And then there is the artificial evergreen tree by the circulation desk. It must be at least 12 feet high and is decorated seasonally. Today, it was decked in a fall theme with lots of orange.

The children's area has a large window bay with a cushioned seat running the whole length. A science table is set up for the study of insects, especially cicadas. A "writing center" is designed like an adult office desk, with cubbyholes that hold writing and art supplies. The walls are decorated with nursery rhyme murals that line the window bay and continue around behind the librarian's desk. A sign reads "In order to promote responsible behavior, please have your child put materials they have been using away and straighten the area. We appreciate your cooperation. The Library Staff." I like this sign, and think every children's area should have some variation.

Teen Territory looks like a real living room, with a big window bay, chairs and sofa, a coffee table (with "coffee table" books); there are also a couple of study rooms and three "diner booths."

For the adults, a large curved window area at the corner of the building offers a pleasant place for browsing. There is some Spanish material and a collection of Native American books and art. There are two study rooms nearby, and a third reserved for genealogy work. A row of spinners holding paperback fiction separates the browsing area from the stacks. Star Trek and Star Wars books have their own shelves, as do Minnesota authors. There are about a dozen public computers. A sign reminds us to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.

On one table, a jigsaw puzzle was in progress, and there are many more puzzles, each in a hanging plastic bag, available for loan. Art may be borrowed, as can a revolving collection of cake pans shared with other libraries in the Plum Creek region. Cake pans seem to be the "in" thing these days--and I once thought they were only in Osage, IA!

For more information, go to

9/25/2013, car


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