Six tables in the middle of the library were standing ready for the homework crowd, and they started to arrive while I was there. In the meantime, a man and a young girl had a chess game set up on one table. Ten public computers were mostly busy, with some adults and some kids. In the children's area, a middle-school boy was working out some ideas with a board and gears designed for younger children but serving his needs at that point.
A very large poster, perhaps 4' x 8', made of paper and felt, graced the children's area with the message "Dive Into School." The children's area is brightened by a large bow window with a long padded window seat. A small bookshelf held J and YT series books. This reminded me that last summer it was at a Washington County library that I had a discussion about the YT designation. I like it, since so many Y or YA books seem very grown up. [OK, I went back to the comment about YT; last August, someone from Oakdale told me that it was a designation no longer used. Really?]
All non-fiction is shelved together here. I like this approach in general, but today I saw a couple of books that seemed to be borderline E or J; that is, they were appropriately marked J, but they seemed quite young. That made me wonder whether younger kids are sometimes missing the non-fiction they would enjoy. This libary appears to have the sort of staff that would deal skillfully with such a situation--so long as the child's need was known.
Meetings can be held in a quiet study room that seemed well-designed to use a long, triangular space; a conference room for up to 10 people, and a meeting room off the lobby for up to 90.
This is one of the quietest libraries I've been in!
For more information about this library, go to http://www.co.washington.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=467.
I'll go back for a new picture next spring, when the grass is in.