Wednesday, October 30, 2013

214. Centuria, Wisconsin Public Library, MORE

I set out on this gray, drizzly day to find a small cluster of libraries about 50 miles from home. My first stop was Centuria, WI, in a downtown storefront. The drizzle couldn't stand up to the bright yellow paint job on this small library! I received a friendly greeting as soon as I entered, explained my project, and wandered around. The children's area is a modest corner, but has a nice selection of books. In fact, I spotted two of interest that I've not seen before, and have requested them from the libraries I use, one from Hennepin County and one from St. Paul. Toward the end of my visit I chanced to look up at the ceiling and noticed that the plastic panel over the lights in the kids area is blue, with white clouds! Panels are available at big-box hardware stores, I was told.

The library has several computers and a scanner and printer. The book collection is small but the librarian tries to keep current with a clever system of dots on the spines. When she began here, patrons would sometimes comment on the lack of current books. So she placed a red dot on the spine of every book or AV material added to the collection that year. The next year it was a blue dot--each year a new color is used. These dots make it easy to shelve the new books together, shows patrons how much is being added, and aids in weeding. I mentioned this system at another library and the person I was speaking to thought it was quite a clever idea. So do I! [And of course, patrons have access to the entire collection of the MORE group of libraries in Wisconsin, and those further away through interlibrary loan.]

Favorite sign: "Cutting libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague," attributed to Eleanor Crumblehulme. I thought that name was a joke; it's not. Google her!

Although this library is one of the smallest I've visited, it has a lot to see. Go to and try the video tour; the area that looks like a dining room/kitchen in a private home is really there; it's used for literacy classes and other meetings!

10/30/2013, car


  1. Your travels to these libraries is enlightening! I think the media should cover your coverage of them. Indeed, Ms. Crumblehulme is right. We need libraries now more than ever!

    1. I don't know about that media stuff, LJ. I'm just having fun with various serendipitous experiences that come out of this, like one ongoing now involving my visit to Sioux Falls, SD, a volunteer at Minneapolis Central Library, the First Friday lectures at Andersen library at the U of M, and (potentially) a librarian at the Landscape Arboretum. I'm just having fun.


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