Wednesday, October 30, 2013

215. St. Croix Falls Public Library, St. Croix Falls, WI -- MORE

Now for something entirely different: the St. Croix Falls library is in a building that was once a grocery store! The conversion to a library has been artfully done, with many nods to the geological features in the area. The children's space is dominated by a large wooden "table," an irregular hexagon, one side against the wall and chairs along the edges. The table top has a "pit" that echoes the glacial potholes found here, though I doubt that the real potholes have cozy pillows. A large mosaic behind the service desk was a community art project, and reminds one of the St. Croix River. Thick, felted "banners" hanging from the ceiling to improve acoustics are designed to remind one of local rocks. This is all very cool, and it's clear that the staff is knowledgable about their special environment.

Other features of the children's area include book art projects using found objects and mounted on large sticks; these are visible from outside through the large windows and are very intriguing. Convex mirrors are mounted beside a metal section of wall provided with magnetic letters and pictures. A sensory table held dried beans, very small gourds of several types, and some plastic forceps; what a great chance to practice small-motor skills! When I was there, a rather small tiger was "helping" shelve picture books. The tiger turned out to be the child of a volunteer, and I suspect she had been there for a Halloween event earlier in the morning.

Shelving is angled in a way that makes the space seem intriguing, even a bit mysterious--what will I find if I go down here? The teen area has a computer with priority for AR tests and a sign that says "Keep calm and take an AR test." [Keep calm seems to be an important phrase here; I bought a T-shirt that says "Keep calm and carry a library card" that I'm looking forward to wearing to work this weekend.] Some origami projects that looked complicated to me were on various shelves in the teen area. There are also some nearly-round bowls make of papier mache (I think) holding small games and a set of magnetic words.

There are two small study or tutoring rooms each with a nice window to the outside. A broad upholstered bench looked like a nice place for a kid to curl up with a book.  An old upright L.C. Smith typewriter was on top of one shelf. The Friends have a sale shelf where I found a nice little pile of books that I bought for a quarter each, for Halloween treats. (No candy at my house.)

Finally, this is the first library I've found where patrons can check amphibian! They have several of the small critters in cages, thanks to a local "frog man." Two were in-house when I was there, though one was "on reserve" for a nearby branch of the MORE system. Amazing. Nice friendly staff, too, though I truly haven't met any of the other kind in my travels. If they exist, they must hide in the back room when I walk in.

For more about this library, go to  Also take a look at!/scflibrary!

10/30/2013, car

It's hard for a library to fill an entire grocery store; they share the space with a couple of dental practices and the St. Croix River Association.


  1. Thank you for the great post, Ellen! You're making us look really good!
    -Cole at the SCFPL

    1. Only because you ARE really good, Cole! I love the glacial pothole with the cushions!


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