Saturday, March 15, 2014

225. Hutchinson, MN, Library -- Pioneerland

I never would have suspected it, given the direction I approached from, but the original building is a Carnegie library. It has been remodeled in a way that reminds me of the Little Falls, MN, library. That is, the new portion has been wrapped around the original building, so that the "back wall" becomes a divider of sorts. It's hard to describe...you really should just drive out and take a look!

One enters on the main level of the new building. Downstairs are restrooms, a meeting room, and "archives." Upstairs is a large space that seems to be used mainly for periodical and paperback fiction browsing. There is a long narrow study space with three desks that overlook the new space below, and two small study spaces on the old "front" of the building, flanking the original entrance. Very creative use of small, unusual spaces. There is also a fireplace (very Carnegie), a quilt hanging over it (very Minnesota) and a grandfather clock (very New Hampshire). I was told that the clock came from the original library.

In the teen area I found some passive programming that was new to me. This is "Teen Tech Week" (March 9-15, 2014) and kids were invited to tackle two challenges. First, look at the cut-up pages of a book in a jar, and try to guess which of ten books pictured on a poster the pages were taken from. Second, a "Scrappenger Hunt." That took me a minute to decode, until mentally replacing "app" with a "v" made it clear. There were five tasks in this hunt, including "Liking" the library's Facebook page, tweeting a favorite book quote, and so forth. I assume there were prizes. There seemed to be a good number of entries.

Another neat bit of programming involves a paper with room for up to 12 books and authors and a five-star rating opportunity for each. Many completed papers (not all with 12, but some) were in a container on a shelf. It looked at a glance as if this was mainly for adults. Also, residents of Hutchinson are reading "Orphan Train," and a display showed children's books that tie in with the adult volume.

The children's area has a very nice, old-looking puppet theater, and a LARGE stuffed bear on the floor with a sign that says "Read to Me!"

Cell phones and book drops ... can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Here, signs point out that the book drop is locked when the library is open, and state plainly that the library is a quiet zone, to be enjoyed with your cell phone turned off.

For more information, see http://www.hutchinson.lib.mn.us/

3/15/14, car

The entrance hints at what you will see if you look from the "back" of the building.

Yes, it is a Carnegie library, looking out onto a town park.


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