I entered directly from the parking lot, but there is also an entrance through the attached community center. There is a magazine and paperback exchange, but if you have items to donate, "Please visit the circulation desk." A sign by the courtesy phone asks you to limit calls to 2 minutes.
The children's area has a window wall that overlooks a park and playground. There is a "playpen" made of plastic panels to confine the smallest crawlers. The only other place I've seen something like that was a very small library in a suburb west of Minneapolis. It seems to me a useful solution to a wiggly child with an adult who would like to select books--in the immediate area, of course!
Two "Little Tykes" computers have seats wide enough for two children each. Parents are asked to "Please supervise your child at the computer. Feel free to pull up a chair." Four regular computers are available for school age kids and there is a restroom in the children's area, always a good idea.
I was distracted from my look-around by two amusing signs outside the children's librarian's office:
"Everything in moderation. Except awesome. You can never have too much awesome."
"I'm going to stand outside, so if anyone asks, I'm outstanding."
I'm sorry I didn't meet the person who posted those signs.
One thing I totally meant to ask about, and forgot: The children's area has "Junior Fiction" shelves, and "Juvenile Non-Fiction." I wonder why the distinction between Junior and Juvenile. Perhaps someone reading this will comment and let me know.
The window wall extends beyond the children's area into teen territory, where there are the largest beanbag chairs/couches I have ever seen. No teens, however, just a mom reading to a toddler on one of the beanbags.
At some point I noticed the large stone columns throughout the library and had the sense to look up, fortunately. I would hate to have missed the wooden beams overhead with their blue ironwork. Gorgeous! The library was built, I believe, in 1998, after a devastating tornado tore through St. Peter.
This was my sixth stop of the day, so I haven't done the adult area justice. The window wall continues here. There is a nice "living room" area by a handsome fireplace. There is a grandfather clock, which I mentioned to a staffer. She told me that the loud chiming of that clock is very effective at reminding patrons of closing time! The adult area also has a large, soothing fish tank. Finally, I spotted a clever display titled "Red" any good books lately? The books on the shelves below all had red covers, of course.
For more about this library, go to http://www.saintpetermn.gov/library/