Friday, April 25, 2014

234. Delano, MN Great River Regional Library System

In the lobby, a granite plaque is "Dedicated to all who donated energy and resources to this community project. Delano Public Library, May 2004." So, happy 10th anniversary next month!

If you've been reading the blog, you know that I like "living room" reading areas, and Delano's Char Iten Reading Room is a very nice example...see picture below. Comfy seating and a nice view make me want to sit down and read for a while, instead of keeping on with my visit.

Beyond the reading room is the children's area. Here, the special feature is a mural that wraps around the entire space up at the ceiling. This mural was designed and painted by a Girl Scout as part of her Gold Award project. It shows characters and scenes from many children's classics. In order to avoid copyright problems, she painted each of them from memory. The characters can be recognized, but they have not been copied. She also raised $1000 for books, from classic bake sales and proposals she wrote to various organizations. I'd say that hers was a Gold Award well earned!

The "wall" separating the children's area from the rest of the library is a long s-curve of bookshelves, with computer carrels for adults on the other side. This struck me as a very clever use of space, and the curve creates visual interest.

A couple of "passive programming" activities were blank cards to decorate for "Mother's Day, a birthday, or just to say Hello" and a clever "bookworm" to make from a strip of felt and a few pop can tabs.

All of this is wonderful, but I think my favorite feature here, and perhaps my favorite Teen area yet, is The Vault. This is a corner room with a study table, upholstered chairs, books and magazines, a bulletin board and the safe of this former bank! I understand that some parents have hinted that the vault door has some interesting possibilities!

I had a great time chatting with the head librarian, who mentioned several ways that this is truly a community library, including the fact that patrons help with IT from time to time, or may look up from a computer or book to help out with another patron's question.

For more about the Delano Public Library, go to

4/24/2014, car

The Char Iten Reading Room...make yourself at home!

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