Saturday, May 31, 2014

223a. Cokato, MN, Great River Regional Library System

The last time I was here, renovations were imminent, with some furniture marked for sale and other signs of upcoming changes. I did not take any interior pictures then, nor did I now, but I can tell you that the effect of the changes was immediately apparent. The space is light and open, more spacious than before. The librarian told me that although certain bulky shelves are gone, they have been more than made up for by tall bookcases between the windows.

The children's area is set off from the rest of the library by a long, low bookcase and three large, colorful graphics mounted in Plexiglas and hanging form the ceiling. A new table for this area will arrive soon.

The center of the library space holds a study table with attractive upholstered chairs; it looks very inviting.

One of the biggest differences when I visited this time was the presence of children, about 20 of them. They were the third graders from the nearby school, with their teacher. A couple of weeks before school closes, the school's media center/library (which I've heard is very good) closes for inventory and other end-of-year rituals, so the third graders come to the public library for a couple of visits. This allows the library staff to ensure that each child has a library card and the kids are aware of the summer possibilities at the library. Nice plan! I hope the third grade teacher sees this, because I should have told him that I thought his class was very well-behaved.

Nice work, Cokato...I'd say that your changes are very well done!

To learn more about the Cokato library, go to or

5/30/2014, car

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