Thursday, May 15, 2014

237. Pierz, Minnesota -- Great River Regional Library

Another storefront library. An interesting location: A bar to the left has sidewalk tables that I learned are sometimes used by people with laptops, using the library's wi-fi. And patrons of the garage on the other side can use the library's cute, small reading room to the left of the entrance, as a convenient place to wait and read during an oil change. The library itself was once a movie theatre, and there is a picture on the wall behind the service desk as "evidence" of this former life.

The kids' area feels rather like a long alcove. There is a TV/VCR available, but the focal point is a large plastic barn, a child-sized playhouse with cushions and chairs inside. I learned that this is a favored reading spot, and that some kids also open a window on the side and play that it is a drive-up restaurant; very creative!

A large area to the back has some long tables pushed together on one side; there was room for them to be separated, giving flexibility for various kinds of events and meetings. To the right is a teen area with a couch, books (of course), and a TV monitor for game play. I liked the posters on the wall here, with literary terms defined and illustrated: conflict, protagonist, setting, theme, plot.

Beyond the teen area there are some paperbacks with a sign "Do you need a book for cabin, boat, or beach? $1.00 for a bag of books." I also spotted a shelf of westerns. It was nice to see a sign "Did you like Louis L'Amour? Try..." and it listed five authors, including Tony Hillerman, with titles that would appeal to Western readers. Nice reader's advisory.

Books with colorful jackets stood on display on top of just about every shelf, which added to the brightness of this small branch. The librarian on duty (she told me that she has a new title, but a failed to write it down) showed me one of the neatest things I've seen in my travels: a photo album with pictures taken at library programs going back to 1971! This was not hidden away, but right out where patrons can peruse it. Imagine the fun of taking your kids to the library and showing them a picture of you in a summer reading program from 30 or 40 years ago! I was glad to hear that pictures are still being added.

For more about the Pierz library, go to

The siding is a new addition. There used to be a bright mural, but the weather did it in. A shame to lose the mural, but the inside makes up for it, in my opinion, and it was captured for the photo album, of course. See the tables to the left? You can sit there on a nice day and use the library's wi-fi.

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