Wednesday, June 18, 2014

246. Belgrade, Minnesota: Great River Regional Library

This is actually and formally the Myrtle Mabee library, named for the woman who founded the Belgrade Reader's Club, date not given. The bequest was made by a relative in 1951. A tall, glass-fronted bookcase holds many very old books--perhaps from Myrtle's time?

The science theme is evident here from the first step in the door, where a bulletin board invites you to "Experiment with Nature and Reading," and members of the summer reading program have their names posted on butterfly cutouts.

The adults get the space farthest from the door, with four public computers and a large "alcove" space lined with periodicals, newspapers, and fiction. Kids get the light, bright space near the windows where once again I saw double-decker picture book bins. I'm starting to believe that I must have overlooked this sort of book display; it just isn't possible that I'd see it for the first time in Albany, and then one place after another since them. Here, I remembered to ask about the accessibility of the books in the lower bins. As I guessed, it's not problem for the small patrons who want these books, no problem for shelvers, and a bit of a hassle for request hunters. So it goes.

A sign by the desk points out that "It is important that you have your library card with you when checking out library materials." True...but I notice that in small-town libraries where the staff knows just about every patron, there are workarounds!

Staff in Great River move around a lot, filling in at various branches as needed. That's why a librarian here said, when I approached the desk after wandering around and making my notes, "I recognized you from your visit to..." That happens more and more here in MN.

For more about this library, go to,


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Comments are welcomed, and I will generally respond to them. Please be tasteful; comments that are in poor taste will be deleted.
Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.