The third library I visited in my afternoon of playing hooky was in Whitefish. This is an independent community library. Fundraising began in 1994, and in 1998 the library was complete. [I hope I have that right; I looked at the library's website for a "history of the library," and couldn't find it.] There is a scrapbook with pictures and newspaper clippings telling the story. I enjoyed the pictures that showed sixth graders in a "bucket brigade," helping to move 35,000 books to this new building, one shopping bagful at a time! I bet they'll remember that experience all their lives.
The children's area has two oak-and-green tables with reading lamps (the one I tried didn't seem to work; they look old) and access to plug in laptops. There is also a "living room" here, with a couch, two chairs, a recliner, a coffee table and a floor lamp. I frequently see this sort of arrangement in adult areas of libraries; it was very charming to see it there for kids.
A bulletin board held multiple pockets with suggestions fitting with the science theme of the summer reading program. I took just one, a "Science Log" with drawings of 12 beakers, each with an activity suggestion, from "Sort your toys in two ways: size and color" to "Write a paragraph about what kind of scientist you might like to be and why." The instructions are to complete eight of the activities, get the "beakers" stamped or punched, and turn in the sheet to get a surprise. Other sheets available included a "Food Science Match Game." Lots of variety and scope here, to meet varied interests and age levels.
Young Adults have a wedge-shaped space with an octagonal table. Nearby is a display by the Glacier Stamp Club.
There are two "living room" areas for adults, with comfortable furniture and plenty of windows. Both are labeled "Quiet Area." In one, two adults were reading quietly. In the other, a young man was talking on his cell phone. Hmmm. A third reading area is distinguished with a braided rug.
A well-labeled cross-section of a tree shows 690 years of history. One corner of the library is reserved for maps, a computer and scanning station, and a microfilm and fiche reader. A sign asks patrons to please "don't use these power strips" because "the green tables all have pop-up power sources."
I still see VHS tapes in many libraries, especially in small towns. Here, the remaining VHS movies circulate on the honor system. That seems like a neat idea, when a building has the space. Let them just fade away, but keep them circulating while there is any interest.
For more about this library, visit http://whitefishlibrary.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whitefish-Community-Library/157552130964475