Libraries get their buildings in many ways. In this case, the Anaconda Copper Mining company sold the building to the city of Columbia Falls for $1.00 -- on the condition that it be used for a library. And so it is, sharing the space with the city hall.
One of the first things I noticed was a genuine old wooden telephone booth, complete with a folding door, in the lobby; I was disappointed to see that it no longer has a phone in it. Also in the lobby there is a large display about the Farmers' Market and a collection box for magazines "for the troops."
Inside, there is a guest book, something I've seen in only one other library, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The people who had signed ahead of me were from Germany! A display of new fiction invites patrons to "Grab and Go" with two books for two weeks. I spotted seven computers, one with a scanner. The home page menu offers Internet & Office, Large Print, Kids, and Library Catalog. This seems like a user-friendly way to set up public computers.
An alcove partway along one wall has no windows, but otherwise provides a nice "living room" setting. There is a large fish tank, which sort of fills the role of a window, giving one something pleasant to look at. In this area, I had a short conversation with someone I guessed was local and a regular library user. When I mentioned that I was visiting Glacier NP, he told me that Walmart owns Xanterra, and Xanterra owns the national parks. Well, I know that Xanterra now owns the concessions (like the hotel and dining facilities) in Glacier; I don't think that equals owning the parks, but it didn't seem like a good time or place to argue the point. And I haven't done any research on this--perhaps he's right!
At the far end of the space, five steps lead up to the Teen Loft, which is provided with soft chairs and a study table, as well as appropriate books. No teens there when I was, just an adult male with a laptop.
The children's area has something that my notes call "Lam and arches" and high windows. What on earth did I mean? [This is the trouble with getting a few days behind in my blogging.] There is also an enclosed area for the little kids, a computer, another fish tank, and a very nice mural showing The Little Engine that Could, the steam shovel (I can picture the book but forget the name), and others.
I was able to use a computer for a while here. I used the time to change some of my back-home requests from "Suspended" to "Active" so there would be books waiting for me when I got home. I also looked up the address of the library where I work, so I could send a postcard. No, I don't know the address--all I have to know is how to get there!
To learn more about this library, go to http://imagineiflibraries.org/about-us/locations-and-hours/ or https://www.facebook.com/imagineiflibraries'