Tuesday, July 15, 2014

268. Miles City, Montana

This library began as a Carnegie library in 1902. A new part was added in 1964. A collection of library memorabilia is displayed under a protective dome. There is a gigantic grandfather clock; I associate grandfather clocks with New Hampshire libraries, but I keep finding them where I least expect to. Was this clock built in Montana? Did it arrive in a covered wagon, or by train? I wish I had asked.

One of the computers has a large-type keyboard, the first such keyboard I've seen anywhere. Very thoughtful to provide this for those who will be helped.

A "living room" by tall windows in the back looks out on a small courtyard with blue-glass ornaments. This would be a wonderful place to relax with a book or magazine.

This is the second library in Montana where I spotted rebound editions of older books. Two that I saw here were Ivanhoe and Into the Teeth of the Evidence by Sayers. When I was a library page in the 1950s, having books rebound when they started to fall apart from use was common procedure. Now, it is no doubt cheaper to buy a new copy. Or simply discard the book.

A collection of VHS tapes includes large sets of Cowboy Heroes, Gene Autry, Rawhide, and Star Trek. I'll bet that makes some blog readers want to head out to Montana! (You could do worse...I learned last week that it is a beautiful state.)

A history collection includes old phone books and business records. A genealogy society collected some relevant books which the library now holds, but the society no longer exists.

The children's area is a world unto itself. Footprints stuck to the carpet lead you down a corridor, past the restrooms (very clean) and into the former bookmobile garage. Here you can see part of the stone and brick exterior walls of the Carnegie building. You would not know this had ever been a garage; the floors are immaculate, and set into them are engraved paving bricks with donor names. There are two long tables with chairs, and I noticed that they were two heights to accommodate various children. Each table was provided with containers of markers...ready for a program, perhaps?

One corner has a wonderful dragon rug and a literature-themed mural; see the picture below. Kindergarten blocks were ready to go, along with other toys for the smallest patrons. The librarian was arbitrating the use of several computers by three or four boys who looked like young teens and one younger boy. Who had had a turn with what? And how long was that turn? I was glad it was her problem, not mine, though as problems go, it seemed quite tame and she had the situation well in hand.

To learn more about this library, go to http://milescitypubliclibrary.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miles-City-Public-Library/116159905079114.


Have to love a Western library with a bike rack made of branding irons!
The "wooden" frame is actually metal.


Isn't that a great dragon rug? And the mural on the back wall is charming.

I took this picture and the next because I was told I should
use these vantages to show the upper levels of the building.

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