Thursday, July 3, 2014

250. Thief River Falls Public Library, Minnesota

Another Carnegie...built in 1914, across the street from the current library. The new one was built in the 60s, I believe, and remodeled about 10 years ago. It feels very spacious and light. I asked whether the old library was replaced because of space or condition, and the answer was, "both."

There is a mosaic made of glass and pieces of mirror; it's a lot like the ones I've seen in Great River libraries, but larger. There are two messages: "I am part of everything I read and it is part of me." and, this one spelled out in Scrabble tiles, "All great journeys begin at the library."

There is a small seating area near the entrance with comfy chairs and ottomans, and coffee available for a "free will offering."

The children's area has four computer devices, bright orange, labeled Kensington. I haven't seen anything like these. Two-level bins for picture books have sloping sides; the bins on top are narrower, front to back, than those on the bottom, solving the problem of access. See picture below, but you'll have to tip your head or your screen; I'll rotate it later.

An interesting variation on the "parental responsibility" theme is a sign that reads, "Parents and guardians are responsible for materials children read and view while visiting the library." I interpret this to mean that if your kid is poring over a book you deem inappropriate, it doesn't mean the library shouldn't have the book--it means that you, the adult, are supposed to be paying attention.

Patrons who enter from the parking lot are greeted by a large display of new books. And that's just what you should see on entering a library: books!

There is a genealogy corner with a microfilm reader and a scanner with a sign suggesting that you "digitize your family story." Local high school yearbooks, some as far back as 1916, are available online.

There is a large window wall with five comfy chairs facing the outdoors and at least one bird feeder, six big study tables (one with a jigsaw puzzle underway), and best of all: newspapers on sticks!

For more about this library, go to or

I will eventually get this rotated. Too tired tonight.

A tree grows in...

The 1914 Carnegie library across the street

7/3/2014, car

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Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.