Saturday, August 9, 2014

279. Baker Free Library, Bow, New Hampshire

From the street, this appears to be an old library. Once I drove around to the parking lot, however, I saw the "new" addition from 1967. One of the nicest features of the addition is a large round porch with several benches. I took a course in architectural design once and recall the professor saying that it's important that buildings have a "sense of entrance." This library certainly does!'' The porch also houses a standard "mail slot" for returning books and a free-standing metal structure for returning DVDs and CDs.

Inside, the visitor is greeted by a near-life-size figure of a woman holding the book Our Mutual Friends by Charles Dickens. I was told that the figure represents Mary Baker Eddy, after whom the library is named.

There is a room for story hours and meetings that opens from the lobby and from the library proper. A sign in the children's room area asks that parents please accompany children using the bathroom--very good advice, especially with the littler ones.

The summer reading program is "Dive into a good book," and the walls in the children's area have been decorated with very large undersea-themed cutouts. It appears that reading a book entitles a kid to add a smaller fish to these walls, and there are a great many. The kids of Bow have definitely been reading!

A large bow window area is decorated with trees and branches painted on the walls above and between window sections; I think Peter Pan is swinging from one of the branches on the left. Soft chairs and stuffed animals are available in this area, and it looks very inviting. A bit further along there are shelves of J and YA CDs and audiobooks, J and YA fiction, and YA Manga. Three study tables are placed along the windows in this area. It appears that all non-fiction (adult and juvenile) is shelved together, a fairly common practice; not labeling the J non-fiction is less common, in my experience.

The older section of the library has two fireplaces, one of which looks as if it might still be used at times. There is a curved window seat, and two large tables for reading or study. A sign on the tables tells patrons "To talk on your cell phone, please go to the lobby." On either side of the old (now unused) front door is a tiny nook, perhaps at one time a closet. Each of these small spaces has a shelf and a chair, if you really need to turn your back on the world and concentrate!

Two areas of the library, one near the newspapers and one near periodicals, have upholstered chairs and a table in the center, nice for reading and browsing. Finally, there are at least four public computers and a display of DVDs. The DVDs have an overdue fine policy that struck me as unusual: Overdue 1 to 7 days, $1.00; 8 to 15 days, $5.00; 16 to 30 days, $10.00; and 31 or more days, $20.00. And if your DVD is overdue, you cannot renew it. I should have asked, because I now find myself wondering, whether that means, for example, that for each day overdue you pay the stated amount. In other words, a DVD overdue 7 days would be $7.00 and the 8th day would add $5.00? Perhaps someone in Bow will read this and add a comment to enlighten the rest of us.

To learn more about this library, go to or

8/8/2014, car

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