Saturday, August 16, 2014

293. Sherman and Ruth Weiss Community Library, Hayward, Wisconsin

The grounds are handsome this time of year...see the picture below of the library sign. There are two free-standing book drops near the entrance to the library, one for books and one for media. Both appeared to be padlocked, presumably to ensure that materials come inside during open hours. Good idea.

The lobby has an elaborate carved tree "Created for the original Carnegie Library." I think the original library still exists, but I didn't spot it during my visit to downtown. (That visit was for ice cream, of course; see the book Scoop by Jeff Miller.) A quotation on the tree is "With the support of these roots the tree of knowledge grows."

The library was liberally decorated with quilts in an exhibit by the Hayward Piece Makers Quilt Guild.

The children's space is wide open and sunny, with windows on three sides. One low table held a collection of feathers and a large magnifying lens, plus some papers with questions and ideas for details to look for. Nearby, Boy Scout Troop 70 has a display that is at least partly historical; you aren't likely to see equipment like that in use today! An outdoor reading patio has an adult-size picnic table and a matching one in a smaller scale for little kids.

The summer reading program participants have put their names on rocket ships, and the rockets are displayed on one wall. Prizes for the program have been donated by local businesses. (I did not see the ice cream place listed, which disappointed me. After reading the book, I expected better of them. Perhaps they contribute in other ways.)

Books were designated in a way that is new to me, but fortunately a placard was nearby. From it I learned that Int(ermediate) Fic is for grades 4 and up, formerly J items are now E, E means Easy Fiction. All kids' non-fiction is shelved together. This left me not knowing how picture books are labeled, and I forgot to look. Perhaps someone will leave a clarifying comment?

The adult area of the library centers on a large brick fireplace with glass-fronted cabinets holding old books and interesting objects like a stereopticon viewer and a collection of cards. [When I was a kid visiting the children's room in Nashua, NH, in the pre-Viewmaster days, stereopticon viewers were desirable sources of entertainment, when Miss Manning put them out. How's that for dating myself?] A portrait of Sherman and Ruth Weiss hangs on one side of the fireplace, and one of Mr. Carnegie on the other side.

The area designated for teens has a long bow window with a view to a field, marsh, and bird feeder. I bet the adults enjoy it when school is in session!

Oversized books are stored flat in their own bookcase. There are carrels, about nine public computers, and a study room with a microfilm reader. I noticed that during the summer, computer use is limited to two 30-minute sessions per day. I assume that this is because Hayward is a resort area, and there is probably a lot of demand to "check my email."

When I asked about the Carnegie library, I was shown an interesting "Donation Statue" that was brought here from the old building.

For more information, see or On the website, note particularly the detailed information about the many book clubs at the library. I was impressed by the varied interests and the lists of books, both read and upcoming.

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