Just inside the library door are some strollers with bags for books attached, a wonderful help for parents. Nearby is a shelf of "Lucky U" books. These are new best-sellers that go out for 7 days, no renewals.
The first thing I spotted in the children's area was a large wall display titled "Read an Alphabet of Animals." There are book jackets representing animal books, large printed letter cards, and ribbons connecting each jacket to the appropriate letter: Alligator, Bear, Bison, Cow... It's a very attractive display, and certainly highlights the breadth of the library's collection of kids' animal books.
The next thing I noticed was a large ... object ... shaped somewhat like a Viking ship, hanging from the ceiling. The Viking ship effect is heightened by the posters and such mounted where a Viking ship would have shields. This in itself is very cool, but the best part, in my opinion, is the series of curvy blue fabric strips suspended below the "boat." The whole thing runs almost the length of the children's area, and gives a sense of walking underwater. I asked a librarian if this was something new; surely I couldn't have missed this, or forgotten it? Nope, it's not new. Go see it; a written description just can't do it justice.
The boating theme is also present in a structure near the window in the children's area; it has three curved steps to a sort of "prow" with three "portholes" for peeking out. This is at the edge of a nice "living room" or "play room" area with a couch, chairs, and a puppet theater.
Beyond the children's area is a large area with study tables and chairs sized for adults and children, and plenty of windows. There are many Spanish books. A Teen Corner (more windows!) has a couch and several large bean bag chairs. Nearby are four study rooms, each with a desk with an overhead shelf (just like the university library), two chairs, a window, and a glass panel door. Quiet and private...but not too private.
The adult collection and computers are in the middle. Music CDs are shelved in metal racks that are cleverly labeled with magnetic "refrigerator" letters, a nice whimsical touch
On the day I was there, an art display from All Saints Catholic School was above the CDs. It consisted of large letters C R E A T I N G, each letter decorated differently, followed by "moments of joy."
For more about this library, go to http://www.co.dakota.mn.us/libraries/HoursLocations/Heritage/Pages/default.aspx or check it out on Facebook at http://www.heritagelibraryfriends.com/.