Saturday, January 31, 2015

303. MORE -- Cumberland, WI -- Thomas St. Angelo Public Library

A nice day to get on the road and visit another cluster of libraries in Wisconsin's MORE library information system. MORE serves 50 libraries; with today's four visits, I've now been to 21, and have 29 "more" to go.

My GPS is very clever at bringing me to the street address, but not necessarily the current entrance. In this case, that meant my first view of the library was of the over-100-year-old Carnegie building. I parked there and walked around to the new building, and I would say that this is a very good example of blending the old and the new.

The first floor has a lot of nooks and crannies. To my left as I entered the new part is a comfortable browsing area with periodicals, newspapers, large print books, and a magnifying reader. To the right are a display of mini houses (1:144 scale), a meeting room, rest rooms, and a display of old high school photographs. Further on there are a half dozen public Internet computers and a small coffee area. The coffee area also has an array of round ornaments featuring local businesses. There is also a display of photographs of the Library Directors back to 1901; just seven of them in all that time, I believe, and all women. There is a new director now; her picture will not go up until her tenure ends.

To the back is a jigsaw puzzle in progress, an ancient adding machine ("Do not touch!!") and a book sales room where I found a number of board books for my youngest visitors next Halloween. Nothing like getting an early start! I also bought a book bag; not a standard bag with the library name imprinted, but a very nice handmade fabric bag available "for a donation, minimum $1.00 please."

The stairs go up past a small area titled Thomas St. Angelo Reading Nook. This "nook" includes a set of Harvard Classics, memorabilia about Mr. St. Angelo, an early resident, including reference to a movie, "Thomas St. Angelo: An Unconventional Scholar." When a "move, build new, or add on" decision was in the works, the St. Angelo Charitable Trust contributed a half million dollars, and the library had a new name.

Upstairs is wonderfully light and bright, with tall windows in both the Carnegie and the new parts of the building. The adult fiction and non-fiction are in the Carnegie area with its handsome fireplace and windows with stained glass panels at the top. The children's area is in the new building, with bright colors and murals up by the ceiling. There is a Teen Corner, which  has a couple of study tables and some low chairs for relaxing. I saw that Wii games may be borrowed, "5 per library card." That seems like a pretty generous policy!

BREAKING NEWS--I have just (2/10) received information about the library murals: "The murals in the children's room were done by a local artist - Jeff Hile.  He has Dancing Bird Studio just down the street from the library.  He also did the painting of former librarian Katherine Robinson which is over the elevator door.  The dragon's name is Robbie in her honor.  We had a contest to name the dragon."

For more about the library, go to or their Facebook page at

1/31/2015, car

View from the Carnegie side

Entrance to the new building

Adult area upstairs in the Carnegie building

Shh! Don't wake the sleeping dragon that "guards" the children's area!

I especially like the colorfully-painted table and chairs.

A glimpse into the Teen Center on the left, some of the public computers in the foreground; the wall with the four square windows is in the stairwell, where the gray triangular form lists major donors.
I should have asked about the murals, which are quite wonderful; perhaps someone will read this and share a comment about them.


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