Thursday, May 14, 2015

320 Reddick Public Library District, Ottawa, IL

The entrance to the children's area is marked by a very nice aquarium. Once inside, I spotted a floor-level couch; I should have taken a picture, because it's hard to explain, but it has a framework of wood with four "segments," (think of four parts of an octagon)with seat and back cushions. Neat and unusual. Then there was a table with pieces of light cardboard, about 3" square, with slits cut in them. It looked like a homemade version of a commercial construction toy I've seen. At the table was a sign, "What can you create? Use your imagination." How's that for low-cost "passive programming"? I think it's great.

The area for school-age kids has a booth (usually only teens get those!) and a couple of study tables. There are also 8 computers in the kids area. It appears that Easy Fiction, Easy Non-fiction, and Picture Books are separate categories. There are also J Fiction and J Non-fiction, of course, and enough Braille books that they have their own section. And I think this is the first public library where I've seen copies of the textbooks used in local schools provided as a Reference collection. Makes sense to me. Those tiny "early readers," like the Bob Books, are shelved in plastic boxes and appear to be circulated only in sets. This also makes sense to me.

The Illinois Room looks quite serious, and appears to house books of local/state history and related material.

Reddick is the second library I've seen that is using heavy Plexiglas boxes to display periodicals. (The other is Walker Library in Minneapolis.) Reddick also uses them, in a different size of course, for newspapers. They're very attractive and keep materials in good shape. I like the sign on this area, too, metal letters mounted on the brick wall: Magazines and Newspapers.

A room with a glass wall has upholstered chairs and a couple of study tables. It is designated as a "quiet reading room," and a sign indicates that no conversation is permitted and devices are to be silenced.

The non-fiction stacks are six shelves high and are spaced so that most large books can be accommodated upright, a very good practice when space allows. There are about a dozen public computers in addition to the ones in the children's area.

A room for teens has two booths, several easy chairs, and a "no smoking" sign!

A sign that amused and intrigued me says that one can "book a librarian" for 30 minutes of tech help, reference aid, even job search help. What a neat idea, that you can reserve a specific chunk of time when a librarian is "yours." Finally, I think this was on a bulletin board as I entered: "For the safety of our youngest patrons, a parent or guardian must accompany children 8 and under at all times." I think most libraries have a policy like this, but I don't often see it written out and posted.

For more about this library, visit their website at or check them out on Facebook at

5/13/15  car

I had to take this picture just to show the message.

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