Saturday, May 16, 2015

322 Warsaw Community Public Library, Warsaw, IN

I didn't immediately spot this as a Carnegie library, but that's how it started out. The last picture below shows the two types of bricks, older on the right and newer on the left. The new part of the building fits very smoothly architecturally.

From the street-level entrance I first went down a half level, where I found administrative and technical offices, new book displays, meeting rooms, and circulation. There is a program room with a world map rug on the floor and colorful puffy animals on the bulletin board. The hall is lined with upholstered chairs, small tables, and vases of flowers, rather like a fancy waiting room. Media, including DVDs and VHS tapes are also on this level in a large, bright room.

Upstairs I found a display case with old library records and pictures. The Indiana Room (history) and teen alcove are nearby.

The children's area is in the Carnegie part of the building. The first thing I spotted here was a paper castle made from a cut-and-paste kit, and made very well. (I know, I've tried some projects like this and they are hard.) It is displayed on top of a set of shelves, and has this sign: "Perpetrators of crimes against this castle will be summarily hanged, drawn, and quartered." As well they should be!

A couple of young teens were working at a table in this area, perhaps preparing material for the summer reading program? A variation on the "5 Finger Rule" includes "The book is too hard. Try reading it with a buddy." I like this better than variations that suggest that the child should simply "find another book." There are games and toys for library use, and a sign suggests that parents teach their children responsibility by encouraging them to pick up the toys they have played with.

The computers in this area are designated for children, teens, and caregivers. There are four elementary-kid sized study tables and two smaller ones. I like the idea of "Picture book audio books" having their own space. Finally, one corner of the children's area has a very large ocean (or lake) mural on two walls; see the second picture below.

At this level, the new part of the building has a long central "hall" with a double row of study tables, each with a pair of electrical outlets and two USB ports. Stacks for fiction and non-fiction are along the sides. One set of shelves has books designated for the adult summer reading program. A quiet reading area at the end of this space allows no conversations, phones, or music. I was impressed by the extensive collection of periodical back issues, all neatly shelved in light blue Princeton boxes.

There are four computers for Microsoft Office or Libre Offline use only. Twenty other computers are available for Internet use.

For more about this library, go to their website, http://www.warsawlibrary.org/, or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MAPLD?fref=ts.

The Carnegie building is to the left.

This picture does not do the mural justice; it covers two walls.


Here, the Carnegie building is on the right; I think the old and new are very compatible.

Just to the left of the downspout you can see the difference in the bricks.

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