Monday, May 25, 2015

341 LaPorte Indiana Main Library

Yes, it's another Carnegie. I did not go in search of Carnegies for this trip, but I certainly found a lot of them!

As I entered, I saw a notice about some recently approved funding for the library. Inquiring, I learned that LaPorte will be upgrading all of its library branches and replacing a couple of them. Way to go, LaPorte!

A large area to the left of the entrance has four study tables and the Indiana Room for history and genealogy. There are extensive non-fiction stacks in a space that seemed to be an irregular polygon; I had a bit of trouble getting oriented! Fiction is on the upper level. I like the way fiction paperbacks are shelved on slanted shelves lining the edge of a balcony overlooking the main floor. I drew a sketch in my notebook, but I can't explain it well. You'll just have to go see for yourself. Twenty-five empty bays in the stacks looked alarming, but staff told me that they're just an artifact of some rearranging that is going on.

To the right of the entrance are big windows, easy chairs, and the periodicals and newspapers. Twenty different newspapers...amazing! I noticed that "Bookclub in a Bag" kits are in clear plastic totes. I sometimes have to check these items in where I work, and I thought of how much easier it would be to count the volumes in these bags, not the black canvas ones I'm familiar with.

The Young Adult area has "living room" seating for enjoying books, magazines, and graphic novels.

Entering the children's area, I saw a playroom with a glass door and a collection of books and toys. A dad (I assume) was in there with a small child. The room is labeled "Play  Grow  Read" and is sponsored by several local organizations. Another part of the children's area has a set of large painted wooden cutouts of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs mounted on the wall; these were donated by F. Meyer in 2009.

"Big Books," the kind teachers like to use with class groups, are propped on top of a bookshelf, held in place by a cute white "fence" made of wood. Tall windows help light the area; there are eight computers, some with the colored-coded keyboards that help kids figure out what is what. A sign says that you must be over 18 to check out DVDs, but staff told me that this had recently changed, and I think someone headed off to remove the sign. Wii games are also available to check out, and I realized when I saw them that I didn't notice video games at any other library on this trip.

Two quilts hang in this area, with panels representing all 50 state birds and flowers. The squares were made by fifth graders after considerable research. They are in crayon which was then set by ironing. Then the quilt was pieced by Mary Ward and machine quilted. I think it's neat that this information is provided.

I like that recorded books are shelved along with their paper versions in the children's area. I don't know whether this is also done in adult fiction, because I only thought of this just now. A few other places I have visited do this and I think it makes sense. There are toys and games to use at the library, and of course everyone is gearing up for the Summer Learning Adventure!

For more about this library, visit or visit Facebook,

5/23/2015  car

The handsome Carnegie building is still in use.

A view along the side of the newer addition


  1. So happy you visited our library, Ellen!!! I spoke with you in Youth Services and I have learned so much from your blog. I love your descriptions and insight into these wonderful institutions. You are doing a wonderful thing and I hope to catch up with you next summer so we can go exploring together, if only for a couple days. Thank you for visiting us!!!!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Janet! Just before I read your note, I put a slip of paper in the back of my "trip planning notebook," reminding me to re-visit LaPort--and also to visit Crash in Geneva. I'll try to schedule next year's trip for late in the summer to see how your new building is coming along. It's back to work for me now, but I have plans for the summer. Those plans include revisiting many of the libraries here in the Twin Cities Metro area, the ones I visited three years ago, as well as some short trips around Minnesota.


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