The branch library in Holmen is proof that good things can come in small packages. The adult area, to the left, appears to be a comfortable space, with plenty of easy chairs. The stacks are tall, making maximum use of limited space. I noticed here that children's non-fiction is inter-shelved with adult non-fiction; I don't recall whether this was true at the other branches I visited. Also, Large Print editions of fiction are shelved with the regular editions. This is the case at other branches, and I believe it is not universally liked. The LP books are clearly identified with stickers on the spines, and I can see advantages and disadvantages of shelving this way, especially in a small library. No system is perfect.
There are eight computers and five carrels. Free Wi-Fi is available, "Inquire at desk for current password."
In the children's area the outstanding feature is a wall painted to look like a twilight sky, with palm trees at either end. I learned that this is part of a "Where the Wild Things Are" scene, but the "wild things" were not present. There was a sign referring to "Larry the Reading Lizard." At first I thought this might be similar to "Paws to Read," but on reflection I decided that it must be a stuffed lizard. Perhaps someone will leave a clarifying comment, since I failed to ask.
There is a big rocker for story time, with a fabric "rope" across the seat; I guess it is only for story time. There is also a rack of name tags for story time participants. I saw racks like this at other branches, and if I were doing story time, I would definitely use something like this, given my weakness in the name-remembering department.
The librarian I talked to told me that the building was once a grocery store, making Holmen a smaller cousin of the library in St. Croix Falls.
For more about the Holmen library, see the La Crosse County Library website at http://www.lacrossecountylibrary.org/index.asp.