Friday, July 17, 2015

348. Carver County, Victoria Library

I decided that since the Victoria Express (see #23) still exists, the new library in Victoria, MN, will have its own entry. It certainly merits one! It shares a building with other municipal services. The front is attractive, but the back is wonderful, as it faces Steiger Lake, a walking/biking trail, and a bandshell under construction. This is a wonderful focal point for the community.

When I walked in, I mainly saw computers--at least ten, and room on an array of tables for more to be added. So my first thought was that perhaps this is one of the new libraries I read about where everything is electronic. But not to worry--when I walked to the end of this space and turned left I found the real library.

The entire back wall is lined with windows that look out on the lake and trail. In front of the windows is a shelf equipped for laptop use. Straight ahead is Teen Central, with comfortable seating, shelves of books, a couple of computers, a flat screen TV on the wall, and a stack of board games for use in the library. [It intrigues me that in this time when we worry about the over-use of electronic devices, I see board games and read about game nights at more and more libraries. Even Wilson Library on the U of MN campus has board games available!]

This shelf also holds a Stieger Lake Nature Journal. It has separate sections for preschoolers (circle the pictures of the things you saw on your nature walk) and school kids (draw and write about what you saw.) There are also supplies for making your own small notebook to take along on your walk. This strikes me as a very neat way to make a connection between the library and the outside.

The children's area is next to Teen Central, with windows facing out to the street. I really like the "corral" of bin-and-shelf units that hold picture books. I learned from a librarian that these are all on casters and thus easily moved to accommodate programs. A low table has four cute chairs with animal shapes on their backs. In front of the window is a "gardening center" with plastic tools for dramatic play. A bit of "passive programming" involves small sheets of paper with pictures of nine different gnomes labeled "Can you find the gnomes?" [I only found one.]

Separate kiosks provide for easy downloading of both Overdrive and 3M eBooks, and the "requests" shelf indicates that patrons make good use of the resources of the whole Carver County Library system. A wall of shelves between the adult computer area and the kids/teens area holds the fiction, non-fiction, and large print books for adults. Since this is a new library, this is a modest but shiny-new collection.

The Victoria Express book locker arrangement I saw three years ago at the recreation center is a great convenience, but the new Victoria Library--just in time for the town's centennial this summer--is a wonderful addition.

For more about this library, see the Carver County website at or visit on Facebook at

7/16/2015, car

The library faces the street, but the back looks out on a lake and trail.

 Furniture in the colorful children's area is on wheels for ease of rearrangement.

A corner for teens...and perhaps adults can use the blue chairs?

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