Wednesday, July 22, 2015

350. Pequot Lakes Community Library, Pequot Lakes, MN

Pequot Lakes Community Library was not on my list when I set out in the morning. But, when I was driving from Brainerd to Pine River, I spotted the universal library sign Universal Library Signbeside the road, and I just had to check it out. What I didn't know at the time was that this is, in fact, a community library, not part of the Kitchigami region. You really should follow the link below to read the story of this 11-year-old library. It has a collection of about 19,000 items and an all-volunteer staff of 30 serving over 2000 library card holders.

A popular poster asks "Can you recommend a good book? Tell others about it." Many brief reviews surround this question. There are also a number of lists suggesting that if you like <this sort of book>, try <this author>. The adults have a cozy living room area centered on an artificial fireplace.

Creativity in the kids area starts with an entrance framed with branches, as you can see in the second picture below. There is an enormous floor cushion, perhaps 5 x 8 feet, which I'm told is a very popular place to flop and read. One wall display is of papers by kids completing the prompt "_____ is a hero because _____," usually accompanied by a picture. There is also a display of summer reading program T-shirts dated 2008 to 2011, plus two that are probably earlier than 2008.

Book and toy sets that are popular at many libraries are not in plastic bags here. Nope, they are in hand-made fabric bags! You can see them hanging on a post in the fourth picture. In the background you'll see canvas messenger bags that hold sets of three related books. The story corner has a ring of floor cushions surrounded by a ring of child-size seats--each with a stuffed animal sitting on it. There are picture books, board books, and children's fiction and non-fiction. When I was there, there was an impressive display of Lewis Carroll items to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland; someone in town is a fan, I would guess.

The adult area holds six computers and two hexagonal study tables. A separate large room was being used for a book sale, and I found a nice stack of books that have been put away for Halloween treats.

There is something about the interior woodwork, as well as a bench outside and the shutters and sign on the building, that makes me suspect that they are all from one source, Timeless Design Builders. Google "timeless design builders" and see if you agree. Or, if you know, leave a comment!

For more about this library, and you really should want to know more, visit .

7/21/2015, car

Notice the shutters, bench, and sign.
Looking into the children's area past the left half of the entry branches

Gigantic floor pillow and display of T-shirts

Handmade book bags and a pair of old desks

The story corner is ready for young visitors .

1 comment:

  1. This comment was received as an email from a member of the volunteer staff. I'm posting it with her permission.

    Thanks for visiting the Library yesterday. Melissa, our Tuesday morning volunteer, gave me your card. I don't know if she told you a bit about our library but,since we are quite unique, I thought I'd explain.

    This is the start of our 12th year of operation. It was started by a small group of community members who felt Pequot Lakes would benefit from a library. As the local regional library system, for a variety of reasons, did not want a library in our community, the Group researched independent libraries. With the help of the Hallett Library in Crosby, MN, we opened with donated books and totally operated with volunteers. Twelve years later, we have no paid employees, approximately 30 regular volunteers, and five years ago moved from our original spot in City Hall to the building we purchased and now occupy. It has been quite a trip.

    Our budget is approximately $19,000 per year, which includes $5,000 from that fore mentioned library system thanks to the CrowWing County Board. In the winter, we average about 50 to 60 people per day; summers it frequently goes over 100 per day.

    We indeed have been blessed!


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