Friday, August 28, 2015

362. Winthrop Public Library, Winthrop, MN


The Winthrop library is in a handsome brick building with some interesting architectural details, including the curved entrance that faces the corner of the street. It shares space in this building with a community center, which is upstairs. Perhaps partly because of this, and because it is near the local school, signs specify that "playing outside or in the vicinity of the library is not allowed." Also, children under age 8 must be with an adult; they cannot come in without an adult. I talked to staff about this a bit, and it's clearly a safety issue.

The lobby holds a very large quilt that celebrates the centennial of Winthrop, 1881 to 1981. It was created by "various women members of twelve area churches." There is also an aerial photograph of the town, but I didn't notice a date on it and there didn't seem to be a "you are here" indication. For those who know the town, however, I bet this is fun to study and "find the library" or "find my house."
Inside the library I was struck by the artistry of  signs high on the wall above shelves, indicating the location of various genres. I didn't get a picture of any of these, but the one above the fiction section had three goblet-shaped candle holders (I think) in different heights, a "RELAX" sign of a crafty type one might see at a summer cabin, a stack of three books, and "FICTION" in a large font on the wall above. Over the westerns, the sign said "Howdy, Cowboy." The whole fiction area is furnished with comfy seating, and there is a Young Adult corner for teens.
A sign near the eight computers says that the first three black & white prints are free; additional ones are 10 cents, and color prints are 25 cents. I've been seeing more and more of these "first few copies free" policies, especially in smaller libraries.


This attractive fish tank is built into the brick wall that partially separates the adult and children's areas of the library. I like the bold sign above the junior fiction shelves; there is no doubt where we are! The table and chairs for the little kids are painted very attractively, more so than shows in the picture. The librarian and staff/volunteers here clearly have an artistic vision and a desire to provide an attractive oasis for readers in Winthrop.

The library website is



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Comments are welcomed, and I will generally respond to them. Please be tasteful; comments that are in poor taste will be deleted.
Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.