Friday, August 28, 2015

364. Springfield Public Library, Springfield, MN

Entering the Springfield Library, I was greeted by two "library behavior" signs. First, "Backpacks must be left at front desk." I think of this as more a bookstore sign than a library sign, but local needs vary. The second sign said, "Please watch your children. Other patrons may need quiet"--a very reasonable request, gently stated.

A large poster in the children's area claims to list "933 Things to Be Happy About." I glanced over a few and decided that we are not all happy about the same things. Big windows along the front of the building provide plenty of natural light. A large window with a semi-circular top is flanked by two bow windows with platforms or window seats. The children's collection comes first with picture books and junior fiction. Periodicals and a browsing area are by the large center windows. In this area there is a sign asking that patrons please NOT cut recipes and coupons from magazines--a chronic problem in every library, I think. [I visited one library where a sign like this was accompanied by the suggestion that copies can be made, even offering that if a patron could not afford copies, the librarian could make an arrangement.]

Further along by the second bow window there are live plants and tables with upholstered chairs. A special bookcase holds books by Louis L'Amour and Zane Gray. I don't know whether these are complete sets, but each author's books are bound alike. A library-themed quilt is nearby, as is a map and atlas stand and a stand for an unabridged dictionary. I was glad to see the atlas stand; the library where I work is losing this piece of furniture, relegating the atlases to the oversized-books shelves, at least until they lose out totally to Google Earth, MapQuest, and their ilk.

There are three study rooms along one wall. They have dark woodwork and partial glass walls that give a classic look--and a shelf with three chairs along the back wall in each, a more modern-looking arrangement for laptop users. There is an Archives room with a microfilm reader. (The place where I work is losing that, too.) There are four computers for patron use.




Back at the children's area on my way out, I spotted a sign that says, "Hey kids! Did you know? You can read a book without a book. Check out an eBook." I wonder if this appeal works with kids who are willing to read but just don't like books?
On a wall near the door is a framed picture of Arlene Hartwick, "In recognition of many years of dedicated and faithful service as Librarian of Springfield Public Library." Talking to the current librarian, I learned that Springfield's first library was in a pioneer woman's home. Then it moved to its own building, before moving to the current site. This building was made possible by a significant donation, and was erected in m1991-1992.

There is also a large, handsome wooden rocker, provided in honor of Lucas Dale Fast. I was told that kids like to climb into this chair to read.

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