Saturday, October 24, 2015

370. Silver Bay, Arrowhead Region, Minnesota

With my visit to Silver Bay, I've now been to all of the Arrowhead District libraries along Route 61 and Lake Superior. You can see from the pictures what a beautiful clear day I had for travelling; I wish I had turned 90 degrees to my right and taken a picture to show you how very dark blue the lake was this day.

My GPS had a little trouble with the address here in Silver Bay; I had the correct address, but the GPS took me to the middle of a residential area with no sign of a library. A stop at a nearby shopping mall, a visit to the local bank at the mall, and I discovered that I was within walking distance! So I got my notebook and camera from the car and walked downhill a bit to the brick building you see below.

To the left of the door is a small seating area (you can see the window in the second picture) with a round rug, two easy chairs, large paintings on the walls, and a small table. The periodicals and newspapers are nearby. I imagine that this is a popular spot with some people at some times of day.

Beyond this area is a long table with chairs--and a collection of coloring papers and colored pencils, for adults! I've seen jigsaw puzzles, checkers and chess set ups, and other games, but a chance to color? That's a new one, and I like it. It's a fun "passive programming" addition that any library could implement for very little cost.

The non-fiction area has assorted study tables adjacent to the stacks. There are racks of paperback books, CDs, and DVDs; I learned that recorded books and DVDs are part of a "floating collection" within the Arrowhead Region of northeast Minnesota. A floating collection is a great way to provide sites with variety without having to buy many duplicate titles. Of course one does not have to wait for a title to "float" in--items can be requested from within the region and beyond.

In what appeared to be a "history corner" I spotted bound copies of Silver Bay News from the 60s. There are also two large ring binders of history by senior citizens, with pages of newspaper clippings, photos, and what appear to be memoirs. This is a nice way to collect memories and provide continuity in a community. They are up rather high (for protection and space reasons, I would guess) but can be lifted down to a sloping table for perusal.

The children's area and adult fiction collections are to the right of the entrance. A sign on the wall in the children's area says "In Memory of Margaret S. Davidson, Founder and Librarian, Silver Bay Public Library 1953 to 1963."

There is a good-sized rug with a "pond" and a "footbridge" printed on it, wonderful for imaginative play. All sorts of objects line the top shelves along the wall, including a 3-D jigsaw puzzle of the White House. On the walls above are pencil/charcoal drawings of children of various cultures, perhaps by a local artist? I wish I had asked. Children's books include picture books, fiction, and many, many Nancy Drew books. I like the bookends that have been made with beaver-gnawed branches, and the decorated paint-stirring sticks available for use as shelf markers.

A small teen area has a soda fountain-style table and pair of chairs, as well as a collection of young adult fiction.

It's not a library program, but I noticed on the bulletin board in the entrance a poster about an October 31 event in the town: an attempt to set a world record for "most bat houses built in one day." If I lived closer, and if I didn't have to work on the 31st, I'd be tempted to participate in that!

[This is where I would normally put a link to the library website, but I could not find one. The link from the Arrowhead District page appears to be broken. My attempt to find a Facebook page led only to a generic "placeholder." If someone reading this can provide working links, I'll gladly include them here.]


Silver Bay Public Library

A closer view, showing the small deck and bench at the entrance

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