Tuesday, January 5, 2016

376. Waseca Public Library, Waseca, MN

Classes at the U don't start for a couple of weeks, weather is cold and sunny, roads are clear---time to head out and collect some libraries. I chose a cluster of four as-yet-unvisited, found that all were open on Monday, and headed south. I drove out of the sunshine into gray skies, but the frost on trees and plants more than made up for the grayness. Look at the picture below...that's a sample of almost the entire trip.

First stop, Waseca, Minnesota. The lobby has just been remodeled and looks ready for the Friends of the Library to start receiving donated books for sale. I don't know what it was like before, but now there is a corridor to the right with restrooms that appear new, a mid-sized meeting room, and wooden shelves ready for those donations. There are two drinking fountains, one of which is a "hydration station" designed so that water bottles can be conveniently refilled. These stations have a counter indicating how many new bottles of water have been saved; 88, as of 1/4/2016, early afternoon.

A detail that I didn't notice until I was leaving is a "tree" that divides the lobby from the library itself. This "tree" consists of several vertical wooden pieces painted brown, attached to the wall an inch or so apart, for the trunk, and several more pieces painted green that simulate branches and leaves overhead. I regret that I didn't take a picture. Perhaps someone will share one in a comment? It's a very nice touch.

To the right are the adult and young adult areas, with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on a park. Upholstered chairs with arm desks face the windows. I spotted about a half dozen Internet computers, and of course, wi-fi is available.

It looks as if some reorganizing or some serious weeding is taking place, judging from a row in the stacks with no books at all. This allowed me to spot something I haven't seen elsewhere, a system in which metal bookends fit into a track on each shelf. This is pretty neat. First, no "missing" bookends. Second, a slanted sort of bracket on the right side of each bookend means that it will be difficult to "shelve to the right of the bookend," a major no-no in shelving (in my experience).

Another set of chairs by a tall window is near the newspapers. A sign asks that patrons "Please do not tear out articles...you may make copies. A new copier is nearby; pay at the desk, 10 cents for B&W, 25 cents for color--very reasonable.

DVDs are shelved directly across from the service desk and are limited to three per family.

In the children's area, a pair of large green nylon "leaves" add a whimsical touch. Non-fiction picture books are in bins, labeled by topic (400-519 Counting, Science Experiments), while other picture books are shelved by the author's name.

I liked seeing "Tween Recommended Reads" posted on the end of a shelf of J Fiction. Junior fiction these days comes in such a wide variety, guidance is helpful. Many books have Accelerated Reader or Advanced Reader stickers on the spines. I'm familiar with Accelerated Reader; I'm not sure if these are two labels for the same thing, or if Advanced Reader means something else. Either way, these stickers suggest school and library cooperation.

There's a nice big light table with Xrays and something I haven't seen before: transparencies with line drawings of the objects shown in the Xrays. So, for example, I was able to place the line drawing of a face over the Xray of a skull (with a rather creepy result).

I inquired about a group of "things" made of recycled materials and lots of tape, and learned that they are child-created Star Wars Droids. The library offers programs like this on "early release" days, and hosts up to 50 kids. I suggested that this must be quite a crowd and was assured that "It is, but they are very well-behaved."

The library website is http://wasecalesueurlibraries.com/. There is also a Facebook page,

Nice frosted trees for the backdrop for the library.

A closer view

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