Tuesday, January 5, 2016

378, Blooming Prairie Library

Like many of the smaller communities I visit, Blooming Prairie has a community building with multiple services under one roof. In this case, the Chamber of Commerce and City Council share a lobby with the library. Another part of the building houses the police. I didn't see the fire department, but I'll hazard a guess that it's here, too.

In the library there is a "living room" with upholstered chairs near the periodicals, just right for browsing. A display of Star Wars material includes a model of a large space vehicle that I won't presume to name, as I am quite untutored in these matters. A second seating area is in a corner with windows. I believe there are four Internet computers available to patrons.

The children's area is a treat, and I'm glad I could get some pictures. (Just barely...as I was walking back to take the pictures, a small boy arrived with his adult and headed for this corner.) The central feature is a free-standing play structure with various activity panels, similar to one at the new Arlington Library in St. Paul. Other activity panels are mounted along the wall, and the walls, as you can see, have been painted with bright flowers. At the far right of the murals are painted the words "In Memory of Robert Kubista." A very nice way to be remembered, indeed.

There is also a play kitchen (somewhat sidelined by the newer material), a large Duplo set, a couch, platform rocker, and easy chair providing places to sit and watch kids play...or read to them. The E books ("everyone" or "easy," generally meaning picture books), are on rather high shelves that must require adult help for the highest, fourth from the floor. I saw fiction books labeled J FIC, Teen Fic, and jT FIC. That last one puzzles me, but I forgot to ask. Comment, someone?

The best find was a collection of three-ring notebooks of "Blooming Prairie Library History, on a top shelf. They appear to hold all sorts of photos and clippings. I spotted 1996-1999, 2000-2001, and 2005- . This last was incomplete. I think there were a couple of others, maybe five volumes in all. It's too bad if these are not being maintained.

The library website is at http://www.bloomingprairie.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BB2702B03-807A-4A39-8C1D-D5028E1F34C6%7D or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BloomingPrairieBranchLibrary/?fref=ts


One corner of the community building that holds the library

Entrance to the main lobby

Library entrance inside the lobby

This structure was customized for the library to reflect the town name, "Blooming Prairie."

The blooming prairie theme continues in murals and activity panels along the walls.

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