Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How is your library doing?

I just read this article about libraries in the UK, along with some interviews with library users. Take a look, then how about leaving a comment about your local library, whether it's thriving, whether it's offering new programs, and how you use it.

If you have trouble leaving a comment (I've heard that those without gmail accounts may have problems), send me an email at, and I'll paste it in as a comment.

Monday, March 21, 2016

387. Spencer, Iowa

The Spencer, Iowa, library was home to Dewey Readmore Books, whose story has been told in adult, junior, and picture book formats. The statue here greets users of the library, just as the famed library cat must have greeted patrons in the past. I admit it: My whole Iowa road trip was planned to include a visit here.

In addition to many depictions of Dewey, the children's area is graced with what at first look appears to be an aquarium. But is a glass case shaped like a large aquarium, but filled with glass fish and plants. It's the creation of a local glass shop, and it is marvelous.

Beyond this display is a semi-enclosed space for the smallest kids and their adults, with a window wall to the outside, a number rug, and picture books arranged by topic: concepts, growing, rhymes, and so forth.

In another part of the children's area there is a "pond" rug with a large foam "lily pad" perhaps a foot tall for sitting or sprawling. There are three computers for kids, a collection of books in Spanish, periodicals and junior graphic novels, junior fiction, and picture books. All sorts of things grace the tops of the shelves, including a faux feathered owl, plants, small sculptures...all sorts of things.

A biography and reference section includes some classics, like the 1926 Index to Fairy Tales and the 1942 Index to Children's Poetry. I doubt that these are often used (I could be wrong about that), but I like seeing classic reference books still available.

The adult side of the library feels very spacious. Wall shelves plus shelves that are limited to three- and five-high provide good sight lines.The John Watts ICN Conference Room had closed blinds, A shelf nearby holds reference books and book about Iowa. There are "Living room" seating areas for browsers, and a large jigsaw puzzle was about 1/2 done when I was there. Near a genealogy section are three old glass-topped wooden tables with wheeled chairs, and a very large, very old globe on a wooden stand. Wall shelves in this area are seven-high, but the bottom and top shelves are not used, which is nice for access.

The teen center has a bright rug and a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and graphics.

An old file cabinet with shallow drawers is creatively used for music CDs, and a magnetic poetry set is available nearby.

But about that cat...  I was fortunate to talk to a staff person who grew up in Spencer and had known Dewey when she was young. She very kindly took me back to the staff room and showed me the cold, metal-lined book drop where the abandoned kitten was found. She was even kind enough to take a picture of me with the book drop and email it to me, since my camera was being difficult. [OK, Ellen, stop blaming the camera; it somehow got set on video, that's why it didn't appear to be working for taking still photos.] She pointed out the place where Dewey is buried, beyond that window wall in the children's area.

Tomorrow, March 22, I'll be sharing my pictures with a class of third graders in St. Paul, and reading them the first chapter of Dewey the Library Cat, which is at their level but too long for the time I have with them, followed by the picture book Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library. I am so glad that I can do this, and tell them "Yes, I was there"

Read more about Dewey and about the Spencer library at and find them on Facebook at

3/18/2016, car

Spencer, Iowa, Public Library

The sheltered entrance

Dewey's resting place

Looking into the picture book area from outside

Dewey's first entrance to the library, through the book return slot

A picture of Dewey inside the lid of the book drop. He was found huddled under books in one of the front corners, on a very cold morning. The book drop is insulated to protect the staff room from the outside cold; this, of course, kept it very cold for the books--and the 8-week-old kitten!
And yes, that old person is me.

386. Fort Dodge, Iowa

The first trick was finding the library! My GPS did its thing, but brought me to a location where I couldn't see the sign, which is perfectly clear. The library is set in a large park, and once spotted, it was impossible to miss.

Off the lobby is a large Friends of the Library bookstore. They had a cart with many kid's titles for 25 cents, and on my way out I bought a bagful to put aside for next Halloween. Thanks, Friends!

There is a historical display about the Karl L. King Municipal Band. I went here:  and read about its founder, Karl L. King, circus bandmaster, march king, and composer. The band still exists and the statue I saw out in the park was of King, of course. This was of special interest to me because my grandfather was a band director in New Hampshire in roughly the same era.

Inside, I went first to the adult area, where I saw 10 computers in a lab setting and at least eight others. A genealogy collection is near a microfilm reader. Newspapers back to 1887 are available on microfilm for this reader. Along a window wall there are two "living room" clusters and a couple of large study tables.

The Teen area is designated by stars hanging from the ceiling. There are two nearby study rooms and a couple more computers in carrels.

Walking through the non-fiction stacks I saw that the last row includes a lot of very old books and a bound set of Palimpsest, Iowa's Popular History Magazine from 1920 to 1994. I also by chance spotted a book, 613.96, shelved with the 940 history books. I think I know why, but I'll leave this as a riddle for the reader. I'm sure it wasn't mis-shelved by anyone on staff. I placed it flat on an empty shelf so they could spot it easily and put it back in the right place!

Fiction stacks followed the non-fiction. The periodicals are close by a couple more "living room" seating areas, a fireplace, and some carrels.

This was the day after St. Patrick's Day and the children's area had green and white globes plus "pots of gold" hanging from the ceiling. One area by a large window has four kid-sized easy chairs arranged around a table; there's a picture below.

I like the way kid's non-fiction shelves are labeled. Here's an example:
               J Non-Fiction               BIOGRAPHIES located
               917.3 - 999                   in this aisle
                                                    Popular Books in this aisle:
                                                    States, War, Indians,
                                                    History, Presidents

This reminds me of the new practice in Rochester, MN, of having children's non-fiction books in "neighborhoods" instead of by Dewey numbers. The Fort Dodge system combines the two practices in a useful way, I think.

There are six computers for kids. A Storytime Room has a small door set into the large, adult-size door, similar to the entrance to Wild Rumpus Bookstore in Minneapolis. (I was happy to learn, by the way, that the children's librarian is familiar with that bookstore.) There are lots of Junior and Picture books.

Puppet theaters are often found in the children's area of libraries, but here the theater reflects buildings from the town's business district. And the puppets are kept in individual, brightly-painted  cubby holes, as you will see below. You'll also see a picture of Skittles the parakeet.

I like this sign: "This area is for use by children and their caregivers. No cell phone conversations allowed." In addition to the obvious meaning, I hope that means that parents should pay attention to their kids and not distract themselves with their cell phones! Another sign shows tornado safety routes, a sobering reminder of what the weather can do in this part of the country.

Every corner of the children's area (of the whole library, really) shows creative and decorative touches. The children's librarian, who was working on the next display even as we talked, made clear that it was a team effort...but, yes, she is the head of the team.

Visit the library website at and see it on Facebook at


Once I spotted this sign, the rest was easy.

The puppet theater reflects the town buildings...

...and each puppet has its own colorful storage space.

Skittles the parakeet was absorbed in his own business and paid no attention to me.

A paper-chain rainbow on the bulletin board leads to a pot of gold.
The text on the left reminds patrons that registration for the summer reading program
will start on March 31.

Go to and you'll see
the significance of the white arch on the wall of this child-scaled "living room."

Sunday, March 20, 2016

385. Eagle Grove Memorial Library, Iowa

Eagle Grove got my attention when I saw something on-line that said this Iowa town was visited by NO political candidates this year. None! I had no idea what to expect of a town ignored by the many swarming candidates; didn't some of them say they would visit "every" Iowa town? What I found was a very attractive town, population a bit less than 4000, with a lively library. [And I learned from the librarian that in other years they have indeed had candidate visits, and even programs right here at the library.]

One of the first things that caught my eye was this display:
When I first saw this, it included a scattering of shiny green and gold balls and beads for St. Patrick's day. By the time I left, it sported an arrangement of artificial flowers. Unfortunately, I caught it "undressed" during the seasonal change.  Another St. Pat's feature was a table with perhaps a dozen books wrapped in green and white, a version of the "blind date with a book" that I've seen in libraries at Valentine's Day. I was told that these were left from perhaps 40 that had been set out originally. There was also a shelf nearby displaying Irish-themed books, and other that were simply green. Someone is having a good time with seasons and holidays here, and it certainly adds sparkle.

Behind that stained glass panel is a sunny corner with large print books, live plants, browsing material, and a display of arrowheads and stone axes donated by Maynard Caquelin. The window in this corner was decked out with pictures of people drawn by kindergartners.

There are six computers on tables that form a hexagon. The stacks are of wood, nice and warm, and there seem to be an especially large number of books on CD.

As I moved from the adult to the kids side of the library, I saw a genuine popcorn wagon, ready for the next movie day. A shelf of stuffed animals includes lots of "Penworthy" bears in three sizes. A quick look on line shows that Penworthy is the name (and thus the mascot) of a publishing house that specializes in children's books with sturdy library bindings. The kids area features a ceiling that is like the underside of a long gable roof. That doesn't feel like the best description, but it certainly caught my eye as a nice feature. There are many artful touches, like a series of nursery rhyme prints and some decorative plates high on the gable end of the wall.

Two trapezoidal tables form a very large table for art projects or whatever. One corner of the space has a Thomas the Train table with plenty of tracks, a Duplo table, and a number of floor cushions. There are signs on the wall that clearly have been made by kids, with messages like "Reading is fun," "The library rocks, the library rules," and "The library is amazing." Coloring sheets are taped to a nearby window, reflecting themes from Halloween through Easter. There are lots of picture books and board books.

To my eyes, Eagle Grove Library is marked by an artistic approach that makes it very attractive. Read more about it at and check it out on Facebook at

3/18/16, car

384. Oskaloosa, Iowa

The Oskaloosa Public Library is a Carnegie library, with a major addition in 1997. The addition was nicely done, with features like the muntins on the square upper windows, pillars by the new entrance, and interior woodwork, all echoing or complementing the original architecture.

The first things I noticed on entering were an invitation to teens to join the Teen Advisory Board and "Go Ahead, Boss Us Around!" and an aquarium with two rather large goldfish. Or two hefty fish of a bright orange hue, at least.

A table in the kids area was ready for various "passive programming" activities. There's a computer for kids, plus two catalog computers, and two DVD viewing stations; get headphones at the desk! There are bins and shelves of board books and picture books. Near the display of media is a sign indicating that books on CD are shelved with the chapter books, next to the same title. For what it's worth, I like this practice.

For some reason it was here that I made note of a PBS Kids "Raising Readers" rug, and realized that I had seen such a rug in most, of not all, of the Iowa libraries I've visited. There is also a "Ready for School" rug from Iowa Public TV and some very tall posters from the same source that appear to unroll from a base, rather like an upside-down window shade. I saw all of these in other libraries, but for some reason they only got into my notes here.

Junior non-fiction is on regular shelves, but from place to place the third shelf up is slanted to create a display surface. A sign asks patrons to please not reshelve books, rather put them in the return slot.

Something unusual: Large patterns on the wall created with various colors of 3x3 sticky notes. For some reason, they made me think of Native American rock art, but they also look like enormous pixelated art.

Stairs with deep treads and short risers make it easy to get upstairs. Here, there is a generous teen area with more sticky-note art. A display encourages teens to join the Kiwanis Key Club.

There are about 20 computers, some in a separate lab. A genealogy room has two computers, a couple of micro-readers, and plenty of books.

The main space has non-fiction stacks to the right, fiction to the left, and media in the center. An interesting shelving practice in non-fiction has biographies first, then Dewey Decimal for the rest in order. I'm sure many patrons appreciate having biographies so readily locatable.

A display of "Staff Picks" includes colored copies of each book jacket and a rather thorough review or reason for recommending the book.

Visit the library website at or read about it on Facebook at

Side note on this trip: I chose to visit Oskaloosa partly because I heard about the Book Vault, an independent bookstore just a couple of blocks from the library. Good place, I recommend a visit. There is also an eatery next door where I thought of having dinner. However, it was St. Patrick's Day and it appeared that some folks were setting up to create live music. Being an impossible oldster, I escaped and found some dinner to take back to my motel room!

Read about the bookstore here: and here:

6/17/16, car

The Carnegie facade

The new entrance

383. Akers Memorial Library, Eddyville, Iowa

I spotted Eddyville on the map and decided to visit here, partly in honor of a friend, "Fast Eddy," a 75-year-old ultra-marathoner. What I found was a very nice, well-loved town library, with some unique features. How can it be that after more than 380 libraries, I'm still finding something new at every visit?

Here, the first thing that struck me was the upcoming fundraiser by the Friends of the Library. Not a bake sale, not a book sale...they are collecting purses and jewelry for sale! I didn't see jewelry, but there were boxes and boxes of purses, on the floor and on top of the shelves.

See the windows in the picture above? Inside those windows is a pleasant place to read, listen to music, or watch a video, with easy chairs, a couch, boom box, and TV/VCR. Nearby is a cabinet with reminders of 175 years of Eddyville, 1840-2015. There are also three computers.

The media display has a sign that the area is under surveillance, which is a necessary option compared to keeping DVDs at the service desk as some libraries do. And here's a heads-up for you: Star Wars and Game of Thrones DVDs circulate only one to a family at a time! Fair enough.

Some historical books are kept in a locked cabinet; a notebook lists the contents, and staff will get out the book(s) that you need. Adult fiction is shelved along the walls, non-fiction in free-standing stacks.

The kids area features a unique table that appears to be built of 3/4-inch plywood, painted in primary colors. As you can see in the picture below, it has a built-in holder for a roll of art paper. Somebody had a wonderful idea and the wherewithal to bring it about.

I was pleased to see a whole crate of books in the We Both Read series. I've used these books for tutoring and I like them a lot. They are great for an adult to read with a kid whose interest exceeds his or her present reading level. Baskets of board books for the youngest patrons are on the bottom shelves beneath the picture books. There are also board games available, and of course junior fiction and non-fiction.

You'll find the library's website at and you can also visit their Facebook page at

3/17/2017, car

This is the place!
Nice place to read or visit on a warmer day

Entrance, with the "child reading" statue on the bench

The custom table with the built-in rack for paper

Saturday, March 19, 2016

382. Waterloo, Iowa

This is a big-city, two-story library, and a handsome one, at that. I turned left after entering and immediately spotted a "never seen before"--a notice for a book club called the "Must List Club," devoted to "binge-worthy books." This notice was on the end of a shelf in the large collection of Large Print books. Adjacent to that collection is the Friends of the Library  used book store, an enclosed room that seems very well maintained and organized. There were a few specials on the day I was there: magazines, 3 for a dollar, food magazines 10 cents. Comic books command a premium at $1.00 each. One side of the room has a high ledge with special books displayed (all for sale, of course).

The main part of the first floor has extensive "New" displays: Fiction, Non-ficition, Playaways, Teen, BluRays, and DVDs. There are also Express books (1 week, no renewals, 50 cents/day over due) and DVDs (3 days, no renewal, 50 cents). A book club section has shelves with multiple copies of book club titles. I've seen plenty of libraries with "book club in a bag" arrangements, but the Waterloo approach is new to me. I like it. It was also here that I saw a notice that some books have special stickers indicating that they are also available for download. Beyond all these special displays are the adult fiction stacks with all the usual genres.

The other half of the first floor is the children's area. Local schools were on spring break, and the area was lively with kids of all ages. There are all the kinds of books you'd expect to find, and a few surprises. The best surprise was a cardboard rack of 12-page books with colored photograph covers, each related to Iowa sports. These are all easy readers; I saw "emergent" and "level 1"--there may have been others. It appears that they were all written by Ann Bek in cooperation with the University of Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee. With the sports themes and the local tie-ins, I'd expect these to be very popular.

The area is surrounded by tall, round-topped windows for lots of light. The "stacks" are five shelves high, but the bottom shelves are not used, a nice feature for adults. There is a large wooden puppet theater and a wooden train on a low table. Eight computers are designated for kids, and in a very nice touch, there is a row of adult-sized chairs a few feet behind the kids' chairs, allowing parents to be nearby, perhaps reading, while kids do their thing on the computers.

One corner seemed quieter than the rest, partially because nobody was using it but also because it's somewhat out of the main traffic patterns. It is full of picture books, a couch, tables, and chairs, but no "toys." Another corner with an alphabet rug and bins of board books is clearly a spot for toddlers and adults.

The children's librarian and staff have an enclosed office with window walls above desk height. I had a fine time chatting with the librarian. I had assumed I would be unable to take pictures, but she suggested the enormous goldfish hanging from the ceiling nearby. You can also see some of the many LEGO constructions on display. One other cool thing: The McElroy Trust donated 1000 books to the library for them to distribute, free, to kids during spring break. How cool is that?!

Next I headed upstairs. It's a long way up, but made manageable with a "square spiral" staircase with four or six steps, then a landing and a 90-degree turn. [A far cry from the intimidating 'straight up' staircase at a library near my home!] Of course, there is also an elevator. The upper floor holds the non-fiction, periodical, and media collections and an area for teens. Historical photographs are displayed on the outside walls. In fact, as I recall, there are very few inside walls. The space is very open and full of natural light. There is one closed room for history and genealogy materials. There are some materials in Spanish.

I saw about 30 computers and seven study rooms. And I learned from a librarian that Waterloo was the only city west of the Mississippi to have, at one time, two Carnegie libraries. The two were combined in 1981. The current building, built in 1938, was once the post office. 

My biggest surprise wasn't exactly a "library" thing at all. There is a kiosk on the second floor where you can renew your driver's license! It's self-service. Stand on the footprints and have your picture taken, insert your license (and credit card, I'm sure) and get your new license back. Amazing!

See the libraries website at and visit them on Facebook at

3/17/2016, car

The front facade of the building;
the children's area is behind the first-floor windows
on the far end of the building.

Just a hint of the handsome details

381. Denver, Iowa

I had some fun telling friends that I was taking a two-day road trip from St. Paul, MN, by car, and would include Denver. Now they understand that there is more than one Denver...the mile-high one in Colorado, and the mile-wide one in Iowa.

The lobby includes a display of Denver history and the photo-story of a community-built playground. A table encouraged visitors to "Support Denver Businesses" and held cards and brochures from many of those businesses, a very nice indication of civic pride. A couple of glass cases had displays related to local veterans. The shelf of "books for sale" is run by and benefits the Teen Advisory Council. And there is a cart of free magazines; this time, I had some in the car which I added to the collection. And all this was just the lobby!

There are more display cases inside, one with pictures and books about Denver country, town, and city schools, and another with fossils and archaeological artifacts. A collection of name plaques on the wall identify Denver Public Library memorials. There are many framed art works available to borrow; I understand that some are borrowed by individual patrons, others by local businesses. Nice!

In the children's area a curved wall with a series of tall windows has a deep shelf that creates cubbies below the windows. The cubbies hold "preschool years" packs of related materials to borrow. A puppet theater had four wooden rockers lined up in front, waiting for someone to put on a show. A very interesting feature is a "reading loft" with a staircase, perhaps 6 or 7 feet above the main floor. It was closed when I was there, but the librarian I spoke to said she would soon open it; the closure was for for crowd control during a spring break program the day before that had brought in 60+ people! Rules for the loft include a maximum 8 people, and kids under ten years must have a parent with them in the loft.

An unusual piece of "furniture" is a sort of pit, about ten by six feet, formed of foam shapes that fit together to make a rectangle with back supports. There are four computers for kids.

In the adult area there is a browsing corner with four easy chairs, windows, a large fig tree, and nearby periodicals. A patio (closed on this cold, not-quite-spring day, overlooks a park with a creek. There is a fireplace and more casual seating near the newspapers.

I was intrigued by a series of books about Iowa by local author Linda Betsinger McCann, especially the ones titled "Lost <name> County. I'm going to see if some of them are available in St. Paul or through interlibrary loan, because they look very interesting.

I was chatting with the librarian before I left and noticed a display of cake pans for loan, most of them donated. The first place I saw such a thing was in the Osage, Iowa, library, but I've since seen them from time to time in at least three states.

The librarian told me about their annual butterfly project, in which a patron brings in monarch caterpillars that are raised in the library, then released in a butterfly garden out by the patio. Roseville, MN, has a similar program.

The library web site is at, and you can join them on Facebook at

3/17/2016, car

The library entrance

A closer view of the entrance

The sign that identifies this as the "Mile Wide City"

Another view

Friday, March 18, 2016

380. Charles City, Iowa

I chose Charles City  for this trip from among many libraries on my route in honor of a librarian at the library where I used to work. A large lobby area serves the River Room, a large meeting space that looks out on a park. It also holds a book sale, a shelf/desk with power for laptops, self-serve coffee, tea, and cocoa, and casual seating.

Inside the library, I first noticed a lot of LEGO constructions. There are about a dozen Internet computers and a couple more for the catalog. The non-fiction stacks include a large genealogy collection. To my surprise, this includes the New England Historical and Genealogical Register from 1926 to 2006. The walls are lined with framed art available for loan, and outside one window there is a small patio with three benches (closed for the season). At the end of non-fiction there is a long shelf, three-high, with very old books. A nice touch is providing a padded seat at the end of each row of the stacks.

Between the non-fiction and fiction stacks are six round tables. Some upholstered chairs are near the periodical collection. United States and Iowa flags are displayed near this area, making me wonder if it is sometimes used for organizational meetings of some sort--or perhaps as background when Presidential candidates come to call? Some easy chairs and a couple of comfortable-looking wooden rockers are near the periodicals. The shelving is all wood, which is nice and warm.

A table with a jigsaw puzzle ready to go marks the edge of the Teen collection.

The collections of recorded books, non-fiction DVDs, and PlayAways seemed unusually large.

The children's area is a separate room with glass walls. This morning the door was closed, as a story time for the toddler set was in session. I slipped in and got the pictures (below) of a wonderful mural. There was a display of pairs of books for a March Madness "bracket"--read both and vote, later this spring there will be an overall winner.

The library's website is here:

3/17/2016, car

A view from the shopping center side

Look closely to see the very tall metallic reading statues.

I walked past the library and found this enthusiastic river. A sign suggested that people kayak here; not me! The bridge on the right appears to provide a shortcut to a residential area.

The entrance is on the left.

The mural, with pairs of books displayed below it

A detail from the mural: the Owl and the Pussycat
heading to sea in their pea-green boat

Sunday, March 13, 2016

41b. George Latimer Central Library, St. Paul, MN

I don't get to this library very often, although it's my "home" library. The Twin Cities area is very rich in libraries, including the branches of the St. Paul library, Ramsey County Library System, and Hennepin County Library System; several of these are more convenient for me. But I like to get here once in a while, largely because the building is so handsome. Also, this is sometimes the only place where a book I want is available.

This post covers two trips, first on January 30 when it reopened after renovations and then on March 12 when the Nicholson Workforce and Innovation Center Lab opened. 

I don't know the building well, so some of the changes may have slipped past me. On the first visit, in January, I took a closer look at the teen area than I have in the past, mainly because there were no teens present, so I didn't feel like an interloper! Impression: Comfortable, cozy, three computers just for teens, graphic novels, periodicals, and magnetic poetry on the wall.

Across from the teen area is the children's room, which fortunately still has the handsome puppet theater. Changes here include a bright lounge area near the windows "especially for kids 8 to 12." I was intrigued by a short wall and a table created from large LEGO-ish blocks. It was my impression that there are more easy chairs throughout the children's area. At the far end,there is a creative play space with a table, pretend food, and a "market." Tables throughout the area hold a variety of interactive toys for the preschool set. There are seven computers and a self-check-out station.

Upstairs in the "adult" library it seems that the major change is moving many books to the stack area, leaving room for more tables for reading and browsing, with a generally more open and spacious feel. One side of the second floor is for media and non-fiction. The other side holds fiction. Here there seem to be more books readily available, including on a mezzanine level at the far end of the room. My knee was unhappy, so I didn't go up to look around. More fiction is in the stacks, of course.

Periodicals are on the third floor, and the periodicals room houses a large card catalog, no longer updated but used in the past for the document collection. I chatted with a librarian here, and she walked me out to the open space with the stairs and the elevators, pointing out architectural features and the wonderful ceiling; if you visit, be sure you look up!

Across from the periodical room is the new Nicholson Commons, which was not open yet at my first visit. It was open on March 12, however, and it's quite a space. There are books related to building job skills and finding work, and plenty of shelf space for this collection to expand. Twelve computers are available for public use, and there is additional space for using personal computers. A large area with windows overlooking the Mississippi can be closed off with a glass wall to create a quiet training space. During the open house, when I was there, it was being used for information tables from groups including Chalkboard and SCORE. [There were also coffee and cookies, but don't count on that when you visit!]

My main interest was in the Maker Lab for adults. It seems that "maker space" has been primarily for teens, so it's great to see this dedicated to the grown ups! A sewing machine was set up outside the issues, I'm sure, since a lot of people were present for the opening. There is a laser cutter that will cut just about anything--except vinyl, someone said, because vinyl gives off toxic fumes. The demonstrater mentioned that a pattern could be laser-cut, then assembled with the sewing machine. Cool!. A 3-D printer can be reserved, with some limits on the size (and thus the time required) of the object you want to print. A computer and software are dedicated to converting old VHS tapes, phonograph records, cassettes, and such to digital formats. I asked about a project I would like to tackle: I have old home movies that were converted to CD a while back, but without any editing or labels--could I use the equipment here to re-digitize and add labels and such? The person demo-ing the equipment was not sure, but on my way home I was thinking that I still have the VHS version; perhaps I can back up and work from that? We'll see.

1/30/2016 and 3/12/2016, bus both times

Reach the library website at I did not find a specific Facebook page, but searching for "George Latimer Library" yields plenty of results.

This sign outside gives a capsule history of the St, Paul Public Library.

The public library is in the foreground; the more distant part of the building houses
the business-focused James J. Hill Reference Library.

In addition to the street entrance, the library can be reached via tunnel and skyway.
Once, just to see if I could, I traveled from the renovated Union Depot to the library.
I was inside all the way, but had to make ample use of the "You Are Here" maps on the walls!