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

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