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

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