Friday, May 20, 2016

400 Paradise, MI Whitefish Township Community Library

This community library is in the aptly-named township of Paradise, Michigan. It sits next to the local school, on a long stretch of road with views of trees, rocks, and the south shore of Lake Superior. It's a basic fancy architecture here. But as soon as I walked in the door, my sense was of warmth and light. Nothing in my visit changed that. And I'm pleased that such a pleasant small library is number 400 in my quest to visit "Every Library I Can."

To the right is an area for the kids, with picture books, easy readers, and a cozy place to sit with a stuffed animal and enjoy a book. Several people who have donated books are honored with framed displays of donor's name and picture and the names of the books donated. A display of picture books on a table here held a number of newly released titles.


Large framed photographs of historic scenes in the area are the subject of some special fundraising. Patrons are invited to "adopt" a picture for a donation of $100: $75 covers cleaning and framing and the other $25 is a donation to the library for other purposes. There were, I think, 10 pictures, and all but one have been adopted. Here's an idea for other libraries, or historical societies, that are trying to restore old material.

Along the front of the building to the left of the door is a bookshelf holding Pulitzer Prize winners and Oprah's picks. There are sets of Masterplots Digest of World Literature (I haven't seen those in a long time), Britannica Great Books, and what looked like the complete Westerns of Louis L'Amour. Then there are shelves of large print books, fiction, and non-fiction.

A community room has shelves of books for sale, and I found several that I will give out next Halloween (instead of candy). There is a popcorn machine here, ready for movie programs.

Finally, there are YA and J fiction, a sizable collection of reference materials, and lots of audio books and other media.

An attractive seating area features two wooden rockers made by a local craftsman. He also made the birchbark-and-twig frames that can be seen in the picture below and smaller ones that hold Dewey Decimal numbers on the adult non-fiction shelves.

A few days ago I was in White River, ON, where Paddle-to-the-Sea got his start. There, I learned that this year marks the 75th anniversary f that classic book. I was pleased to see here in Whitefish, on the south side of the lake, that each year the school children send boats into the lake...and some have received replies from quite far away!

The warm, friendly staff add to the welcoming ambiance here. 


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