Friday, May 20, 2016

401 Tahquamenon Area Library, Newberry, MI

The Tahquamenon Area Library is located in Newberry, MI, a town called "quaint" in at least one website. On the day of my visit, quaintness was well masked by a consruction project the length of Newberry Avenue! But I knew the library is in a school, so it was not hard to find. I did not take a picture when I arrived because someone helping me find the right entrance to this large K-12 building let me in an employee entrance; and when I left by the correct, front door, I forgot to take a picture because I always take them on arrival. So this is one of very few entries without a picture. My bad.

On entering from the lobby, I first noted the Van Gogh-ish painting on the wall to the right. That's what I really wish I had a picture of! This is clearly the space for the youngest library users. Many "puppet kits" hang on a rack.

To the left is an area of adult fiction, with many lighthouse models displayed above the books. Easy chairs make this a "living room" area for reading and browsing. Living plants make the space even more welcoming. Adult biographies and non-fiction are nearby.

Beyond this area is J fiction on low shelves under the windows, with a special section for "authors of Michigan." There are tables and chairs to seat at least 20. Some new, tall shelving divided the study area from a group of 16 computers. This may be temporary, as I learned that the shelves are newly arrived and some rearranging will be done. I was intrigued by a set of bright backpacks called "Books Alive," apparently sets of books, accessories, and games, that appeared to be a 4H project.

I chatted with the librarian for a while and learned that, as she put it, "the library is in the school but of the village." It appears that this is a fairly common arrangement in Michigan.

As I left I noticed a display of "Older books but new to our library...Thanks for the donations." I like this. In my experience, donations of books that a library adds to its collection are slipped in quietly. A display of Staff Picks includes "Our Patrons Recommend..."

And finally, a poster asks "Which grade will use the library most this school year?" A chart of data by grade follows, with some additional questions: "Will the winning streak for 6th grade continue?" "Will the Seniors come back from last place?" COME ON SENIORS!


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