The Ironwood, Michigan library is an early Carnegie: 1901. One hundred fifteen years old and still serving the community. Furthermore, it is the oldest Carnegie library still in service in Michigan.
And what did I find here that I hadn't seen before? Several things. First, look at that double radiator! The librarian tells me that it throws out a lot of heat and keeps the place toasty in winter.
It's probably appropriate that Ironwood has an early Carnegie library, when ou think of how Carnegie made his money. A poster in the library makes this clear.
The main floor of the library has a fireplace that looks as if it is not used, and perhaps not usable. A reading/browsing room to the left of the entrance holds the fiction collection, which includes many Star Wars books in their own shelf, westerns, mysteries, inspirational fiction, and romance paperbacks on spinners.
To the right are several computers with signs saying "You must be 18+ to use this computer." I'll hazard a guess that Internet access on these computers is not filtered. The non-fiction collection is here, along with a microfilm reader and many boxes of microfilm, including old Ironwood Times. There are bound copies of National Geographics (old, but I didn't get the dates), and a shelf of local history, and the Michigan Collection. It was here that I spotted a DVD titled "Hurley: The most Infamous Town in America." (Hurley is the next town along the route, five minutes away and in another state!)
On the lower level the is a space for teens with fiction and non-fiction and a tall table with the tall stools/chairs that teens seem to enjoy. A sign suggests that if you "can't find it on the shelf, ask a librarian."
Before you enter the children's area there is a room with a bright geometric carpet, a pair of comfortable-looking chairs, and an alcove filled with material from the Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Center. The material includes zipped bags and plastic bins with learning materials to check out, plus a collection of parenting books. A nice place for parents to wait while children are in a library program.
In the children's area I noted the sturdy bins for picture books, some on legs...
...and some on the floor.
There are five or six of these floor chairs that kids like.
And watching over all is a not-too-scary dragon!
Back upstairs, while saying good-bye to the librarian I noticed this unusual card catalog; look closely and you'll see that it has double drawers, holding two rows of cards each. This card catalog is no longer used, and the librarian pointed out with a laugh that its role now is to hold up the computer that now serves as the catalog.
Take a look at the library's website at