This was a revisit. I was here three years ago, and what stuck in my mind was the full-sized sailboat, the S. S. I Can Read--would it still be here?
I arrived mid-afternoon with time to spare, as this was my last library visit on the trip and I would spend the night in Escanaba. I brought my laptop in, caught up with this and that, and worked on a couple of posts.From where I sat, I could see the room with the Friends of the Library book sale, and I made a mental note to check it out before I left.
Suddenly it dawned on me...it was Friday! Every library I know closes at 5 on Friday! (Well, OK, not university libraries, and downtown Minneaplis is open until 6, but still...it was about 4:40!) I packed up the laptop and took a quick look around. Then I sought and got permission to take some pictures. No chance to chat with staff, as everyone was busy with the many tasks that surround closing. Been there, done that. OK, I'll let the pictures speak.
I hope it has a name. End caps on shelves are used to display art and writing by children.
There are four iPads mounted on a child-height counter, looking somewhat like creatures with eye stalks. The curved counter where they are mounted surrounds what appears to be the children's librarian's office and work space. Nearby is the door to a separate Story Room.There is a Duplo table, and many large stuffed animals on the tops of shelves "For display only,"
I occasionally see these sloping, two-sided tables,
and I think they must be wonderful for concentrating on a picture book
without having to actually hold it.
I don't remember these fellows from my earlier visit,
but they may have been there.
And indeed, the S. S. I Can Read
is still sailing the library sea.
The teen area has two iPads and a faux grandfather clock in muted blue.
Just one view of the stacks, hinting at the spacious feeling that results from the sloping ceiling. Looking around in the adult area I was pleased to see that the genealogy section is as impressive as ever. I've told many people about the cards where visitors can leave their contact information and notes about the ancestors they are looking for. I haven't seen that anywhere else, and it seems so smart.
The circulation desk is handsome and practical with its curved design; I can't quite decide whether the lamps add whimsy or gravitas; perhaps a bit of each. I like the combination of high and low counters.
I'll also mention one nifty science feature that I saw right outside the library. There is a pole with a 1-foot diameter model of the sun. Spaced along the sidewalk are models of the planets with informative signs for each; Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are just a few feet apart. I learned from the sign at the sun that I would have to walk 1.25 miles to reach Neptune!