So...why Tillsonburg? Well, I was looking at my route across southern Ontario from Niagara to Oswego, NY, and spotted two possibilities: St. Thomas and Tillsonburg. And my brain, which is prone to tangents, said "Sir Michael Tilson Thomas," the composer, conductor, and pianist." And at that point, I knew I had to visit both.
So here we are in Tillsonburg. The library is at 2 Library Lane, which means it is located on a sort of passageway from Main Street to a parking area--see the third picture below.
The lobby greets a visitor with two easy chairs, upholstered in book-themed fabric. There are two others in a browsing area to the right. [And many more in other libraries I've visited; this is a very popular library fabric!] A "word cloud" graces the wall of the lobby, formed of words representing all that is found in a library.
New books are displayed alongside copies of book jackets for books "Coming soon...place a hold now!" Video cameras are in use, signaled by "Smile, you're on camera" signs. I spotted the first sign, appropriately enough, over the DVD display. I see this sort of sign often; much less common is another sign, "Theft costs us all. Please tell staff if you see someone damaging or stealing library material."
Another sign, with a very different tone, is on a table in the genealogy section. It warns patrons that movies are shown in an adjacent program room on Monday afternoons, so please be aware that this area may be noisy at that time. A nice reminder, that may cut down on angry patrons at the service desk.
There are a couple of small study rooms available. Easy chairs near some high windows and the periodical collection create a nice place to sit and read. As I've seen in other Canadian libraries, red and white maple leaf stickers identify books with Canadian themes or authors. There are collections of book in French and Dutch.
A couple of large, attractive curved shelves break the linearity of the space. One set of these shelves holds graphic novels, comics, and biographies. [I didn't note what the other set holds.] There are eight computers nearby for pubic use.
On to the children's area, where a castle wall asserts that "ADVENTURE AWAITS YOU HERE." This is not a year-round feature, I was told, but is part of the summer reading program. One side of the castle doorway says "Ye Olde Registration and Reporting." The other side lists "Ye Olde Summer Programs," with SUCCESS pasted across those that have been completed.
A very realistic-looking tree with a stump that forms a seat, The Reading Tree, was donated by John and Liz Lessif; I was told that it came from California! It's a wonderful addition and fits well with the animal-themed mural and the enormous stuffed animals.
Tables were set up with the remainders from a Curious George birthday party. Apparently it is Curious George's 75th birthday! [This year is also Paddle to the Sea's 75th, and the 100th anniversary of the time when a military vet on his way to England in WWI bought the bear cub that ended up in the London Zoo where she (yes, Winnie was a girl) inspired A.A. Milne.]
The toddler area has a low table with a streetscape and vehicles that can be moved around through slots, without being removed. There is also a fire engine with a similar manipulative toy on the front.
A homework corner with two computers specifies that "Adults must be accompanied by a child to use homework computers."
Finally, as I was leaving, I noticed large "gears" in bright colors and patterns mounted on the wall above the children's fiction shelves. I don't know the significance of the gears, but I'll suggest that they signify "keep the mental gears turning--READ!"
The corner with the mural, a couch, and a couple of easy chairs; the giraffe's name is Spot.
The elephant is Ellie. Both names are from a naming contest.
The magnificent Reading Tree, plus a few of the gears mentioned above
The Summer Reading Program entrance