Sunday, July 24, 2016

417. Southwest Harbor Library, Southwest Harbor, Maine

This dignified gray-and-white building is in the heart of Southwest Harbor. One of the first things I noticed here was an unusual summer reading program. Kids are invited to sign up for a time slot on July 27 when they can bring a favorite book, with a passage selected, and they will be helped to act out the scene! There were a few names on the list, but it looked as if there was room for more. I wish I could be around to see this program in action.

A room to the right is for the littler kids. There are picture books, leveled readers A though W with green labels, series books, and "first chapter books" for easing new readers into the higher levels. Many of the picture books are shelved face-out on shelves that have a sloping front that allows them to serve also as bins. I wish I had taken a picture, as this is hard to explain. There are a couple of wicker chairs and a world map rug. I was amused to see a baby gate pressed into service to protect the librarian's desk from inquisitive youngsters.

A display shelf held several round fairy houses made of birchbark and apparently wrested from the fairies by a collection of bunnies. They looked right at home.

Large shelves are mounted on sturdy casters, very handy when the room must be rearranged for programs.

A Teen section has assorted seating. Junior novels are shelved in this area as well as young adult books. I noticed a lot of Nancy Drew books and a separate bin of books by Maude Hart Lovelace.

The fiction stacks include Large Print books (both fiction and non-fiction),. Genre labels on the shelves direct the reader to Science Fiction and Detective books. Yes, detective, not mystery; this is the first time I've seen genres labeled that way. I asked about Romance books which are a mainstay of many libraries, and learned that they are shelved with general fiction.

A large room at the end of the building has a fireplace, couch, and rocker. This room holds a display of old Mount Desert Island books, plus biographies and periodicals. There are two long study tables, one with this sign: "Please leave free for non-computer use."

DVDs are shelved at the bottom of the staircase. A sign indicated that a telescope is available...but apparently it was checked out when I was there. I gather that it is very popular.

At the top of the stairs is a sunny living room with a couch and easy chairs, plus an old card catalog used as a side table. There are five bays of non-fiction stacks, each with a comfortable chair by a window at the end of the bay.

Finally, I couldn't resist a picture of the stained glass panels above the service desk. They are much nicer than the picture shows!


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