Sunday, July 24, 2016

418. Blue Hill Public Library, Blue Hill, Maine

I'll tell you right off the bat: the kind staff at Blue Hill Library provided me with the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Blue Hill Library Notes, which has a wonderful set of articles about the history of the library. There is far more information that I can possibly include here. I would refer you to their website for a pdf of this interesting newsletter, but the most recent issue posted there is from Fall 2015. So you'll just have to go in and ask to see a copy--or contact the library and ask to have the more recent issues posted. NOTE: I received an update from Blue Hill. If you wish to see the newspaper, here you go: Should any of your readers be interested in the Spring/Summer 2015 newsletter, the link is here: 

To the right inside the door is a large browsing area. There are models and some "creations" of natural materials displayed above the book shelves. Non-fiction, large print books, periodicals, DVDs and audio books are nearby.

Throughout the space I saw evidence of a recent fundraiser that is very interesting. The area is apparently rife with artists. One day in July is designated as Paint the Peninsula day. In the morning, local artists create paintings. In the evening there is a reception and silent auction of those paintings. What I was seeing was bidding sheets and items that did not sell and are now available for purchase at the starting price.

Rooms in the library have names. The Blue Hill Room houses biographies, more models and objects, and books about Maine. A display case shows pottery from Rowantree Pottery, which played a role in the history of the library. This collection was donated to the library by the current owner of Rowantree Pottery.

The Larchwood Room houses the children's collections. I was so taken with the furniture that I got permission to take pictures. The curved shelves you see below really make this space special, with room for displays on top, built-in cushioned benches on the inside, and shelves for books.

There are murals on the walls painted by school children, showing scenes from the history of Blue Hill. After discussion with several staff, we concluded that they were most likely created in the 1920s! Unfortunately, they do not show in any of my photos.Youll just have to visit this library to see them, and I do recommend that you do so.

View from "outside" the semi-circular children's area.

A view from inside the children's space

Picture book shelves in the windowed space

Lots of Legos are available for kids to use; they are to take a tub of Legos to the green table (not shown) and "return them neatly after use." A young boy was engrossed in a graphic book while I was there, and he stayed engrossed until his father came to announce time to check out their books.

I definitely like a sign asking that people "Please help us keep this room technology-free." 
Indeed, the only computer in the area was for the library catalog.

To the left of the entrance is the Wilder Room with a service desk, more non-fiction, another fireplace with couch and easy chairs, and a model of a Battak house from Sumatra. Signs ask patrons to please leave books on tables for librarians to reshelve. Nearby are two computers, and wi-fi is available throughout.

We're not done yet. Upstairs houses the fiction and young adult collections, The teen area is very nice, with three curved, padded benches, one with a table in front of it, a counter with stools, and lots of electrical outlets. A sign here asks "Adults: Please give preference to young adults in this area."

The fiction area includes general fiction, science fiction, and mystries, but no romance per se. There is a suggestion box with small slips of paper nearby. The small papers suggests to me that the staff is asking for suggested titles, not general concerns.

The Howard Room is for meetings. There is a telescope (the library has two!) and a 3D printer. Four computers are named Adelaide, Doris, Fern, and Rudy. I've seen computers named like this before and I think it's cute, and more fun than "I need help with computer 3."

I spent time chatting with staff at this point, and learned that they have a STEM grant for the telescope and printer. They also have a grant that allows them to heat with wood pellets, which have lowered costs, are locally sourced, and are good for the environment.


1 comment:

  1. Ellen-- So great to meet you during your visit, I hope the rest of the trip was full of great libraries. Should any of your readers be interested in the Spring/Summer 2015 newsletter, the link is here:

    Thanks again for this wonderful project and the kind words. - Shelley (Development/Communications Coordinator)


Comments are welcomed, and I will generally respond to them. Please be tasteful; comments that are in poor taste will be deleted.
Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.