Monday, July 25, 2016

421. Wiggin Memorial Library, Stratham, NH

The original Wiggin Library was housed in a handsome stone building, given by Emma B. Wiggin in memory of her husband in 1911. As tends to happen, the community outgrew the library, and is now housed in part of a former elementary school. Do not be fooled by the unprepossessing exterior; this is a classic example of "more than meets the eye," or perhaps "don't judge a book by its cover." There are so many features and details I'd like to share, I'll describe what I saw on a walk around the library, then share some annotated pictures.

Let's start with the bookworms that inhabit the garden area by the door. The will stay here until cold weather, then "hibernate" with their creator until the earth warms again in spring.

Inside, there is so much to see, I'm sure I've missed some treasures. I'm going to list some "noticings," then I'll add some annotated pictures.

The service desk for check-out, returns, and, well, service, is in a large corner to the right of the entrance. Across from the desk there are shelves of notices about library and community programs and activities. On top of this shelf is a notebook labeled "Voter Checklist," a first in all my visits. Signs nearby very cleverly suggest that if you are heading on vacation and space is an issue, you could buy some books from the book sale--then you could leave them behind and use the resulting space for souvenirs!

On the back of those shelves are pull-out shelves of DVDs, a couple of computers, and a book sale that seemed to have a pretty classy set of books. In fact, some sets were so classy, they were tied together with a ribbon and sold as a unit; three volumes of Dan Brown's works, for example. I was able to find 14 shiny new books to give out next Halloween, at a very reasonable price.

Beyond the book sale is a quiet work area, with a sign asking users to "take conversations elsewhere." This area has five carrels, a text magnifier, biographies, non-fiction, and reference books. The last bay of the non-fiction stacks holds the Large Print collection.

Moving from the quiet study area toward the fiction stacks, I passed a table with a display of books about trains, with a circular track layout and an engine. There was a transformer, but the wires were not attached to the track. 

This brought me to an area with easy chairs, an aquarium, periodicals, newspapers, and music CDs. A jigsaw puzzle was in progress on a table in the center A display case on the wall told about items that have been put in a time capsule for Stratham's 300th anniversary. A nearby paper on the wall invited people to "Share a favorite Stratham place or memory," and several people had already participated. A nearby display featured books related to Stratham.

The fiction stacks have Mysteries, Action/Thrillers, and general fiction. I didn't spot Science Fiction, but there must be some. I also didn't spot Romance, and perhaps it's not there. 

The teen area was busy. I didn't look around too much, but I did notice that it is supplied with fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. before I left I discussed teen programs with the teen librarian, and there is so much going on! The prizes for the summer reading program looked pretty cool, and the librarian is bursting with ideas. She said that during the school year a bus from the middle school brings a group, sometimes quite a large group, of kids to the library after school. Snacks are provided free on Mondays, and for sale the rest of the week. It must be quite a sight on a school day afternoon.

Near the entrance to the kids' area is a tall shelf of books for parents and teachers. Sports books were featured in the kids' area, because of the upcoming Summer Olympics. Series books are collected in plastic boxes, the ones that are about the size and shape of shoe boxes. Eye-level windows let in plenty of light,

Another room, a very small way down a corridor, is equipped for children's programs, including crafts.

 Now, some pictures:

Non-fiction stacks have "street signs" hanging over the aisles to direct you to the section you need.

A lot of libraries have quilts on the wall, but none quite like this. Each panel adds to "The Weirdest Dream Ever," and it definitely was made by kids.

The bright blue tables and chairs are a cheerful addition to the children's area; Harry Potter is hanging out on the far wall.

A wooden train on a table is available for the youngest kids to enjoy, with easy chairs nearby.

I just liked this cute table and chairs.
Many libraries are using a sports theme this summer. 

I believe that if you read a book, you can put a "hockey puck" on the "ice rink." Some libraries that are not pushing the sports theme this year are challenging kids to cover a picture of a bad guy, like Darth Vader, with stickers...conquering by covering. This also gives a goal while minimizing the competitive angle in a summer reading program.

This looks like great fun: gigantic versions of games like Scrabble.

I have a connection to Stratham, as a niece and her family live here. My grand-niece has wanted me to see this library ever since I started this project; it's taken four years to get my schedule to sync with the library schedule--and the grand-niece is away at camp! Perhaps I'll come back again at Christmas or next year and have her give me a tour.


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