Thursday, July 28, 2016

425. Grand Isle Free Library, Grand Isle, Vermont

On my way back from visiting family and libraries in NH to home in MN, I took the ferry across Lake Champlain from Grand Isle to Plattsburgh, and visited the library in each town. It was a study in contrasts!

Grand Isle's library was purpose-built in the 1920s. According to Wikipedia, the town of Grand Isle had a population of 2067 in 2010. It always amazes me, in a good way, to find these tiny towns supporting libraries. [Another library in the county is in North Hero, which you can find in the blog.]

The 800 or so square feet here are packed with books: Books for sale in the entry, just make a donation. (Make it a big one, OK?) Inside to the left, recorded books; to the right, large print, biographies, and non-fiction. At the back to the left, adult fiction; to the right, the children's collection. There are some older books in a glass-fronted case. There's even a fireplace!

There are three laptop computers that are popular during the summer with folks from a nearby campground who come to the library in the evening to stay in touch with the "outside" world instead of communing with marshmallows and campfires. Of course, they can't drop in just any time, as the library is open Tuesday 1 PM-8 PM, Wednesday 9 AM-Noon, Thursday 4 PM-8 PM, and Saturday 9 AM-3 PM. Twenty hours a week isn't bad for a library with one librarian, and no other staff!

Grand Isle Library has a lively Facebook presence where you can see pictures of some of the program offerings for kids; it's worth a look. The library is starting to offer movie nights on Mondays, at the library (small crowd) or at the Methodist church next door (larger crowd). This is off to a slow start, but hopefully attendance will pick up. Notice that Monday evening is not a regular time for the library to be open. The librarian is obviously giving an evening in order to do this. The specific day might need to change, but it can't be Tuesday or Thursday, since it's impossible to be showing movies and registering new users, helping with research, and so forth.

I had to ask about a book cart full of --snowshoes! These were donated by RISE, a Vermont company that is giving snowshoes to libraries around the state. They can be found in the catalog and requested like books. I think this trumps the cake pans I've found for loan in several libraries! (Check out

The library can (or could) be divided front and back with sliding "pocket doors," and there is a concrete bunker once used to store town records. And the book drop is a tiny house by the library door:

This last picture is not library-related, but it's located right next door, where an artist decided to get creative with a clump of trees that otherwise would have been removed.


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