Saturday, July 30, 2016

428. Blind River Public Library, Blind River, Ontario

The Blind River Public Library has led an interesting life, being located at various times in the town hall, a hospital, and a portable classroom, until settling at its current location in 2000. The building also had a chequered past, at one time or another being home to the post office, Town Hall, Courthouse, jail, customs office, public health unit and a separate school board office. Ontario Heritage funds were obtained to renovate its present home at 8 Woodward Avenue. The Library opened for business in this location in July, 2000. [Information from the library web site at]

The yellow tape in the picture prevents accidents on the crumbling front steps, but the library is easily accessed through a door in back. Two bulletin boards in the entry hold notices for the community and the library.

To the right as I entered, movies, tables and chairs, and French fiction. To the left, adult non-fiction and biography in English and French. A number of signs say that "If you can't find what you're looking for, ask. There is more in storage." Perhaps Blind River could use a larger library?

Adult fiction in English has all genres shelved together with general fiction, with stickers on the spine to indicate the genre books. Lists of adult series (books by popular authors) are posted on the ends of book stacks, a nice convenience if you are trying to read an author's output in sequence, as I often do.

The children's area is to the left and runs nearly the length of the library. As you can see, the entrance is clearly marked and welcoming.

I think the soft curtains are a very nice touch, and one rarely seen. There are picture books, of course, plus children's fiction and non-fiction in English and French. There is a small rocking reindeer Oops, I've been informed that it is a rocking MOOSE--of course! What was I thinking?) for toddlers and the "staff only" door makes a good background for movable plastic letters. Two computers offer children's activities.

I don't know how I missed a picture of this, but there is also a very large set of  Lego base plates mounted on the wall. I estimate it at 4' x 9', 36 square feet. The one in Plattsburgh, NY, is bigger--but so is the library. And the one in Blind River is shorter and wider, perhaps a better fit for kids? The "Lego wall" phenomenon seems to be growing. It's a great way to use Legos without taking up table or floor space, though of course kids also want to build in three dimensions.

I noticed that rather than create bagged sets of recorded books and their paper counterparts, copies of books are instead shelved with the CDs, making it easy to check out one or the other or both. This is a nice approach for smaller libraries that might not be able to buy extra copies of books to create bagged sets.

I was fortunate to arrive during the summer book sale and bought a nice stack for Halloween.



  1. ELLEN ~ Thank you SO MUCH for visiting our library and noticing the "little things' like the curtains and boxed-not-bagged audio sets (BIG JOB to convert everything as we didn't like the bags EITHER!) I WISH we had more room! It is what it is. BTW it's our rocking MOOSE. ~ MO, Senior Clerk @ BRPL (P.S. BRPL has been opened since 2000 in it's current location...BRPL has been around since 1926, in various forms.)

  2. And thanks to you for putting a shout-out to the blog on your web page. I LOVE it when people do that, and it has an effect. In this case, there were 5 hits on the BRPL post two days it has 58! Keep up the good work; I have great admiration for the libraries (and staff) who keep going despite small spaces and small budgets BUT with great heart and creativity.

  3. Thank YOU, Ellen, for doing this blog!!! Mo @ BRPL


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