Wednesday, October 5, 2016
431. Mabel Public Library, Mabel, MN
Here's the Mabel Public Library...take a good look at the ramp up to the door, because by the time I'm writing this, it's no longer there. The town is replacing it, which is very nice. Fortunately there is another entrance that doesn't require a ramp, so the library remains accessible.
I had an interesting conversation with the librarian about how this space has grown, thanks to the town. The library started in the space to the right, inside the window shown above, an area now housing the junior and teen library and the large print collection. I noticed on the fiction shelves a large set of "New Tom Swift Junior" books from the 50s, which I rarely see. I also spotted a set of "Real Life Math" books, that look interesting. [I found a series with this title in Hennepin County; I don't think it's the same series, but I have requested one to have a look.]
The space behind this was once the town public restroom; now it hold the five public computers! No picture, because several of the computers were being used.
The cheerful children's space shown below is up a short ramp. I think the colorful valance is just right to soften the lines of the window. All told, I saw about two dozen child-sized chairs, suggesting that children's programs are probably well-attended.
The back of the library is up three steps, made accessible with a lift that is large enough for a wheelchair. As you can see, there is a small table with craft supplies overlooking the main level. But the largest area holds a very long conference table, the non-fiction collection, and periodicals. An exit to a parking lot from this level will provide accessibility while the ramp out front is replaced.
I forget exactly where these were, but my notes reference an unusually large collection of VHS tapes, with no mention of DVDs, and what looks like a complete set of Louis L'Amour westerns in matching brown bindings.
The librarian I talked to is a delightful woman with a background in elementary school teaching and school librarianship. She told me that kids do not trick-or-treat for Halloween in Mabel (they have a party instead)--so she keeps candy treats on the circulation desk for the whole month. Lucky kids!
With staff like her, and the support of the town, the Mabel Public Library patrons are indeed fortunate.