Monday, May 15, 2017

444 St. Ignace Public Library, St. Ignace, MI

The town of St. Ignace is in the southeastern corner of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where it anchors the north end of the Mackinac Bridge. I've driven over this bridge perhaps a half-dozen times over the years, but never paused in St. Ignace. My loss...which I partially made up for with today's visit to the local library.

The library has a long history, but the current building is only eleven years old. The building is handsome, and has a wonderful location overlooking the tip of Lake Michigan where it meets Lake Huron..

I wished later that I had walked around the building and taken pictures of each side. I haven't done it justice--you'll just have to visit for yourself!

Like many (most?) newer libraries, this one has a lobby that leads to  the Prentiss and Margaret D. Brown Community Room that can be used even when the library is closed. Peering in the doorway, I could see that in addition to the requisite tables and chairs, it has a kitchen, a piano, and a great view of the water.

The lobby also holds the A. Richard Williams Gallery of American Indian crafts and books.

A "Wall of Honor" displays wooden plaques representing library donors.

Directly inside the library door there is a small table and a couple of chairs by a window. When I was there, the table held copies of a "St. Ignace Planning Committee Survey;" a nearby rack held various pamphlets with community information. This suggests to me that the library is well-used and is seen as a central source of information for the community.

Shelves on the wall in this area hold Michigan local history books plus "New Books" and "New to Us" books.  I like that "New to Us" designation!

The children's area is light and friendly. The top shelf shown above holds themed collections that can circulate. I have seen "picture books" also called "Easy Books" and "Everyone Books." Here, they are called "Story Books," which seems very sensible!

I meant to get a picture of a mid-sized "nook" with two carpeted steps and a bevy of stuffed animals. Why didn't I? Well, it's tucked around a corner, and I had such a good time chatting with staff (and buying a T-shirt," that by the time I had requested permission to take pictures, it just slipped my mind. I think I mentioned that you should visit here for yourself?

This simple display of books on a table in the kids' area struck me as very welcoming, likely to catch a kid's eye. And how convenient to have a chair right there when you spot a book you want to read!

This was a tricky picture, given the "no patrons in pictures" rule. I wanted to capture the circular table you can see here to the left, and the rounded shelves that enclose the table--but a patron was seated at the table. I also wanted a better picture of the bridge display on the far wall, but another patron was working there! If you look closely, you can see a silver shovel that I believe was used at groundbreaking for the bridge.

The rounded shelves hold reference books and a complete set of Louis L'Amour's western novels. I was told that some local folks were very happy when this set was added to the library's collection!

Finally, from the inside looking out. Every library deserves a view this good. This view is from a long wall of windows with a windowsill shelf and a couple of slanted shelves below used for periodicals; tables and chairs are nearby for browsers.


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