Sunday, May 21, 2017

455 Tomahawk Public Library, Tomahawk, WI

Long, low lines draw the visitor up to a sheltered entrance with a sturdy bench. Can your sharp eyes spot two more similar benches in one of the later pictures? I wasn't dressed for 45-degree weather so I didn't check out the wooded side of the site, but I was told that there is a perennial flower garden maintained by a troop of Girl Scouts. That is indeed a good deed.


The lobby gives access to a meeting room, allowing for its use even when the library is closed. A display of posters and books, especially town histories, reminds us to "Preserve the Past."

The library is nestled in woods, with a walking path and campfire circle in back. These floor-to-ceiling windows draw the outside in, helping to create a relaxing atmosphere.

AV material, including many recorded books on CD, line the wall to the left of the entrance. A browsing and reading area with periodicals and tables wraps around the back of the service desk and work space.

These plush chairs and puzzle pieces would fascinate just about any child. I've seen seats like this in teen areas at other libraries; it's nice to see that the little kids get a chance to enjoy them here.

Books in the children's area are shelved in solid wood bookcases with compartments that are nearly cubes. Juvenile fiction and non-fiction are shelved in cases four shelves high; picture books are in cases three shelves high, with many books perched on top for eye-catching color and interest.


I like the unusual two-side foam bench. The children's area overall has a spacious feeling; I'd love to see it filled with children, but a) then I wouldn't be able to take these pictures, and b) school was in session.


Walls in the children's area hold many pictures based on classic children's stories. These two represent The Wizard of Oz and Heidi. I forget to ask, but I'm pretty sure these were done by a local artist.

A sign nearby reminds us that "For their comfort and safety, children under age 8 must be accompanied by an adult."

Also for their comfort and safety, a restroom is near the kids' area.

A glass display case held an array of spring-themed books. I'm sure this changes with the seasons.

Adults have access to six computers. Signs indicate that "All computers will be turned off 15 minutes before closing. Please plan accordingly." Other seating and study areas are nearby.

In the adult area, shelves are set on a diagonal on each side of a central aisle.

Fiction shelves are marked with the usual letters identifying authors' last names, and also with signs that show popular names found in that row.

Non-fiction shelves display the predominant Dewey Decimal "hundred," along with a word cloud identifying some of the topics shelved in this area.

Some shelves also have "honor plaques" for donors to the library.


The YA books are at the end of the adult stacks, along with the Tomahawk Teen Zone, some interesting seating options, and a computer.

 I noticed that the bookends on the shelves here are color-coded. At least, I think that is the case. It appears that YA books have bright yellow bookends; large print books and non-fiction in general, blue bookends; science fiction, green; and assorted colors in the fiction collection. Paperbacks must get along without color coding; they are in spinners at the end of each fiction row.


I think this picture is great, and I'm sorry I couldn't get it without glare. It shows the Charter Members of the Tomahawk Women's Literary Club from 1895. All of the names are listed below. Many libraries trace their history to a town literary club of some sort, often a group of women. I think this is the first time I've seen a photograph of one of those early groups.

Here is a view of the campfire circle behind the library. Story programs are sometimes held here, and occasionally stories are told around an actual campfire. Did you spot the benches?


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