Friday, July 28, 2017

457 Eveleth Public Library, Eveleth, MN

How's this for a classic entrance? My hunch that this is a Carnegie library was borne out by a plaque in the lobby; in 1914, Carnegie provided $15,000 for this building.

On a nice day...which this day was...a gazebo on the library grounds provides a fine place to read or visit while enjoying fresh air.

Unfortunately, the librarian was busy on the phone while I was visiting this library. She gave me permission to take interior pictures, but otherwise had to devote herself to the call. I gave myself a tour, but it's possible that I missed some of the unique features. This historic poster about Eveleth backs a collection of literature and historic material.

One issue with Carnegie libraries is accessibility. Here, an elevator has been added to the back of the building. It provides a convenient approach for nearby elderly housing, without diminishing the classic look of the library..

When looking for the elevator, I found a bulletin board with this charming ad for a dog walking service. The young entrepreneur has done a great job of defining the service and setting limits. I agree that friendly dogs are the best, and I think 4 dogs is a challenging limit!

Another sign I saw was a cartoon of Shakespeare asking to have a book placed on reserve at his library. The librarian's response? "No holds, Bard." For some reason I seldom see humor posted in libraries. [A notable exception is New Hampton, NH, where they keep three-ring binders of library-related comics.]

Yet another sign said that Legos are now available at the library, just ask at the desk.

One thing I noticed is that many of the library furnishings appear to be original...and they still work very, very well. I would bet that the rack shown below, as well as the chairs and perhaps the tables, have been here for at least a century--and they are still doing their jobs.

Likewise for the slanted table top fronting the storage cubbies for books. I really like that piece. They just don't make 'em like they used to!

The children's area is in the back of the library, with multi-paned glass doors (which must always be kept open).

Another classic table holds the prizes for the summer reading program, including a pretty large Lego set. The program ended on July 21, and I visited on July 27. My guess is that today, the 28th, all of the prizes are being distributed. But I could be wrong...

This table near the entrance and within sight of the librarian is set up for a make-it-take-it project called "Galaxy in a Jar" that apparently can be done independently by individuals. The instructions say to put some glow-in-the-dark paint (not too much!) inside the jar, add some space-related stickers to the outside, put the jar in sunlight for a few hours, then look at it in a dark place. Sounds like fun, and it's nice that it is flexible for drop-in patrons instead of being a formal program.

A partially-finished jigsaw puzzle was on a table nearby. The adult stacks can be seen in the picture above and in others. There are four public computers. Shallow glass-fronted display cases on either side of the door hold historic photos from Book Week 1951 and 1952. There are pictures of elementary school classes that seem very large; I couldn't tell whether the kids were photographed at school or had come to the library for Book Week. There is also a newspaper story from 1952 (I think) headlined "Eveleth Has One of the Best Libraries." That's a lot to live up to!


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