Sunday, July 30, 2017

460 Hoyt Lakes Public Library, Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota

It's my impression that communities want libraries. Some of the libraries I've visited have histories going back to the 1800s. The Hoyt Lakes Public Library is newer: At the time this library was formed, I was settling in as a freshman in college. In 1992 the library moved to its present building, shared with the city offices; this was soon followed by it joining the Arrowhead Library System, computerizing records, and heading on into the future.

A book sale was set up in the lobby; it was not clear whether it's an on-going sale, or preparation for a specific sale.

Enter the library from the lobby, turn left, and you are in the children's area. The aquarium visible at the rear has many very small fish. The shelves at the right hold junior fiction on this side...

...and young adult fiction on the other side. The teen area includes a gaming system, gigantic beanbag chairs (the library website calls them "poof" chairs), and a study table. I was told that this area was planned by the library's teenage patrons, and that they painted the wall with the colored lines. The website also explained the use of this area: ages 12-18 only, except that younger kids can be here if there are no teens, or they have permission from the teens who are present. They can even be asked to leave if teens arrive, which seems fair. It sounds as if those older than 18 are excluded in all cases!

For pleasant days, a patio is available for al fresco reading...or visiting...or just hanging out.

This is a very interesting corner of the library. The hand-made totes shown here are specifically made for the collections they hold. They include a Language Development Resource Bag, a Play to Talk collection of books and media, and Alzheimer's resources for caregivers. I see collections like these more often now, but the unique feature here is  to house the collections in these special totes. It's a wonderful touch.

Nearby are some other special items: cake pans on the top shelf, cookie cutter sets, and implements for knitting and crocheting. I first saw cake pans for loan at the Osage, Iowa, library. Knitting needles and other craft supplies can be borrowed from the Canaan, New Hampshire, library, This is the first library where I've seen cookie cutters on offer!

I recently saw a post on Facebook about the role of libraries in maintaining town histories. It's certainly true that many of the libraries I visit have town history sections, sometimes whole rooms; it is not unusual for a library to share space with the local history society or museum. Here, this role is taken by a collection of photo albums, the Hoyt Lakes Photo Library, that would surely reward a browsing session.

My mischievous self wonders if adults have favorite chairs ("I always sit in the blue chair!") and what they do if "their" chair is taken. I'm sure this is just my imagination.

These glass panels were created by Ron Benson of Two Harbors, MN. I was so interested in what the library staff was telling me about these that I forgot to take notes; there is something special about the glass, and I knew at the time I'd remember what it is. And of course, I don't. Please, will someone leave a comment and remind me? Please!

It's always a good idea to look up when leaving a library. In Hoyt Lakes, you will be rewarded with the view of this handsome mural.

A final comment about Hoyt Lakes. On my way out of town, I stopped for gas. To my surprise, there was no way to swipe my credit card on the pump. When I went inside to pay, I learned that the pump is not self-service; if I'd waited just a bit longer, the attendant would have pumped the gas for me. Oops, my bad!


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