Sunday, August 27, 2017

469 Espanola Ontario Public Library

The Espanola library shares a building with a regional recreation complex. 

Signage is in French and English, and the town is located on the Spanish River. 

I was not given permission to take indoor pictures, although I pleaded that only one other library, out of 468, had turned down my request. And I mentioned the library where I was allowed to take pictures but promised not to post them until I had e-mail permission from the Director. No go. Ergo, no pictures.

In the lobby I noted bubble wrap in the bottom of the book drop. Nice way to cushion a book's arrival, and readily replaced when necessary. There was an unusually large offering of community literature, perhaps because the space is shared? There is a meeting room to the right.

A major project is underway, reflected in this sign: "Bear with us, we are rearranging your library. Please ask if you can't find items."  Rearranging any library is a major undertaking, but it seemed to be going well. I probably wouldn't have noticed, if I hadn't seen the sign.

Historic photographs are displayed along the wall, up high. I was intrigued by a picture of the "Espanola Arena 1917-1932." That building was erected to house workers who were building the mill. I learned that the mill in question is a paper mill, still in operation, which I saw on my way into town. I expressed surprise, since in my limited experience paper mills stink. I was assured that on some days, and from some directions, this mill lives up to that reputation.

Adult non-fiction and fiction are shelved on tall metal stacks, with genre fiction along the wall. Books of particular Canadian interest are marked with a red maple leaf sticker. A browsing area is near the periodical collection, and looks out on a football (soccer, in the USA) field, suggesting that a school is nearby.

The kids' area has foam chairs that look like a hand; you sit on the palm, and the upraised fingers create the back. There are also foam stools that look like jigsaw puzzle pieces. There is a computer for kids to use, with a 30-minute limit. In the area for the littlest kids there is a large (maybe four feet tall) wooden fire engine for seating and imaginative play, with picture books nearby.

The end wall of the children's area holds a series of glass-fronted displays of historical interest. I was told that these displays were brand-new; in fact, I think they were completed that very day.

When I left, I took one more (exterior) picture of this display of Canadian pride. Then I navigated my was through a gaggle of rather small hockey players. Watching them haul their gear, I wondered at the ratio of kid-size to gear-duffel-size. [I've wondered the same when I've seen my grand-nephew in Boston with his hockey kit.]


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