Wednesday, May 30, 2018

454a Walter E. Olson Memorial Library, Eagle River, Wisconsin

It's been almost exactly a year since I first visited Eagle River. On my earlier visit, the library had been shoe-horned into a former medical office while their building was totally remodeled. And now...ta-dah! The library has expanded into its new space and looks very much at home.

I entered here, from the parking lot. After giving myself a tour of the children's area (we'll get to that), I found Nan the Librarian and, as before, she offered a tour. And that was a good thing...there are so many things to see here! I'm sure I missed some in my pictures, but I'd have missed more without a guide.

The library hosts a "quilt of the month" by a local resident on the wall in the entrance lobby.

Rather than take up huge amounts of space on the facing wall, or have to compromise on what can be posted, the library uses this set of moveable "pages" to display announcements.

Picture books are shelved on metal racks. A rail across the front of each shelf allows the full covers to be seen, but keeps books from flipping onto the floor. Most shelves in this area are mounted on casters, making it possible to move them and create more open space for programs.

One of the first things I spotted here among the kids fiction was a rebound copy of Chronicles of Avonlea. I'm sure it was rebound long ago...does anyone even do that any more? I like it as a sign of using resources well; some people would toss the old copy and (maybe) replace it with a new paperback.

I took the picture from this angle in order to show the frog chair. Out of the picture to the right was a cat chair of similar design, but people were "in the way." I always like to see people in a library, of course, but there are times when I might wish they were...perhaps just a few feet to the left? Or somewhere.

Chairs are a definite theme here. If you were shopping for chairs for a library, I'd suggest that you skip the supply catalogs and come to Eagle River. Ask Nan to show you around; she knows the advantages of every single chair: casters, comfort, special purposes. Here you see several of the round, or nearly round, seats that can be moved to created different configurations. In the background are the children's computers with "S chairs" in two sizes, for small and medium kids.

Out of frame here are three rockers, two sized for kids and one for an adult. And there are others that I'm sure I've missed.

Here's an example of shelves on casters. I forgot to ask what is hidden under the fabric in the background, but I do know that it is adjacent to the popcorn machine!

OK, before you read on, see if you can guess what this is. I inadvertently made the task harder because there is nothing to indicate scale. If this were truly vertical, you might guess "large vase" or "one of these things where you roll coins inside." Nope, this is actually another chair, called a "spin chair!" It is large enough for an adult to sit on, and it rolls around in place. Nan demonstrated, and I wish I'd taken a picture then! I was told that some children are especially fond of this. [I'm not sure how many adults use it; I'm sorry to say, I didn't try. [I just googled "spin chair" and found plenty of examples, including some from IKEA, but nothing quite like this.]

Update: I tried again and found a picture showing an adult enjoying a very similar chair. I really wish I had tried it!

This good-sized meeting room can be closed off from the rest of the library with folding glass doors, allowing for sound control and visual access. On the day I was there, the room hosted a juried art exhibit from an organization in Land of Lakes, Wisconsin.

A variety of high-tech toys...oops, I mean tools...can be borrowed for use in the library. This display is near an area that holds eight computers for adults plus printers and other "office center" equipment.

Some libraries use a long window wall for study carrels. Here there are comfy chairs interspersed with small tables. Window walls allow natural light, of course, and visual interest, but another emphasis here is that the windows look out on a residential street, making a visual link between the library and the community.

Eagle River is one of many small towns up here in vacation country. One display that caters to visitors is this collection of maps for bikers, hikers, and anglers. Items here provide more information that pieces usually available for free, and they can be checked out for three weeks.

Can you guess what this is? Of course, it's a tower for growing plants hydroponically! The library's seed collection is nearby. This was funded by donations, and I understand that thanks to one individual, the fundraising went very quickly! The group that deals with this and the seeds includes a Master Gardener.

It's rare to find a library that does not give at least a nod to local history. Here, the historical materials are protected in a glass case.

The teen area includes equipment for gaming, both computer games and table games, as well as more traditional library materials. Bookcases of YA materials are on casters, allowing adjustment of space at this end of the library.

I wish I had taken a "full length" picture of the interior. If I had, it would show that the library has a long "spine" with all the spaces we've been looking at spaced along it, from the children's area at one end to the "living room" at the other.

Between the window wall we saw earlier and the teen area, there is a "living room" with more comfortable chairs (of course) and a jigsaw puzzle underway. The wall facing the fireplace holds periodicals and newspapers in tidy plexiglass storage/display boxes.

This entrance to the library goes directly through to the parking lot. [I asked which is the front, which the back, and the answered seemed to be "it depends."] Gardens are being installed, including a rain garden. The tan area at the bottom of the picture will one day be replaced with pavers purchased by donors as part of the fund-raising program.

I took this picture of the exterior because it's similar to the picture I included after my first visit. (Search for "454" to see that entry.) The windows farthest away form the window wall.

What a difference a year makes!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Provincetown (Mass) Public Library

I am sometimes asked how many libraries I intend to visit, whether I have a goal. At those times, I point out the title of the blog, "Every Library I Can." Hey, there are more public libraries than there are McD's -- I'm certainly never going to see them all. But I have ways of expanding my reach, as in this entry. A friend from Minnesota was visiting Cape Cod recently, and very kindly sent pictures and text for this entry. Rather than making me glad to have one more entry, however, I find that I really, really would like to visit this library myself!

In the meantime, here is my friend's report and pictures, Want more? I highly recommend the library's website, which you will find at

Here are the pictures of the library in Provincetown. The one of the outside of a building is the library,

and entry is as you walk into the main floor. It originally was the town hall and then historic society, and ultimately became the library. 

[I've found that most libraries located in towns on water, whether lake, river, or ocean, have some kind of boat or ship on display. The library in Provincetown is certainly no exception! As you'll see below, the feature is a half-scale model of the schooner Rose Dorothea. There are informational signs, but for the sake of your eyes, I suggest going to the library website for details. Or visit P-town!]

To see the ship, you go upstairs, where the children's library, along with other things, is located. 

 You then can go up to almost a mezzanine, where you can get a better vantage point of the whole ship.  

The pictures out the window are from that level, looking out at the harbor.  There are two chairs with a table in between situated in front of the windows. What a wonderful spot to sit and read!  There is a sign that asks for quiet in this area, which makes it even more appealing.   

[Some books are on blue shelves along the hull of the ship. The top shelf curves to simulate waves, a very nice detail.]

 The whole library is very inviting, with lots of sitting areas, but clearly there are visitors that just stop in to see the ship.  Funny story – a couple came in, so he could show her the ship.  He proceeded to go on and on about it being the actual schooner and that they had to dismantle it and rebuild it!  All this, standing near the sign that says it was a replica, built in 1977!! Probably not readers!!!

I on the other hand loved breathing in the smell of the books and kept picking them up to leaf through!  There were also lots of pictures of the real ship so Phil was in his element, reading every last sign  posted!  J Oh, they also have the actual Lipton Cup that the schooner won in a case on a pedestal - BIG.  For whatever reason, I didn’t take a picture!

[But she did take a picture of the old card catalog, now displaced by computers, of course. She claims to have not seen the "do not touch" sign, and I choose to believe her. Her companion pointed it out; he probably noticed it because in his profession, details are very important!]

May 2018