But this time was different. As I was turning to return to my car, a voice called from across the parking lot "I'll be right there!" The librarian had been doing an errand at the Community Center, and here she came to my rescue.
More than that, she gave me a very thorough tour of the library, and some interesting facts. The most intriguing: the town of Deer Park, population 216 at the last census, is the smallest municipality in Wisconsin to have a public library. Of course, it serves the surrounding area, so the population served is much larger than 216!
There has been a library in Deer Park since 1970, and the current building is 21 years old. Last year it received new paint and carpet, among other upkeep. Kudos to those who support this library!
Entering the library building, there is a short corridor with the town office and restrooms on the right and a program room on the left.
The name of the town is Deer Park. Therefore, it wasn't too surprising to find that the program room boasts nine sets of antlers (I think they are called "sheds," the ones that are lost annually) and the head of one deer that did not lose its antlers naturally.
This corner is just inside the library door. The shelves to the right hold a growing collection of Large Print books. To the left a display of Wisconsin-themed books tops a couple of shelves that hold beautifully bound classic volumes, donated by a local resident. Unlike many other libraries, here these books circulate.
Current issues of pulications are in the rack to the left. Only back issues, to the right, are circulated.
Entering the children's area we find back-to-back arm chairs and a large collection of puppets. I learned that the puppets are especially popular. Seeing the alphabetic labels on the bins of picture books reminds me that on the shelves and stacks, attractive alphabetic labels are printed, then wrapped around old VHS boxes. What a great re-use...they fit the shelves and even can help keep books upright.
The big books are in a big bin on wheels.
As is the case with many town libraries, historic material is kept here, in this glass case and in a desk to the right. There are many interesting artifacts here, including a "candlestick" telephone.
The chairs are fairly modern, but the handsome table goes back a ways.
These days just about every library has a sofa or some easy chairs, usually near natural light, for reading or hanging out.
Many of the sturdy, handsome bookshelves were built locally and donated to the library by a local family.
There are three computers, plus one to access the catalog and one that is used to schedule public computer use. It's easier, I was told, to enforce policies for computer use when another computer takes over the job. Staff can override policies in case of real need, of course. Copying, printing, and faxing are also available.
In the corner of the library near the computers, a door leads out to a modest planted area. The librarian would like to see this become something more, perhaps a rain garden. I suggest looking at blog post #477, Rosebush, Michigan, to see how they turned a similar space into a seasonal reading garden.
What to do when the bank moves to a new building and no longer needs the bank manager's roll-top desk? Donate it to the library, of course! It makes an eye-catching background for a changing display of books. And if you visit, take a look at the interesting filing system in the top right-hand drawer.
Finally, back at the entrance. Many libraries I've visited have a "tree" theme somewhere. Sometimes it dominates the library; other times, as here, it is more subtle. I like these trees!