Sunday, June 3, 2018

475 Mercer Wisconsin Public Library

This attractive log building houses the Mercer, Wisconsin, Library; the community center is attached to the left. When I entered, I immediately spotted a sign inviting me to "Borrow this telescope" for a week. The telescope must have already been borrowed. Nearby were shelves offering cake pans, games, puzzles, home energy monitors, all of which I've seen at other libraries. And a monster pressure cooker, which I have not seen! "Memory Kits" are also available. I see these in more and more libraries. They tend to include music, books, and "real stuff" to encourage conversation between caretakers and people with memory loss. I think many of us associate libraries with literacy services for young children; libraries are now meeting more needs at the other end of life with "memory kits" and special programs.

Four Internet computers are available.

This handsome table bears a sign indicating that it is "the jigsaw puzzle table."

The coat tree with bear cub made me wish I had a jacket to hang up!

I've always associated John Muir with redwood trees and such, not with Wisconsin. These free-standing panels tell a more complete story. I assume this is a traveling exhibit.

Back in the day, Carnegie libraries were noted for having tall windows, windows that usually started at about head-height on an adult; it was quite the thing to have natural light inside a library. Nowadays it's much more common to find whole walls of windows, right down to the floor. Almost every library I visit has at least one comfortable area with visual access to nature.

I like the multicultural rug in the children's area. I don't think I've seen this one before.

These colorful "Travel With Me" backpacks provide books, CDs, and "things" related to a given topic. Short on time? Need to get to the cabin before the rain strikes? Grab a backpack and a kid should be set for a couple of days!

In the backpack picture, look for the clipboard on the windowsill. It is used to keep a record of birds seen at the feeders outside. Several were listed from recent days, including a hummingbird.

As a former miniaturist and dollhouse builder, I always like to see models like this on display. This was created by someone local.

Plenty of books for young readers...

The pre-reading crowd can participate in "1000 Books Before Kindergarten," a program that encourages literacy through reading to children every day.

A meeting room is available for programs.

Here's another cozy corner for sitting and enjoying a book or magazine.

This corner of the library is in the process of becoming the Memory Room. Equipment will be available to convert old media to new. This space was once the book sale room. It was cleared out, the books sold, and bit by bit equipment will be added. When this is ready to go, I expect it will be busy. Mercer is very fortunate to have dedicated space for this purpose. I know of other cases where equipment is shared among libraries; when it is at a given library, it is always fully booked.

I first noticed the stone front on the service desk in a picture on the library's website. When I asked about it, I learned only that the rocks used to be in someone's yard. There are a kitchen and an office behind this desk.

I'm sorry about this picture being displayed like this. When I took the picture, it was in landscape format. When I selected it for the blog, it was landscape. When I added it to the blog, presto! Right before my eyes, it rotated. And I haven't found a way to fix it!

This fireplace room was at one time the whole library. Now it is a friendly "living room" and houses the periodical collection.

I can't leave this library without mentioning the hats. Each of these masterworks has a card indicating the event it was made for. I should have asked. I'm not a hat-wearing person, but I must say, these are handsome and creative. Perhaps someone will read this and leave a clarifying comment. Please?

Time to drive to St. Paul through the intermittent rain storms. At least they are not thunderstorms!