Friday, August 26, 2022

588 Gilmanton (Iron Works) Year Round Library

 Here comes another one-day, two-library trip. First stop: the Gilmanton Year Round Library. Yes, there is another Gilmanton library in the blog. The other one is the Gilmanton Corner Public Library; This one is the Gilmanton Year Round Public Library. [There's also a Gilmanton Iron Works Library which has very limited hours; I'll try to catch it another time.]

So, is everyone set? Remember, this is the year-round library. Let's take a look.

I started by walking down the driveway to get a picture of the sign. I noticed that the Gilmanton School is right across the street. That suggests all sorts of programming possibilities.

Those are solar panels in the field behind the library building. I learned that they were installed a few years ago, and they provide enough electricity that the library can be air conditioned. That was a very good thing this summer, which has been super-hot.

And now we approach the library...or the barn?

How about...both? I've been to libraries that were once grocery stores, big box stores, large family homes, a jail, (in the Bahamas), train cars (Chile). Try searching for "libraries converted from other buildings" and you'll find some cool surprises.

The book sale is on, but that was not the biggest event on the day I was there.

The big event was a party for the young library patrons who are "graduating" from library story time to kindergarten. The library was loaded with kids, challenging my "no pictures of people" rule. But what a great reason for that challenge! The party had just ended when I arrived, and kids were everywhere, clearly at home in the library.

I grabbed this picture of the solar panels from inside.

I always like to see what kind of signage guides patrons in the stacks. These are really attractive.


This bookshelf is the home of the Classics Corner. Recently I seem to be seeing more classic fiction shelved and promoted. I like seeing this, as there's a lot of good reading in those older books. Try "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis, for example.

A set of carrels is being used for public computers.

I noticed several of these signs indicating that patrons have contributed to specific features of the library. I'm sure there are many more that I didn't see.

This cabinet displays books by local authors. 

They all looked interesting, but this one really caught my attention. I don't know the author's age, but I think it is very respectful that his book is displayed with the others.


I went upstairs to see the book sale and also to get a good look at the structure of the barn.

Here we are overlooking the first level with the remnants of the party. A couple of little girls were having a grand time taking cookies from the leftovers. I think they thought they were getting away with something, but I don't think the adults cared. And I mean that in a good way.

Back on the main level I found the play corner for the younger kids. As the kids checked out books and started leaving with their adults, the staff began tidying up from the busy morning. After the pandemic days, when toys and furniture were put away for months, I don't see a messy play space; I see a library serving in its classic way again.

Some places have suggestion boxes that seem to hide, as if they didn't really want any suggestions. This one, on the other hand, is really up-front. My suggestion: Keep doing what you are doing, it's great!

As I was driving away, I had to stop for one more look at the barn-turned-library. And here's a teaser: While looking on line for libraries in converted buildings, I came across another barn...and it's in New Hampshire. It's on my list...


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