Visiting the Princeton Area Library

On my day of being shown around some of the ECRL libraries, it was great to see so many library people doing all kinds of interesting things in the different branches! The Princeton branch was like all others, in that there were a lot of patrons there using materials and some very exciting visual displays of library materials and artwork. They are also in a very beautiful building, with windows everywhere and a beautiful view of the Rum River. The prairie style interior and decor really emphasized the natural setting around the library. The result is just lovely!

When you walk in the front door, it is totally natural to look up in admiration for this art installation. These round paintings by Minnesota artist  Amy Sabrina, to commemorate different aspects of the life of Elmer L. Anderson, the 30th Governor of Minnesota. The visual biography is very striking, and again shows how visual representations of information can be so useful in conveying ideas to people. Libraries are here to share information in a way that is meaningful to the patron; visual tools are one strategy for this!

Book display!

One of the fun things about visiting any library is seeing the displays they create for books! Creativity in libraries is valuable, and looking at different libraries gives different ideas for displays and things to celebrate in your own library! Celebrating Eloise is always fun, and her creator, Kay Thompson‘s birthday was Nov 9, 1909; so this is a great demonstration of library fun!

Nice technology!

As information professionals, we use the tools we have to reach our patrons, and share information in all formats. So not only were there great book displays here, but many computers available for patrons, as well as multi media displays along the wall showing off all their material. (As in all of our member visits, I’m struggling not to get any patrons in the shots – and it was really tough here!)

reading nook

This photo represents extreme self-discipline and bravery for me. Look at it! Could you stand there and NOT curl up on those comfy seats, surrounded by the beautiful wall murals, and read books all day?? I managed to tear myself away, but it was really tough! This is a small amount of floor space in the library; but the visual and patron impact is very large! Providing this kind of space, set aside for reading in comfort, does not have to be this elaborate; but thinking about the ways patrons would like to use our materials and building can lead to some great innovations that help them connect with the library.

comfy seating

The prairie style decor is really on display here, in this reading area. Lots of nice chairs – so important to patrons! – along with the really gorgeous views of the river out those windows, make this area of the library so nice for sitting and enjoying the resources.


Is there anything better than looking down the aisles of a library, and seeing so many nicely organized books? Probably not! Well, it is slightly improved with the beautiful view out the windows! All that natural light flooding in, beautiful shelving, and on top of that a really nice collection – it all adds up to some great thought about effective library service.

I love these

Every library has unique features and services, and Princeton has several to offer patrons. And I love this addition to that list: vertical files! While certainly not (quite) relics of service we provided regularly before computers became a powerful tool, they are not too common any more. And the really lovely cabinets here give a classic feel to this material – encouraging patrons to stop and have a look!

If you are in the area, you should stop in for a visit!

Having this opportunity to visit member libraries, and to chat with everyone, has been so fantastic for me!! I am really looking forward to continuing this, and getting around to every member in CMLE. So watch your email, and let’s get your visit scheduled!