You already know this, but visiting our members is our favorite part of the job! It is always great to see the things different libraries have, or things they try. Every library truly does have something special to see.
St Cloud State University’s library has all kinds of great things to see! I would like to set up a member group visit here, to admire the library and also to meet the new University Library Dean, Rhonda Huisman. We will have an upcoming poll on a good day and time, so start flipping through your calendars now!
For those who have been reading all about our visits to member libraries, you know that I’m such a fan of customer service – so this made me extremely happy to see! It is not always possible for a Dean, or a Director, to be accessible to the community all the time – but making it easy to at least find SOMEONE who can answer questions or help with problems can go a long way toward making patrons feel positive about the library.
Being beautiful is not a requirement for a successful library – but of course a nice setting with an open and airy feeling makes everyone feel good. This library has deliberately added art throughout the library, for sharing information in a visual way, and providing patrons with art to admire. I love this large textile sculpture, called Sunshine Rain created in 1976 by Merle H. Sykora.
You can see a different angle on the artwork in this shot – as well as the up and down staircases you can traverse on that end of the library. (Of course, it’s good for everyone to get up and walk around more often; providing some extra steps for people moving from one end of the second floor to the other also gives patrons the chance to take some time to admire this lovely space!)
See those cardboard squares on the shelves? Those, for the kids today, are called records. It’s exciting to have all these records available for fans of vinyl or for people who need the experience of this format. As I said earlier, it’s always exciting to see what you will uncover in a library – and there is always something unique in every library!
I will always be won over with good seating – and check out these tables! People sitting down to work need more space than just a computer – they need to have space for books and other materials right there. These tables provide patrons with not only computer access, but good space to work and even a little privacy from neighbors. Great!
Even more good seating is seen here. Just check out how nice these chairs fit together to make a really comfortable – and stylish – seating area. A small group could easily set up to work here, and could also enjoy the beautiful views through these lovely windows!
Speaking of cool seating, check out this (slightly blurry) photo of the chairs! The school’s husky logo is in the back of the chair – it’s so neat to see. The chairs all look good pushed in around the tables in the library; you can feel some good school pride while sitting on stylish seating!
And of course, libraries have a lot of cool materials – and this one is no exception! Look at all these books, they just go on and on. Aaahhhh…..as someone who (happily!) suffers from what I call Librarian Disease, I am unable to NOT touch the books. It was a bit of a challenge to propel myself through the library with Rhonda, but I did manage to make it out without actually picking up and admiring every book in the library.
Compact shelving is always cool to see! I love that we have such cool materials that we keep them carefully in these shelves. And yes, partly because I get a kid’s level of joy in being able to move these shelves with the touch of a button!! (I did get to use a very cool wheel once, to open a set of compact shelving. I felt like a ship captain, whirling to avoid an iceberg ahead. Yes: I’m easily entertained.)
The lower level also has that perennial format patrons either love or hate: microfiche! I kind of love it – I remember being back in the library as a kid, searching for obscure information on both fiche and film. And, this is a pretty stable format to store information; so it’s very handy! Providing information in all kinds of formats, as you can see they do at this library, is just fantastic. We never know what kind of question a patron will bring to us, and need to be ready to provide all sorts of things!
That important work happens here at the Reference desk! As with everything else in the library, the design is lovely and really encourages visitors. Note the lack of sharp corners – patrons will not feel like they are in the wrong spot. There is also a lowered part to the desk, perfectly suited to patrons who want to sit and talk about their questions or who need wheelchair-accessible Reference help. I just love the big sign over the desk – you absolutely can not miss this desk, which is great!!!!
The library also has these really nice drafting tables! Again, they are thinking about all the different kinds of needs patrons are bringing to the library, and are ready to provide great service in all kinds of ways! I always love to see these unexpected instances of thoughtfulness toward patrons.
And one final adorable item in the library – not available for circulation – is this so-cute little plant! Yes, the junky condensed books have been re-purposed as a planter!! I love to see book art in libraries, and of course we are big fans of plants in libraries (and have a bunch of plants ourselves!). So this was just right to hit all my happiness keys!
Go visit the library yourself to see not only this cute plant, the art, the great seating and design – but yeah, all that. You want to enjoy it all!
Have we been to visit your library yet?? You know we want to!! Send us an email at admin @ cmle.org to set up a day and time!!