It’s always so great to visit our member libraries! I recently visited the Mille Lacs public library in Isle, and it is a great example of a library making use of their small space to maximize their service to their community.
When you come in, right away you are inspired to check out books.
Look at how cozy this area is! You can find all kinds of great books, and sit and be comfy to read and enjoy your books. And look around; see those quilts on the walls? Not only are they nice to look at, but showing this kind of creativity is a great idea in libraries!
Books are always a draw in any library, so it is fun to see the library showing off their great resources!
You can see the children’s book section here. It is always good to see materials organized for kids to easily grab things themselves. Usability is important when it comes to any patron, and kid-sized furniture and shelving makes a library accessible to kiddos.
There is also a teen corner, away from kids. (When you are a teen, you of course do not want to accidentally get mixed in with mere kids!) The library does not have a lot of space to work with, but they are using what they have in a way that makes materials accessible and usable to patrons – which is always the right answer!! Every library is different in space and materials; but we all work to organize and display materials to best reach their intended audiences.
Of course in any public library, there are many more things to check out than the books in the collection. People will often visit libraries to sit and enjoy magazines they like but do not subscribe to, or magazines they may not have seen elsewhere. I love this display of magazines – not only cheerful and inviting, but also easy to browse!
And few libraries are complete without computers offered! This is particularly important in smaller communities, and in our rural areas. People may not have access to computers for a whole variety of reasons, and they really depend on the library to provide computers or at least WiFi access. Libraries are important bridges for people to cross the digital divide, so it’s always good to see this important service!
And libraries really are so much more than books! We display art (quilts), serve as meeting centers, provide access to the world through the internet, and so much more! I love seeing these kits in libraries (right photo) – having these kinds of materials really helps to provide valuable service to all members of the community. Check out that STEM-themed artwork on top of the case on the left! Kids can come to the library to learn all kinds of interesting skills, and take that knowledge into the other work they do.
Have we been to your library yet? We would love to come and admire the good work you are doing!! All 300+ of our many different types of libraries, archives, and history centers are doing different things – but we are all focused on making providing the best materials and services and programs to our communities. It is so valuable to see how different places approach this fundamental mission of ours – so we are looking forward to adding your work to our bank of information! Read about all our library visits here!