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Monday, December 27, 2010

Welcome to Rawlins Municipal Library in Pierre, SD!

Picturing Pierre, take two

One of the biggest changes for us (ok, ME) in this move is the move from a large automated library with a huge selection to the tiny little library in Pierre.  This library is largely charming. There is no automation, the librarian checks your books in and out manually and stamps each one with a date stamp. There is a website and you can search for books and check your account online, but you can't check them out yourself.  There is no coffee shop as in the Rapid City Library, but there is a little coffee cart with free coffee and hot water for tea. Instead of plastic bags with the library's logo, the Pierre library has a nice stack of (donated?) canvas bags for you to use, should you forget yours. (They also have some grocery store bags so kids can have their own bag.) You actually have to talk to the library to check out a book! Fees are forgiven if you check your books in on Sunday or Wednesday. Overall, it's very charming and I think we'll find it perfectly acceptable (especially since we can get ILL from Rapid City.)

Let's take a little tour, shall we? See this picture? This is the ENTIRE library. This is standing at the front wall, looking all the way to the back. The middle 1/4 of the library (at least, maybe even 1/3) is public computers and magazines, just over that low shelf there behind those kids.

Looking to the left from here is the kid's section:

What you can't see in that picture are these little boxes for each popular author or series, like this:

No expense spared on those boxes!
They also have sections for all the Newbery winners and Caldecott winners, so you don't have to search them out. It inspires me to read through them all, but I need to find a nice list.

This is the children's librarian's desk. Note: not office, desk.

At the very far back, right corner of that first picture is the young adult section, which looks like this:

About half that back wall is young adult fiction, along with the side you can't see of that freestanding shelf. The front of that freestanding shelf is young adult non-fiction. The rest of that part is the Large print books.

I haven't had much of a chance to check out the adult section, but it's divided up with sections for Westerns and Mysteries that are as big as the section for general fiction. The movie section has more VHS tapes than DVDs.

I've been keeping track of everything we check out, in part so that I can remember what Mike has read while I'm there, but also as a little experiment for myself. I'm marking each book with an R when I return it read, a DNF if I return it unread and don't want it again, and am contemplating what to use for "returned unread, but check it out again." Suggestions?  Right now it's in a moleskin, but if I ever get a smart phone I plan to make a spreadsheet. It should help later when trying to think of good blog posts as well.

What is you library like? Do you have more than one branch? How do you remeber what you've checked out? What you want to get again? Am I the only one still using paper? What  is the best feature of your library?

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  1. I think your new library looks very homey! As someone who works part-time at a VERY small public library, sometimes those small libraries are even better than the bigger ones- I rarely have to wait for a new book and enjoy the personal treatment there.

  2. Our little library has a surprising number of books. I get irritated because I have read everything on the mystery shelf and YA section is almost empty, but at least we have a library. (We also have ILL if all else fails.) We don't have to be quiet, unless someone specifically asks us to be. Strangers talk to each other about books and life in general. The librarian knows everyone by name. The "old" librarian knew what type of books everyone liked to read, and went out of her way to make sure there was always something new to read.

    Once in a great while I'll remember to write down a book I've read. It is just a 3-hole binder with loose leaf paper. Sometimes I'll print off info about an author and stick it in the notebook. Books I want to read usually just get written down on a post-it note. Yes, I sometimes check out books I've read before. Oh, well. The library is just around the corner from our shop so it isn't like it is a big disaster.

  3. That reminds me of the library in my dad's hometown that my great-grandma helped start over 100 years ago. Small but thank heavens for it! I did a spreadsheet online. I print it out once a month--it's only books I want to check out and once I have, off the list they go. How about "ReCk" for re-check when you didn't finish but want it again?

  4. I have a small library too and have come to like it. I still keep track of all my reading on paper too.

  5. What a fun tour. Someone should have a "show us your library" linkup sometime. We are lucky here; the library is extraordinary - huge, architecturally beautiful, great kids area, etc. The only annoying thing is parking isn't free. I usually spend $3 when we go. Not a lot but kind of defeats the purpose of the library being a fun free activity.

  6. I really do hate to tell you this because I love you so...but I just went to our main library for the first time and it's HUGE. Two stories.

    But, I browse online a lot (mostly for audio and book club) and it seems to still be pretty limited. Maybe it's just meeting rooms?

    Love your system--would make a good post.

  7. I would love love to finally use my MLIS degree and work in a library. My goal is to learn Spanish and get a job here someday. I am totally using some of your library's ideas here. Can you believe no coffee at all allowed? I LOVE the idea of recycling canvas bags as we have them coming out of our eyeballs at home. Thanks for this great post!


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