Friday, July 25, 2014

98a. Hennepin County, St. Louis Park Branch, revisit before renovations

What an adventure, just getting to this library. Let's pretend that I can create a sidebar within this blog post, and this is it. So: I started by getting directions from Metro Transit, usually a very effective way to start. Rode the 61 to downtown Minneapolis, caught the 675 to the Louisiana Transit Center, then the 604 to "Louisiana Ave & Oak Park Village Dr." That stop didn't show on the map, so I asked the driver to please let me know when we got there. "Never heard of it." Oh. Well, do you know where the library is? "No." A fellow passenger said I should get off two stops after he did, and the library would be on my left.

I apparently got off too soon, and didn't see a library. So I asked at a gas station and was pointed in a certain direction by a woman who sounded very confident. "Go that way two lights, then turn right." I walked that way two lights, didn't see any sign of a library, and stopped at a bakery. (Got a cookie to fuel the trek.) Yes, I should turn right and go until I saw the high school. Turn right, then left; the library is diagonally behind the high school. Three more inquiries and I found it.

I remembered the library and its less-than-obvious location once I had found it. I was visiting today just to refresh my memory from my first visit almost two years ago, because this branch will close in a couple of days for a month of renovations: new carpet, new HVAC, some furniture changes.

The building is a long rectangle with the entrance in the middle of one long side, the information desk directly ahead as you walk in, and the circulation and service desk to the right. The children's area is to the left and features computers for kids, a large windowed alcove, and of course, plenty of books. It seemed quite spacious. The end of one picture book unit had a mounted drawing toy that I think is called a "Magna-Doodle," with a sign that reminds parents "When I draw lines and shapes I am learning to write."

There is a teen area along the back wall and a "living room" area by windows behind the info desk. Another "living room" is along the wall opposite the children's area, and this is where the periodicals and papers are found. I saw a sign indicating "Westerns" and had to chuckle; there was one shelf, perhaps two feet long; after three days of visiting Montana libraries, well, let's just say this is a pretty small collection!

I used a computer to check on my bus trip back, and the route finder suggested a different bus entirely. A helpful librarian actually walked me outside and pointed where I needed to go to catch the #17, and made sure that I had a #17 schedule from the rack in the lobby. The walk was about three blocks, and when I got there I realized...this is where I got off the 604 bus and got the directions that sent me 180 degrees from where I should have gone! Needless to say, the trip home was much easier! Well, unless you count the 30 or so kids and their teachers/leaders/counselors who boarded by Lake Calhoun and stayed on to the Uptown transit center.

I'll be back in a month or so to see what changes are made.

For more information about this library, go to http://www.hclib.org/AgenciesAction.cfm?agency=SL .

7/25/2014, bus & walking.........