Oh Good, A New Library

Husband and I were treated last week to a “field trip” with some friends to one of their favorite Winona hangouts – the Winona State Library AND adjoining Coffee Shop. This building has only been around for 20-odd years, so was not here during our last time living here, and we had not yet seen it.

The Darrell W. Krueger Library, named for a former WSU president, is located on campus, overlooking the bluffs. It is spacious, light and airy, with several clusters of comfortable chairs, where we eventually alighted.  After shedding our coats to claim one of these on the second floor, we headed down to the coffee shop for hot chocolate with whipped cream, and were surprised at being allowed to bring our to-go cups up to our sitting area. We sat and talked quietly for a bit, and then I skimmed some nearby stacks to just get a flavor of what all is there, and found a fascinating book on the history of cookbooks. I will come back another day and find it again.

Everyone we encountered in the library was masked. There were several students scattered at tables, carrels, or the comfy chairs, but I was surprised that it wasn’t more populated on a weekday. And I have to wonder, knowing how many books must now be available to students electronically, how long libraries like this will be relevant, and what will happen to all these “hard-copy” books in the decades to come.

We had a lovely time, and Husband and I returned a couple of days later to get our own WSU Library cards. It is another place for us to spend some time on wintry days.

Do you have a favorite library (past or present) that you would show to others?

Any good library memories or stories?

49 thoughts on “Oh Good, A New Library”

  1. Wonderful, BiR! Is the header photo from the WSU library?

    I love libraries. They’ve always seemed like a place of refuge to me. A place where there was order, peace and quiet.

    During my time at SIU I spent a lot of time at the library, mostly listening to music. I had this “friend,” a fellow English major with a quick and sharp wit, who was a delightful conversationalist. He was also terribly obese, and I don’t think he had many friends. I put friend in quotation marks because this was an unusual relationship. I know and knew next to nothing about him. We never shared a meal together. Our meet-ups were casual and never planned. We met whenever our time between classes coincided and we happened to bump into each other at the library. Then we’d each get a set of headphones, select an album or two, and head for one of the listening pods to enjoy the music together. At the time I didn’t think much about it, but looking back it was a listening experience that created a special bond and that I think meant a lot to both of us. Beethoven and Rachmaninoff were on heavy rotation. Among my favorite SIU memories.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We have a college and a public library. Husband frequents the both. The college library just tracked down a book for him through interlibrary loan, by Christopher Isherwood, his Berlin Stories. It was hard to find, and came from a library in Defiance, OH.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Least favorite library!
    I have helped construct many libraries over the decades. There are always some challenges but this one was exceptionally bad for several reasons. Firstly, the location offended my library sensibilities. It is waaaaay out in the country near an industrial park. Likely the land was cheaper but the only access the community will have is by car. I suppose the location fits the demographics and I won’t ever be using the services but it still bugs me as I remember walking or bike riding to the Moorhead, Minnesota library. Perhaps I’m a throwback to Carnegie library days. The site is atop a small hill. There were problems from the beginning stabilizing the foundation. An extra half million. That was an engineering/architecture fault that didn’t affect my work. Now for the secondly part!
    If you look at the pictures, please notice that the subfloor is metal 2ft x 2ft panels. All the audio/visual/communication components are underneath along with the HVAC. There is little crawl space, so access is at each individual hole. The carpet tile doesn’t align with the panels. It is necessary to remove multiple tile to remove a single panel. The panels do not align with each other making for lots of ledging issues especially for the vinyl plank areas. The potential for trip hazards is a little frightening. I hope that by now the bugs in those systems have been worked out but I swear I re-laid that entire building 4 times.
    Better memories on a separate post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting viewpoint, Wes. I never think of a library from the construction point of view. Yet the construction is so important to the entire function of such a public building that provides service to the community.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. A lot of architects seem to have difficulty with libraries. I worked in one where the western sun shone through ceiling-to-floor windows directly onto the books (history section), and another with skylights that, while they did let in some natural light, made the checkout desk area several degrees hotter than the rest of the library. Then there’s the Anderson Library that’s built underground into the drainage slope to the river and, from what I heard from a friend who used to work in the U of M libraries, had a leakage problem from the start. She also told me about one award-winning building with windowsills that tilted inward, directing rainwater into the walls and creating a massive black mold problem (I was very lucky not to have gotten the job I’d applied for in that building, the mold would have killed me). I have to admit that these problems lowered my estimation of contemporary architects, which wasn’t all that high to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. For some reason that link doesn’t work for me. I click on it, and something flashes momentarily on the screen and then disappears. Anyone else having that problem?


        2. I’ve tried everything, including restarting my computer, and I can’t open that link. Bill can you give a word or two to google?


  4. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Libraries are one of my safe places in the world. Whenever I have taken a vocational test in my life, the results are the same three professions: Therapist/social worker, researcher, library scientist. Those tests must be accurate because I have worked in all three areas at one time or another.

    At Iowa State University I worked as a data entry worker (then called keypunch operator) as part of the first computerization of the library collection. We entered each book into a computerized system, then the book had its own keypunch card in the pocket, rather than the old fashioned library card that existed before that. My favorite part of that job was the entry of the library which was covered in murals by Grant Wood. They were wonderful.

    I was the front desk librarian in the Grand Rapids Public Library from 1977-1979. The library was one hub of the community that attracted so many people. I have stories. I have always thought that a library would be a wonderful setting for a novel.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Dewey was the most famous library cat.
        Wiki has the history.
        In Moorhead was a member who would travel around the upper Midwest and photograph the library cats for her own pleasure.
        My activity was limited to receiving newsletters and giving financial contributions.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. HI-

    It was summer between 8 and 9th grade when I hurt my leg. I wasn’t able to participate in gym class most of the 9th grade year so they sent me to the library where I hung out with another guy who had a heart condition. I think his name was Mike Bratten. (it was a long time ago). We got to be pretty good friends. Then they made us come back for the section on square dancing. I was glad they moved onto something more physical and I could go back to the library.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. The doc said I could could ditch the sling! Woot!
        Still gotta be pretty careful; PT to work on movement for 6-8 weeks. Then we’ll try muscle work.
        But at least I can button pants again!

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Marshalltown, IA had a Carnegie Mellon library, and there was a small group of us who had to collaborate on some assignment, started hanging out evenings at that library. We wouldn’t have gotten to be friends except for that group project. Still in touch with one of them.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. My favorite library was the Carnegia Library in Jefferson City, Missouri. Opened in 1902 and when I was a kid, there was an A&P Grocery across the street; every Saturday, my mom would drop me off at the library while she did the shopping. I did a little research and discovered when they wanted to tear down the building (about 20 years ago) to build a new regional library, there was a huge outcry, so now the County Assessor offices are in the beautiful old building and the low, squat, modern new library is across the street where the A&P used to be!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I also loved my college library… the Gould McKinley library on the Carleton Campus (we didn’t call it the Gould back then, everybody called “The Lib” pronounced Lieb). Especially my freshman year, when my dorm was the farthest away from the main part of the campus, especially during the coldest months it was wonderful to cozy up in a carell and study/read to while away the hours.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

    ― E.B. White

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As you know, my first guesses for the daily Wordle aren’t necessarily aimed at getting a bunch of letters right. My first guess today was inspired by a word that was the solution sometime last week, and to which Bill objected. Would you believe it? I got it on the first guess!
    Wordle 254 1/6*



      1. There’s some skill involved in getting it in three or more guesses. Getting it in the first guess: pure, unadulterated luck. In two, lots of luck as well.


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