What Happens at the Library?

I had an opportunity to meet with a lady who is visiting Libraries all over. We happen to be #459 on her list of Libraries she has been too. Very pleasant and interesting lady. She is going to Libraries and taking pictures and writing what is unique in each Library. I  would like to share what she had to say about the Babbitt Library.

I arrived at Babbitt with greetings for the local librarian from the librarian at my last stop. This partly explains why I spent most of my time talking to the librarian in her office, which was great fun; it doesn't happen often. However, time spent chatting is time spent not taking notes! But I think I captured all my favorite bits in the pictures below.

The library is part of the municipal center. Here's a view of the entrance, from the parking lot...

...and here is a charming metal sculpture, mounted on the wall to the right of the entrance.

At first glance, I thought this was a table of prizes for the summer reading program. I quickly realized that it's a collection of items for sale by the Friends of the Library. Nearby was a cart of yarn, also for sale by the Friends at a very generous $1.00 a skein!

A recent development is this attractive seating area, a memorial to Ray Rikhus. You can just glimpse the periodicals behind the sofa on the right. Babbitt is pretty far north, in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota, on the Iron Range. I was assured that "Rangers" are very much into the northern lights, and this is clear from the handsome picture above the fireplace. I have only seen the northern lights once, from St. Paul, and they were so subtle I didn't realize at first what I was seeing. I should get north more often.

Two snowy owls have taken up residence on top of a bookshelf. My picture does not do them justice.

The day before, children had been in to paint rocks from Lake Superior. And why should kids have all the fun? The day I was there, adults and teens were arriving for their turn. Check out the Babbitt Library on Facebook to see the older crowd in action.

Another program coming up for adults involves cookbooks, recipes, and sharing food, almost certain to be a winner.

While you're on Facebook, scroll down and you'll find a picture of teenage  library patrons hanging out in this space.

A variety of shelving units have been combined here to create a lively area with "inner" and "outer" spaces formed by unexpected angles.

Every corner of the library has something to see, including this quilt. Other quilts are shown --where else?--on Facebook.

None of the computers were being used when I was there, but they are ready to go. Take a look at the antique map on the wall in the right-hand background. Looks like a large poster, right? That's what I thought.

I was blown away to learn that this is actually a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. I think it must be close to four by five feet, and the jigsaw pieces are the normal size you'd expect in a 1000-piece puzzle. I learned that it was assembled in just a week by library patrons, somewhere off-site. (Where do you even find a flat surface that size?) The puzzle was then coated with glue...and donated to the library! How do you transport something of this size and fragility? That wasn't part of the story!

The walls in the children's area have a fresh, bright coat of paint.

I realize that a lot of things I usually mention are not covered here. Be assured, the library has shelves of fiction and non-fiction for all ages, media, everything that you'd expect to find. The treasures here are in the people. Before I left, everyone invited me to stay for the rock painting (and I was tempted). Lisa, the librarian, was very generous of her time. If you are ever in Babbitt, stop in at the library; it's one of the friendliest libraries around!

Oh, and if you are looking for a place to donate books, I learned that here they add to their collection any donations that are not already in the collection; the rest go to the Friends of the Library book sale. I know that at many libraries, donated books are rarely if ever considered for the library collection. I've been clearing out my bookshelves, and I was happy to leave a bunch of books here.

Library Events for 2017

International Wolf Center Program 

Old MacDonald had a Banjo
February Bingo
Musical Impressions- Briand Morrison
January Bingo
Mason Johnson received his first Library card

Friends of the Library Bake Sale and Book Sale

Second Grade Class Visits

Arn Kind's Minnesota in the Great War

Lori Huseby winner of the teen winter reading program basket
Mason Johnson won two cinema 6 movie tickets from the Hot Reads Cold Nights Winter Reading Program Coloring Contest
Rylan Buschman was also a winner of two cinema 6 movie tickets.
Natalie Backe won the children's basket for Hot reads Cold Nights Winter Reading Program.
Brooklyn Greenwaldt and the Easter Bunny at Story Time
Gerry Mealey and Theresa Miller playing at the Library's 60th anniversary.

Art Class at North East Range School came to the Library and painted our book ends.
Easter Bunny made a special appearance also.
Special thanks to Theresa Miller for making our cake.

Up North
Artwork was submitted by participants of all ages and all ability levels.
Patrons demonstrated enthusiasm for creating a coloring book drawing that depicts life Up North and captures the regional pride of children and adults.
This coloring book is an expression of heritage, memories, and feelings about what is like to live Up North in Minnesota.
Thank you to Cindy Storbeck for submitting her artwork for this book.
Phoebe and Ruth Morgan show their watercolor from the MN Woodcut Legacy Program
Claire Miller and her granddaughter enjoyed painting also.
On- Time Circus Puppet 
Northeast Range Band practiced in the Library
Lemon Line-Up Puppet Show
Coding for Kids

Amazing Mazes


Firework Art
Mad Science of MN
Bubble Blower, bubbles, and wand making.


Patrons enjoyed painting coasters using ceramic tiles, sharpie markers, and rubbing alcohol.


Chalk Art


Rock Painting for Kids

Teens enjoying the Library
Rock Painting for teens and Adults

Button Making



Root Beer Floats
"Ant and the Grasshopper" Play


Leaves of Grass Unlimited with Patrick Scully
Leo and Kathy Lara (Latin Music)

Fall Bingo

Kathy Laine- Winner of the Fall Wreath Donated and Made by Theresa Miller

Origami Program

Jay Mattila was the winner of the guessing jar of suckers

Author Lorna Landvik

Richard Monte's Driftwood Art

Winner of the turkey certificate was Terri Loewen
Thanks to Ed Zupancich from Zup's Food Market for donating the certificate.

1st grade class at story time