Inside the Victoria Library

Editor Sue

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the new Victoria Library occurred on Saturday, March 7th.  The Library is located on the ground level floor of the new City Hall building on Stieger Lake Lane.

This is the first space you enter when you step into the Victoria Library, a space to work by yourself, with friends, or at a computer station.  The Victoria Library has 14 public use computers and 8 iPads for public use.  There are also 12 laptops used for computer classes and other digital technology at the Library.

The Victoria Library is 4,000 square feet.  Every item in the Victoria Library is brand new.

 Kathy Bognanni is the Branch Manager for the Victoria Library and the Chanhassen Library.  Here we are in the children’s section on the west end.

She pointed out that the colorful yellow book boxes are constructed on rollers which can be moved around the room to accommodate story times and other children’s activities.

The Teen Area includes comfortable seating and a large video screen monitor that kids can use to play games or do their homework.

Kathy said a Teen Tech Club connects users of the Victoria Library and others teens with similar interests.

Jodi Edstrom is a librarian who is also serving as youth specialist.  She would typically present children's storytimes and other children's programs and recommend books for children.  Jodi also works at the Information Desk answering questions from the public and recommending books to all ages of library users.

Children can find both factual and fiction books in their section of the Victoria Library.

Helen Manion is a library assistant who works at the Service Desk.  Some of her tasks are assisting people in registering for new library cards, checking books in and out, answering the telephone, and answering questions about users' accounts.

Kathy said that each year the World Book Encyclopedia has a unique cover design and theme.

Kids can also find their favorite movies and games at the Victoria Library.

Marti Bartels is a library technology assistant.  She assists the public with technology questions such as how to download eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines.  Marti helps people use office software, connect to Wi-Fi, create email accounts, scan documents, upload resumes,  and many other types of technology questions.

The Victoria Library also has a computerized Self-Check System for checking items out of the library.

The north wall of the Victoria Library faces Stieger Lake in beautiful downtown Victoria.  Said Kathy, “We’ve got the best view of any of our libraries.”  There are six branch libraries in the Carver County Library System:  Chaska (1929), Waconia (1935), Watertown (1939), Chanhassen (1979),  Norwood Young America (1994, when the two cities merged), and Victoria (2015).

Magazines include, among others, Better Homes and Gardens, The Investing Issue, Bon Appetit, Minnesota, National Geographic, New Yorker, Consumer Reports, Cooking Light, Country Living, The Oprah Magazine, People, Fine Gardening, Good Housekeeping, The Handyman, Scientific American, Sports Illustrated, Time, Health, House Beautiful, Midwest Living, and Mpls St. Paul.

                 Newspapers include, among others, the Victoria Gazette, Lakeshore Weekly, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Chanhassen Villager, and USA Today.

I was impressed with all the eBooks you can download free of charge if you have a Carver County Library Card.  I recognized many books that Allan has read by Ken Follet, for example.  I saw many other best sellers.  Kathy said that libraries have nearly unlimited resources from which to acquire their books.  If the book is on the New York Times Best Seller List, it is mostly likely in the Victoria Library.

In addition to eBooks, I saw eAudiobooks that can be downloaded to smart phones, iPads, and laptops. 

I was especially amazed to discover that if you have a Carver County Library Card, you can download movies free of charge to watch at home.  On the shelves I saw recent movies such as "An American Sniper" and "Unbroken."  I recognized Russel Crowe and other popular stars on the covers of DVDs.  I recognized "Les Miserables" and several movies that I've seen at theaters in the past and in very recent times.

I was impressed with the Holding Area, which is where the Library places resources for cardholders who have called and requested a particular book or movie or other item.  Most of the patron requests can be found within the Carver County Library Sytem, said Kathy, but in fact the entire country can be searched for an item.  See the Book Drop in back of Kathy?

This is the little room where the books drop.

 During the winter, the Victoria Library will look like this at night.  In the summertime, the Victoria Library will not be open when it gets this dark.  Library Hours:  Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 12 noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.