Two weeks ago, I met my dear friend, Amy, in beautiful downtown Grand Haven for a library tour!

We started our afternoon with a delicious lunch at Lucy’s Market and Deli. I’ll definitely go back and you can see why:

Lakeshore Special: “Boar’s Head Premium Oven Gold Turkey with Dill Havarti Cheese, Honey Mustard, Tomato and Lettuce on Sourdough”

Afterwards, we headed to the gorgeous Loutit District Library for a complete behind-the-scenes tour with Library Director, John Martin.
hermionish.loutit.grandhavenLibrary Profile

  • Class Size: 5 (serves a population 26,000 – 49,999)
    • A library that is a class 5 requires that the director have a Level 1 certificate (MLIS degreeĀ + four years of full-time employment post-MLIS) and at least one Level 3 staff member (Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university + beginning workshop) for every 20,000 people living in the library’s area
    • According to the 2012-2013 State Aid Report, Loutit serves 35,540
      • Loutit is quite a bit larger than the libraries in the Thumb area which typically range from Class 1 – 3
        • I currently work at a Class 3 library, which serves a population of 7,000 – 11,999, with an actual population of 11,833
    • The library’s service area is comprised of roughly 83 square miles
  • The library occupies 49,723 square feet and has a collection of 131,771 (includes digital content such as ebooks and databases)
  • Loutit has two library millages – one of which was voted in perpetuity
  • Operating income (local + state + federal): $2,408,429


Notes From My Visit:

  • Lots of parking – all of which was free (including a covered parking structure)

    I geek intellectual freedom (hint: it is right underneath the sticker and underlined)

    I geek intellectual freedom (hint: it is right underneath
    the sticker and underlined)

  • The main lobby area occasionally plays hosts to concerts
  • Loutit Library hosts children’s art for the community’s ArtWalk (similar to ArtPrize in Grand Rapids)
  • Loutit is participating in the Geek the Library campaign
  • The library’s lower level features ample seating for working on group projects, vending machines (beverages are allowed in the library), and two meeting rooms
    • Flat screens mounted on the wall loop through a series of informational slides about upcoming library events
  • In the near future, the library will begin intershelving its paperback collection which will free up floor space
  • Grand Haven has a bus system – Harbor Transit. There is even a phone with a direct line to the bus company in the foyer
  • Loutit has a self-check out kiosk
    • The library also has a self-service holds pick-up for patrons – books are wrapped in white paper for privacy purposes
  • The children’s area has reference copies of Newbery and Caldecott books for projects
  • Board games are available for kids to play
  • Via a Great Start grant project, the library has a number of backpacks in circulation which are filled with theme-based books and activities
    • Very popular items and are hardly available during the summer months
  • At the end of the semester, the youth programming room is turned into a study hall for kids
  • Loutit Library houses a collection of materials for Ottawa County’s literary group, R.E.A.D – Reading Enables Adult Development
  • The library has a local history and genealogy room which has 6 computers just for genealogical research
    • Lockers are available for patrons – no food or bags permitted

Thank you to John Martin and the fabulous staff at LDL
for their time and hospitality!

hermionish.loutit2.grandhavenTo view more pictures from my tour, please visit my
Loutit District Library album on Flickr