First, Happy New Year! I hope that everyone has enjoyed their 2012 holiday season and is looking forward to a grand start to 2013.
As part of our holiday traditions, we visit my husband’s [large extended] family in South Dakota on even-numbered years in mid-December. This is our 7th visit over the years, and if you can believe it, the first time I’ve visited a library in the City of Sioux Falls library system – Siouxland Libraries! The City has a wonderful historic downtown filled with sculpture and brick buildings and my destination was the main library branch building (constructed in the 70s), as well the former Carnegie library building, now the Carnegie Town Hall.
The Carnegie building, constructed of a native stone called rose quartzite, was used from 1903 to 1972 as the library, then housed various art-related functions, and since 2001 has been the Town Hall with the City Clerk and Council chambers plus a few other City departments. Since we were visiting during a Friday afternoon the building was open and when we peeked in, we were lucky enough to receive a short tour from the super friendly City of Sioux Falls City Clerk. She pointed out a few features of the original building and showed us the state-of-the-art council chambers – it was quite a treat for a little special attention.
Our next stop was the current main library branch, decorated festively for the holidays. My mother-in-law was with me for the afternoon field trip and since she works close by, she’s been a frequent visitor over the years. She described to me all of the changes to the floor plan as well as reminisced about bringing the grandchildren over the years to story times on Saturday morning. I know how popular the story times are at KCLS, so wasn’t surprised they were just as fun in her library system too!
From the main library, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to The Old Courthouse Museum, part of the Siouxland Heritage Museums collection. My favorite exhibit was either the cold weather clothing or the bicycles – both provided interesting views into days gone by.
As you know, visiting libraries isn’t complete for me unless it’s also accompanied by sampling the local cuisine. Oh My Cupcakes! rounded out our leisurely downtown strolling afternoon quite nicely.
Wishing you all the best in the coming New Year!