Library now open seven days a week

“I’m thrilled we are now able to offer Sunday hours.”

Marshalltown Public Library Executive Director Sarah Rosenblum said the passing of a $204,000 tax levy by city voters in November 2015 enabled the institution to stay open 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Sunday in celebration of the new hours, and joining Rosenblum that morning were members of Friends of the Library, Mayor Jim Lowrance, Marshall County Board of Supervisors Chairman Denny Grabenbauer and many others.

“We want to thank the residents and the taxpayers,” Lowrance said, thanking Marshalltown voters for approving the levy that made additional hours possible. “The people that use (the library) take it so personally, it’s important to them.”

Rosenblum said the voters’ support of the library was not taken for granted.

“We don’t take that lightly,” she said.

Upon the cutting of a red, bow-tied ribbon, children and adults who had waited patiently for the official opening spread into the rows of books, computers, CDs, DVDs and other media offered by the library.

“Many of our kids don’t have resources at home,” Rosenblum said. “It’s a really important quality of life factor for the community.”

She said children and adults can use the library’s internet, databases, research tools, word processing programs and books to help with projects and homework.

One Marshalltown sixth-grader, Peyton Lustyk, came in after the ceremony to pick up books on late Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton for a school project.

“I’m on a ‘Battle of the Books’ team at school,” the St. Francis Catholic School student said, adding she comes to the library for fun as well as research.

Lustyk wasn’t the only visitor enjoying new library hours.

“They have a ball when we come up here,” said Marshalltown resident Lorretta Hoing of her grandsons, 4-year-old Owen and 2-year-old Henry.

Owen has some issues producing speech, so his aunt and Hoing bring him to the library to practice speaking.

“He interacts with other kids, we get him repetitive speech books,” she said. “I like the fact (the library) is open more now.”

Rosenblum said the new hours will likely benefit many families from many backgrounds.

“I’ve had a lot of fathers tell me they’re happy they’ll be able to bring their kids to the library on Sunday,” she said, adding many families have busy, extracurricular activity-filled Saturdays.

She said throughout the country, public libraries are visited by more people per year than professional sporting events.

“Around the country, you’re seeing library use surge,” Rosenblum said.

For more information on Marshalltown Public Library, go to www.marshalltownlibrary.org

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com