Future growth?

Addition to the public library under discussion

The Marshalltown Public Library board of trustees have had “a very, very, preliminary look at an addition to the library,” Library Director Sarah Rosenblum told the Times-Republican Wednesday. “It is something we are considering, with funding from the Friends of the Marshalltown Public Library and possible city funding. We have a long way to go in looking toward to the future of the library … it is 10 years old (at 105 W. Boone location) this year. We have great use, and are looking at best ways to serve the community.”

Library board secretary Judy Lindholm of Marshalltown echoed a portion of Rosenblum’s remarks.

The Friends of the MPL is a not-for-profit, all volunteer, 501(c)3 organization established in 1997. It provides funding for new materials and programming for youth through adults, while also managing the Annual Book Sale. Anyone can become a Friend of the MPL at any time during the year, according to the MPL website.

Minutes from the Dec. 19, 2017 trustees meeting said, “They (Friends) will meet with the city council regarding the library’s building project. The architect should have an estimate for the project.”

Rosenblum emphasized “that a lot of community input will be gathered before any steps are made moving forward.”

Friends of the MPL President Jeff Hutton said the organization wants to be supportive with any endeavors the library wants to pursue.

“We believe wholeheartedly in the mission of the library and its role in the community. We want to assist in any way we can,” he said.

The library is a department of the city, and funding is primarily derived from tax dollars.

A seven member, all-volunteer board of trustees sets library policy.

In 2015, Marshalltown voters passed by a 121-vote margin a tax levy, estimated to provide an additional $204,000 in revenue.

Supporters said the funds were needed to keep up with library costs, maintain the level of services. and allow extra staff to be hired for Sundays.

In 2013, the library won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is the only library in Iowa to receive the award. Marshalltown’s first library was established in 1898. For more information, visit marshalltownlibrary.org, or contact 641-754-5738.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com