Looking to the future

Library maps out 2018 plans

Sarah Rosenblum

With 2018 now upon us, the Marshalltown Public Library is working to expand some programing options for the new year, plus maintain some popular features.

“We recently completed our first full year of offering Sunday library hours — 1-4 p.m. — and we have found those hours are the most popular ones throughout the whole week,” said Library Director Sarah Rosenblum. “There is a real demand for seven-days-a-week service, an expectation for that. It also draws in folks from all over the county that come to Marshalltown on Sunday to do other business.”

Rosenblum said offering Sunday hours was a large component of the library levy vote.

The year 2017 saw over 1,200 youngsters participate in the annual summer reading program, plus 84 adults in the adult version.

“We were pleased with those numbers,” Rosenblum said.

She noted the library experienced a peak in traffic during the summer months.

“We had 50,742 people come into the library during June, July and August,” she said.

One of the library’s most successful new programs of last year was its introduction of Small Talk, an interactive program for parents and their children, ages 0-30 months, that helps with baby brain development.

“We will be offering another session this month. It really shows the library’s collaboration with other groups that promote reading,” Rosenblum said.

Rosenblum said the library is committed to offering programing and resources for non-English speakers. In 2017, it started a popular bilingual storytime for kids, and wants to keep building on these services.

“We would love to have more bilingual staff. Also, we’re discussing offering English skills classes. We’re always looking for suggestions,” Rosenblum said.

Soon, the library will roll out its new Odilo service, a company based in Spain that connects Spanish bestselling books to North American audiences.

“What this will do is allow patrons to check out Spanish language eBooks. After a book is ‘checked out’ four times, we can buy it to add to our permanent collection,” she explained. “We have a lot of Spanish books for children, so we’re hoping this is a service [that will appeal to Spanish-speaking adults].”

While no definite plans have been set yet, the library will be planning some special events to mark its tenth year at its current locale.

For more information, the library may be reached at: 641-754-5780.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com