Library board talks book sale results, building safety


The Marshalltown Public Library board of trustees met earlier this week to discuss the results of the annual Friends of the Library book sale, and reflect upon making any changes to current building security, in light of recent national events.

“The Friends of the Library raised $3,200 during last weekend’s book sale, which was held over a two-day period,” said Library Director Sarah Rosenblum. “And we raised $400 from the Collectors Corner section, which was new this year.”

She said the money raised is then given to the library to cover the cost of obtaining new books and materials

“The library spends $90,000 a year on books, and another $20,000 comes from the Friends of the Library,” she said. “This doesn’t include all the people that remember the library in their wills and when they down-size.”

New books are ordered on a monthly basis.

“We’re very patron-driven in what people want to read,” she said.

Rosenblum said because of the high traffic flow the library receives, safety measures are in check — and some will be added.

“We work closely with the police and had an assessment done. We do have ‘panic buttons’ stationed throughout the library, which would alert the police,” she explained. “Our staff is always vigilant, and we do have cameras in the building. If people have a safety question, they can contact us.”

An estimated 1,000 people flow into the library each day in the warmer months, and around 400-600 people in the winter.

“I think there’s still an assumption that the library is just where books live, but it’s a community center too. Some days we have a packed parking lot with all the activities we host and provide space for,” Rosenblum said.

The board of trustees will meet next at 4:30 p.m. March 27 inside a library community meeting room.

The board consists of Leah Mattox, president; Megan Bell, vice president; Judy Lindholm, secretary, and Maureen Lyons, Ronnie Manis, Allan Thoreson and Robert Untiedt, board members.

To learn more, contact Rosenblum at (641) 754-5780 or


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or