Le Mars Public Library Delivers Annual Report

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(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Public Library submitted its annual report to the city council on Tuesday.  President of the Le Mars Public Library Board of Trustees, Robbin Hermson appeared before the city council to answer any questions.  Hermson began by stating COVID had interrupted the library business, the prior year, and as a result the library was closed for several months.  He says the library is still recovering from the setback.

The report indicated the library installed a time management software on the computers used by the general public.  The software allows people to bypass the front desk and start a two-hour computer session without staff contact.  Another addition to the library was a self-check station to allow library visitors the ability to check out materials with minimum interaction from staff.  The station was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act through a grant from the State Library of Iowa.  Funds given to the Friends of the Library from Le Mars United Way were used to create “Explore With Me” activity kits for children ages 3 to 6 and their caregivers.  The United Way continues to fund the Books for Babies initiative with Floyd Valley Healthcare and the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.  The library report indicated that due to COVID concerns the fall and winter youth reading programs were either held virtually, or take home challenges. The report indicated the summer reading programs were able to offer a “normal” program with 432 youth registered.  Teen summer reading program had 43 registered, and there were 54 adults that had participated in the Adult Summer Reading program.  City council member Clark Goodchild inquired about the library’s need for additional space, and options available to the library?

Goodchild followed up his initial question by asking a second question inquiring about whether more electronic books are being checked out as opposed to the an actual book?

Hermson admitted not knowing the specific statistics, but he offered Goodchild his answer.

The library trustee president says the board has discussed the space issue, but have not taken formal action.

Hermson expanded on his answer regarding the discussion for additional space at the public library.

Hermson says other ideas have been mentioned, including adding a second story to the existing building.  However, city administrator, Jason Vacura informed the council that engineering studies conducted in the past indicate the present library structure would not support a second story addition.