Oskaloosa library volume continues to grow
by Dennis Sharkey
In a time when more people are looking for entertainment closer to home the Oskaloosa library is increasingly becoming an answer.
Librarian Paula Ware gave an annual update to the Oskaloosa City Council earlier this month and said the library checked out more than 3,000 pieces of materials more than the previous year.
Ware attributed most of the growth to a program run by the Northeast Kansas Library System that is made up of 37 different libraries.
The program allows users to look at the databases for all of the libraries. If a local user sees an item they would like to check out they can order the item to be delivered by a carrier to Oskaloosa. Ware said the carrier comes to town on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
“There’s a lot of materials,” Ware said. “I think we’re real fortunate to be part of the system.”
Other libraries in the system include Leavenworth, Hiawatha and Bonner Springs. Users in those areas can also order materials from the Oskaloosa library. There are more than 11,000 books in the system but other items such as music or movies can also be ordered.
The library now has eight computer stations for public use. Ware said most of the time the computers are being used and not for just entertainment.
“It’s not just kids playing games,” Ware said. “It’s lots of people looking for jobs day after day.”
Ware said the Library has a wireless router so residents can bring their laptops to get on the internet. At night some residents sit outside the library with their computers.
The library also has summer program now enrolling or getting ready to begin. The library’s summer open house kickoff is next Thursday, June 7, at 10 a.m.
Outreach coordinator Tracy Davis said about 25 kids had already signed up for the program as of last week. The program gets local kids reading and rewards them with a pool party at the end of the year. The library serves about 100 area children per month.
The library budget is approved through the city council. Ware is asking for a slight increase over last year’s budget. She said the discontinuing of a program that provides high speed internet access to rural areas will have to be made up. Some actions to cut costs have already been made.
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