By Brenda Erdahl
Across the nation people will celebrate their hometown libraries in honor of National Library Week, April 8-14.
Here in Maple Lake it doesn’t take a special week for residents to show their love for their hometown library, it happens every day.
Without the backing of a parent organization like Great River Regional Libraries have, the independent Maple Lake library relies on community support, and it happens in a dozen different ways.
“What makes us special is the 100 percent volunteer run operation,” library board member Paul Manuel said. “Dedicated community members are what the library is all about and their passion to make this asset a great one in the community.”
It takes about 30 volunteers to serve an estimated 900 patrons from a wide area, and another 10 or so serve on the board or as special project volunteers, volunteer and board member Terry Mooney said. The quaint little building on Birch Ave houses approximately 9,000 books for readers of all ages including audio, large print, newspapers and magazines.
Two book clubs (started by people frequenting the library) meet year-round, and in the summer, there are youth programs such as “Storytime with Marie,” “Read & Redeem” and “Reading with Rowdy,” which replaces “Books with Boone.”
In addition to books, the Maple Lake Library has a collection 3,000 movies to check out.
New books, movies, and audio books are added monthly thanks to donations and fundraisers, and the interests of the patrons are always taken into consideration when purchasing new materials, volunteer and board member Margaret Jenniges said.
The Maple Lake Library is special starting with the outside where local high school students’ artwork is showcased. Inside additional artwork is displayed.
“It is a place for preschoolers and school children to gather surrounded by books and offers them incentives for reading,” Jenniges said.
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