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Check it out: Library board is in need of new members

Jodi Schultz

Most of you know our library as the Park Rapids Area Library. It's a place where local groups hold meetings, and you see familiar faces when you stop in to pick up tax forms, or browse the shelves for a good read.

You may have noticed that we go by another name as well. The Park Rapids Area Library is one of the branches in the Kitchigami Regional Library System. This means, we, along with libraries in Bemidji, Blackduck, Brainerd, Cass Lake, Longville, Pine River, Wadena, Walker and the Mobile Library, make up the regional system (KRLS).

In many ways, this arrangement gives us the "best of both worlds." We are able to provide a physical space with a personal, hometown flavor, and we have access to a much larger collection than we would if we were operating independently. Though each branch has its own materials budget and does its own ordering, in effect, we all share the collections.

So, if Park Rapids doesn't have the item you're looking for, we can often get it from another branch in a matter of days. Four days a week, a Kitchigami delivery driver travels the circuit, stopping at each branch to bring in holds for patrons and return materials that patrons in other branches have borrowed.

KRLS headquarters is in Pine River. The staff members at headquarters are the unsung heroes in our library system, working behind the scenes to provide technical and support services.

Our technical services team oversees the technology that links the branches together. All of our materials are ordered, processed, and delivered from headquarters. The Interlibrary Loan system, (borrowing from outside the region) is coordinated through headquarters as well.

If you can't find what you're looking for in any of our Kitchigami branches, we can help you order it from another library in Minnesota or Wisconsin. KRLS provides this service at no cost to our patrons.

A regional board creates the policies. Each branch has a local board that acts as an advisory group to the local branch manager and advocates for the library within the community.

Park Rapids is currently in need of members for our local board. We need representatives who live in the city of Park Rapids and representatives who live in Hubbard County. Many people have stepped up over the years and served the library well. We appreciate their time and dedication.

If you feel this is a way you could help the library and our community, stop at the library to inquire, or call Margie Vik at city hall.