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Check it out: Services grow to meet patrons'needs

Like many other institutions, libraries are redefining themselves in order to meet the changing and growing needs of the people we serve.

People still come here to check out books and other materials, but they come for the services we offer as well. The library provides access to computers and the Internet, including Wi-Fi. We provide tax forms, and a place to read the daily newspaper.

Within the last year we've added an e-Book collection that can be accessed through 3M Cloud with a Kitchigami library card. E-audio books are available as well. (You'll find them by selecting OneClick Digital from our Kitchigami website,

We also provide a variety of programming which is free to the public. In many communities, the library serves as the gateway to information, literature and the arts - disciplines which can stand alone, but are ultimately interrelated and often spill into one another. I like to think that our library does this.

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment has been a wonderful resource and has allowed us to offer more programs than ever before. Libraries and the Legacy funds fit together nicely. We have the opportunity to reach people of different ages, interests, social and cultural backgrounds and income levels, making it possible for more people to benefit from the programs we offer.

Besides funds from the Legacy Amendment, we occasionally have artists and performers who offer to donate their time and expertise for a library program.

Two of these artists are Bill Dahl and Janice Springer, who will present a special program from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30. The program will incorporate information on the making of the Swedish Nyckelharpalag, music, and dancing, and even a chance to try playing a Nyckelharpalag.

Our library is also well supported by our city and county. Our building is owned by the city and maintained by city staff. Everyone at city hall is friendly and helpful when called upon for any of our building upkeep and needs. Even when the economy is tough, our city and county do their best to help keep the library maintained and funded. They seem to agree that a library is a cornerstone of a community, and the effort and money that is spent on assuring quality service, materials and programs is effort and money well spent.

Other financial support comes in the form of donations from groups like area townships, clubs and service organizations. Individuals often donate money in honor of, or in memory of, a loved one.

Each of these donations, no matter how big or small, is genuinely appreciated. Our staff, board and volunteers work hard to ensure that the money is spent in ways that will enrich our library and make it the very best it can be.