A mini library has been set up in the Nichols City Hall, giving the town access to books, DVDs, the internet and other services provided by the West Liberty City Library.
Staffed by West Liberty, this marks the next step in a partnership between the two towns since Nichols changed to West Liberty's library services in 2011. However, many decisions have yet to be finalized.
"We’re in a wait-and-see, sort of trial-and-error mode when it comes to staffing and hours right now," said West Liberty Library Director Janette McMahon. "We don't know how people will respond, but we're happy to work with Nichols."
Currently it's open 5-7 p.m. every Monday, and books are switched out every few weeks from West Liberty to keep content fresh. The staff is awaiting feedback from residents to see what they should do next.
"We chose a selection in books for all ages, as well as different kinds of media," said McMahon. "It's just one more avenue for people to keep a relationship with us, but we need to hear from them."
The idea to extend services into Nichols has been in the works for awhile. The purpose of the mini library is to reach Nichols children and residents who can't make it to the West Liberty Library.
"I think it's excellent," said Nichols Mayor Cyle Geertz, "I've been mayor for two years and this is one of the things I've been trying to make happen. I think we have a lot of interest in town."
As part of the set up, a computer with internet access will be available. Anyone can reserve material online or with the staff and have it sent from West Liberty to Nichols. They'll also have full access to West Liberty's online content.
As far as library programs, that too relies on feedback from Nichols. McMahon believes it's a possibility, but as with everything else, that's up in the air right now.
Nichols made the switch from the Muscatine Library to West Liberty Library a few years ago because of the school system.
"Our students attend school in West Liberty, so it just made more sense to be a part of the West Liberty program than the Muscatine one," Mayor Geertz said.
According to McMahon the library is excited to foster and grow its relationship with Nichols children. Maintaining a mini library is the next logical step.
"We've taken books to the daycare at the community center and to the spanish program at the school, this is just another outlet for kids," said McMahon.
West Liberty plans to stick with the mini library on Ijum Ave. for the forseeable future. It's not about building an independent library, but building a partnership with Nichols.
"We will continue to provide services to folks who cannot come to West Liberty for as long as they want us," said McMahon.
To give feedback, talk to the staff at the mini library or email email@example.com. The West Liberty Library's content can be accessed at wlpl.org.
Nichols welcomes new mini libraryJacob Lane · Thursday, August 22, 2013