Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

A Unique College/public Library

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

A Unique College/public Library

Article excerpt

No one guessed in 1994 that the needs of the city of Emmetsburg (IA) and Iowa Lakes Community College (ILCC) would lead to a combined public and college library, and a center that serves the recreational and educational needs of a whole city.

As the Emmetsburg Public Library board began assessing its space and technology needs, as well as the problems of a 1912 Carnegie building, city and college officials invited the library board to take part in discussions on a cooperative project to combine the college media center and the public library. In 1997, the Arthur W. and Audrey B. Smith Wellness Center/Library Complex was dedicated.

According to Mary Ellen Leners, director of the Emmetsburg Public Library, "good will, cooperation and concern for patrons' needs" were paramount in the planning process, as was the involvement of all key players.

The college library is open 64 hours a week during the school year, and the public library 42 hours. The overlap provides over 70 open hours for the Library Complex.

Each library maintains its own governing board, as well as separate staff and work areas. The catalogs, stacks, study tables and five leisure reading areas are available to the public whenever the Library Complex is open.

Either library staff is able to check out materials at the single circulation desk on the shared automation system, and students and/or public customers check out materials from either library collection.

Shelf location of items is evident because the public library uses the Dewey Decimal System and the college uses Library of Congress notation. …

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