This started out as an article on a $2,000 grant to the Hastings Public Library to buy things not normally associated with a library; metal detectors, snowshoes, a paper shredder, drill tool bag and even a sewing machine. After talking to three of the library staff, I found it couldn’t be about everything the library offers, there's just too much going on there, with many, many programs, activities and opportunities.
So, it turned into my observations, which are just my opinions. And, it is my opinion that “Amazing Things Happen at the Library” is a fact. If you haven’t been to the library recently, it’s not your grandparent’s library any more. It isn’t even your parent’s library any more, either.
At 227 East State Street in Hastings for 10 years, the Hastings Public Library has celebrated its one millionth visitor. You don’t attract a million visitors without planning and working for it. The library’s leadership and staff embrace the latest technology available, evolving with the internet, using electronic innovations and the latest technology.
Books, magazines, EBooks, Audiobooks, DVDs and CDs. Wi-Fi and places to work, computers, free photo images, clubs with specific interests to join, programs and activities from babies to seniors and everywhere in between are available.
A library hand-out lists 21 current classes and programs and 10 clubs. The variety of special events the library hosts needs a spread sheet to track all of the events, times and spaces going on at the library. The community room is used by many non-profit groups and rented to the general public for events.
Some programs will let you download items to your electronic mobile device without going to the library. The age span of patrons ranges from assisted-living residents to babies. Women sign up for the program of reading books to their babies when they are pregnant.
A part of your parent’s library was the stress-free atmosphere and that is still prominent today. Along with those with heads bowed reading a book, library-goers are working on computers.
The library feels comfortable and safe, and is actually called “the third place,” after home and school, where children, and everyone else, can always find a new interest, learn a new skill or refresh an old one, explore new hobbies, or just enjoy escapist entertainment in a quiet space.
Those without library cards are welcome to join clubs and use the computers.
A firsthand story of the Dutch Resistance of the Nazi’s in WWII is featured on Oct. 3, and a 12-hour gaming event, featuring all types of games, is on Nov.10. Staying up with the times, the library hosts its second annual electric car event Sept. 15 with drivers of electric vehicles offering information and rides.
Wi-Fi is available in many places and now there is a device that lets you get Wi-Fi wherever you are. That’s the next thing the library is going to get.
You’re invited to stop in to learn much more about the Hastings Public Library.
My thanks to Barbara Haywood, adult services and marketing, Paige Brandli, youth services and David Edelnan, circulation supervisor, for their time and for sharing information on what "Amazing Things Happen at the Library."