By Khadijah Lacina
|Logo courtesy of NEPL|
In the world of libraries, bigger is not necessarily better, and Norwalk Easter Public Library in Norwalk, Iowa, is a perfect example of this. Their goal is to provide an environment wherein people can meet, find resources, or just relax. Sounds pretty great, right? Read on, it gets better.
From their mission statement: “We believe a public library is a place for people to come together, feel connected, and engage with others. In today’s digital age, Norwalk Easter Public Library is no longer just a place to check out books. We offer a multitude of services to support our growing community. Whether you are looking for recreation, relaxation or information, we can accommodate you with our diverse collection of resources and programs for children as well as adults. Norwalk Easter Public Library supports lifelong learning and enjoyment in an inclusive, welcoming environment that is a primary community destination. The Library provides equal access to quality information services, materials, and resources to all members of our community.”
When I read this, I realized that this is truly what libraries are all about. They should not be static, sterile bubbles into which we enter to check out what we need before scurrying home as quickly as possible. Instead, the library should be a destination, a place to grow and expand our horizons both personally and as a community.
Norwalk Easter has many wonderful programs for all ages. They have monthly book clubs for children from kindergarten to fifth grade, with talks, activities, and snacks. Kids bring a book to share and spend time getting to know not only the other children, but being exposed to books they might not otherwise have found. They also have more traditional weekly storytimes for different age groups that include age-appropriate stories and games. Some past monthly activities for teens and tweens have included a teen lock in, game night, and food decorating fun.
The library offers many programs and events for adults as well, such as the Novel Year Book Club, Adult Night Out Classic Film Series, and a craft night.
At a time when libraries are facing budget cuts and possible closures, Norwalk Easter Public Library is a vital part of its community, providing a place for people to connect, engage, learn, and grow. Stop by the next time you’re in town!