Marion City Library wins big award

Head librarian of Marion City Library, Janet Marler, announced the library received a five-star national rating from the Library Journal for 2018. Marler credits the staff, the board, and mostly the community for their contributions to the honor.

Without the community usage of the library’s services, the award would not have been possible, according to Marler.

“We did the work but the community supported us and helped us get this (award). It can’t be possible if the community doesn’t use us,” she said.

The annual rating is based on per capita circulation, library visits, number of programs, program attendance, public internet computer usage and e-circulation. Although it is a national rating, not every state had libraries that qualified. Kansas had twelve libraries receive ratings ranging from three to five but Marion City Library was the only library in Kansas, in its budget category, to receive the top five-star honor.

For the past several years, Marion City Library has received three and four-star ratings but has never received the top five-star award until now. Marler has pushed circulation rates and getting children and adults to programs.

“I like to set goals. I have worked up from three to four stars and I’m always trying to show that a small library can achieve just as much as a large library.”

Marion City Library receives funding from taxpayers and is open to the public six days a week, including Monday and Thursday evenings, serving all of the city of Marion and Marion County. Citizens can obtain a library card by showing proof of residence and are entitled to a variety of services.

Services offered by the library include checkout of books, newspapers, magazines, DVDs, audiobooks, puzzles, games, and cake pans. Also available are adult book clubs, Interlibrary Loans, copier, fax and scanning services, computer, internet and Wi-Fi usage, genealogy archives and microfilmed Marion County Record 1875-present.

Programs offered in the past have included pre-school story time, summer reading program for children, movie time, lunch and learn programs, Santa visits, Letters to Santa and the traveling Smithsonian Waterway exhibit. Several sponsored activities yearly are book sales, plant sales, quilt show and Christmas home tours.

Marler’s plans for the future are to “continue growing by offering more so that people realize what a great library and staff we have.”

To celebrate, a reception will be from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the library on Monday, Feb. 18. The mayor, library board and staff will be on hand for a presentation of the five-star award at 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend.