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Marion library gets top rating

Staff writer

Marion City Library was given top marks by a national library association, Library Journal.

Head librarian Janet Marler said criteria for its 5-star award include budget, per-capita circulation, visits, number of programs and attendance, public internet usage, and e-circulation.

The more a library does with the budget available, the more likely to get a high rating.

Kansas had 12 libraries rated between 3 and 5, but Marion City Library was the only Kansas library in its budget category to receive 5-star honors.

Marler said the library has been inching toward the 5-star rating since 2012, when it got a 3-star rating that it maintained in 2013. It notched up to 4-star awards in the years following, hitting the 5-star category for 2018.

She said without vibrant community usage of the library’s services, the award would not have been possible.

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

She has also set goals to show a small library can achieve as much as a large library.

Books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, puzzles, games, and cake pans can be checked out. The library also offers book clubs, Interlibrary loans, copier, fax and scanning services, public computers, internet and Wi-Fi access, genealogy archives, and microfilmed Marion County Record beginning with 1875.

Past programs have included preschool story time, summer reading program for children, movie time, lunch and learn programs, Santa visits, Letters to Santa, and the traveling Smithsonian Waterway exhibit.

The library sponsors annual book sales, plant sales, quilt shows, and Christmas home tours.

Marler said she wants to “continue growing by offering more so that people realize what a great library and staff we have.”

A public reception will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at the library. The mayor, library board, and staff will be on hand for a public presentation of the award at 4 p.m.

Last modified Feb. 14, 2019

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