MUSCATINE, Iowa – Katharine Hepburn was quoted as asking “What in the world would be do without our libraries?”. Muscatine and area residents will find out, at least for about a month, starting next Saturday, May 19.
The Musser Public Library will close its’ doors next Saturday as the move begins from its current location at 304 Iowa Avenue to the new Musser Public Library & HNI Community Center at 408 East 2nd Street. The move has been in the planning stages for months as the new home was renovated, but is now ready to be put in to action. Library officials say that the move will be completed and the Library reopened by June 15.
The current location (304 Iowa Avenue) will be the place for book drops through mid-June, and phones will continue to work through June 8 (please leave a message if no one answers).
Items checked out before closing on Saturday (May 19) will not accrue late fees through mid-June. The library also announced that all patron fines (fees) will be forgiven before the opening of the new library as an incentive to come visit the new location.
“However, items must be returned to be eligible for the fine forgiveness,” Pam Collins, Director of the Musser Library, said. “Stop in and let us waive your overdue fines.”
Musser Library will no longer be a pickup point option for holds as of May 4. Anything ordered before May 4 will still arrive at 304 Iowa Ave and be available for pickup as usual.
“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people,” Andrew Carnegie once said. “It is a never failing spring in the desert.”
And it has been the public-private connection that created the opportunity for the Musser Public Library to grow and expand in a new location with more room and … parking.
The donation by HNI Corporation of the former corporate headquarter building to the City of Muscatine along with a significant grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust was the seeds needed to grow the project. Inclusion in the Pearls of Progress Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant, funding from the City of Muscatine, and numerous additional private donations allowed the project to bear fruit.
If reading is fundamental then having a library that meets the needs of a community is essential. Collins believes the “new” library will do just that … be a place for collaboration, for gathering, and for learning.
“Old and new patrons will find the library a place that they can gather, whether in groups or just a place to find some quiet time by themselves to read or reflect,” Collins said. “It will be a place for collaboration and for events, but most importantly, it will be a place for all community members to come and spend time.”