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Palisade Public Library offers much more than books PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 19:29

The Palisade Public Library offers a variety of services to the community. Don Suda (left) serves as the President of the Library Board, Candice Bird (center) is the librarian and Frankie Miller (right) is a member of the Friends of the Library.

By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


The Palisade Public Library has a lot to offer. In addition to borrowing books, patrons can borrow a movie, read a magazine, go online using one of the computers, make a copy or send a fax.

The Palisade Public Library works to keep up with the needs of their patrons so they’ve grown to offer much more than books. The library is open to the public from 9 a.m. CT to 5 p.m. CT on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“We’re willing to explore about anything to serve the community’s needs. We want to be the culture center for the community,” explains Don Suda, Library Board President.

Through examination of library use histories the board and staff have discovered that library patrons are interested in more than just books. Last year 45 percent of checkouts from the library were children’s books, followed by 27 percent of checkouts consisting of adult book checkouts. However, many may be surprised to learn that 23 percent of items checked-out from the library were movies.

Library leaders are also noticing an increase in the number of patrons coming into the library to use their computers. Last month 22 people came in to use the computers and internet access at the library.

According to Frankie Miller with the Friends of the Library, there are some people who come in to use the library computers to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. This is a great way for those who may not have a computer or internet access at home to keep in touch with family and friends who live outside the area.


Library updates

Last October the library started an initiative to update their system and make the cataloging system more high tech. Candice Bird, the Palisade Librarian, is in the process of putting barcodes on the 10,000 to 12,000 books and other materials that the library has available for check out.

According to Bird, the barcode system, once completed, will enable the library to automate the check-in/check-out system, monitor where materials are and keep a more accurate inventory.

The process of barcoding the books is a detailed and time-consuming process. Bird says she’s been working on the update since October 2011 and has gotten 3,600 books done so far.

These needed updates were made possible thanks to a grant from the Hanson Foundation, which purchased the software, an updated computer for the system and the initial barcode materials.


Children’s program

The library has initiatives in place to help children get excited about reading. They offer a story hour every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT.

The story hour is open to children who are preschool age or younger. Attendance of story hour is largely dependent on the season and parents’ schedules but usually boasts an attendance of five to ten children.


Services for adults

Recently, Bird completed a community survey which asked community members what services they would like their library to provide.

Adults asked for a book club. So, the library started one. Right now the club is working its way through books by Nebraska authors. The club is led by Donna Applegarth and currently has seven to 10 members.

Unlike other book clubs not affiliated with a library, book club members don’t have to go to the expense of purchasing the books they read. Bird is able to get sufficient copies of the books from the Nebraska Library Commission. She orders new books for the club approximately every three months.

Survey respondents also asked for more in-library activities so Bird is in process of organizing monthly game activities.

The library is also an economical stop for those who need to make a copy, send or receive a fax. These three services are available for the bargain price of $0.10 per page or copy.


Library leadership

The Palisade Public Library is a division of the Village but governed by a volunteer board. The Library Board organizes and manages day-to-day operation of the library and reports their activities to the Village Board monthly.

Board members include Suda, Shirley Ferguson, Mary Suda and Julie Derby. The board currently has an opening for one additional board member.


Friends of Library

The Friends of the Library is a group of individuals who are interested in helping the library with its many projects. They work with the board and librarian to accomplish the goals of the library and help to expand its services.

One of the main things the Friends group can do that the Library Board can not is raise funds. The group has done many fundraising campaigns to help the library get the items it needs, such as new computers, or to help expand projects.

In recent years the Friends have brought Nebraska Humanities speakers into the community. The arts performers teach history lessons through the arts. Humanities speakers generally perform at the Palisade Attendance Center of the Wauneta-Palisade Schools and for other area schools as well as the public who are invited.

Miller, a member of the Friends group, explained how the group started a Christmas program five years ago where area youth can watch a movie, eat popcorn and candy as well as meet Santa.

The event has expanded to have activities for adults too. The Community Service Club has bingo and the Ministerial Association sponsors a soup supper prior to the lighting of the community Christmas tree.


Get involved

There are a variety of ways that the public can get involved and help the library. First, go in for a visit or to check out a book or movie. Sit for a spell and see what all there is on offer.

Serve on the board of directors. Those interested in serving on the library board should contact Bird at the library.

Make a donation. The library could always use a bit more cash in its coffers. You can make a donation directly to the libraries or to the Friends of the Library. Donations can also be made in memory or in honor of a loved one.

Contact Bird, librarian, with questions, to join the book club or game activities. You can reach Bird at 308-285-3525 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Miller with the Friends of the Library group can be reached at 308-285-3861.


Series on local service organizations and clubs

This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting service organizations and community clubs in the Wauneta area. The purpose of the series is to inform the public of what local organizations are doing for the community and how they can help.

At the end of the series, Breeze readers will be asked to vote for their favorite organization or club. The organization or club receiving the most votes will be given a $50 donation to use towards the project of its choice.

Organizations and community clubs interested in being featured in the series should contact the Breeze at 308-394-5389 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 April 2012 19:31