District Consultant for the State Library of Iowa Becky Heil took the Martelle community through the visiting process during their Sept. 24 meeting.


Building off the priorities set at their previous meeting, the Martelle community once again came together at the fire department Sept. 24 to discuss priorities for the library board to consider.

From a list of 18 possible priorities, the community voted the know your community, satisfy your curiosity and visit a comfortable place as their top three priorities for the library’s visioning plan.

In deciding on what to select, community members took their cues from the needs and vision they had for the community from the previous meeting Aug 27. Some of the issues that came up previously included a way to communicate with residents about events going on in town, having a place to gather and activities for young kids.

The top goal, getting nine votes, was the know your community goal. Ways the library could help fill that need, as brainstormed by those in attendance, was providing a place for a community calendar, renting out buildings for use by groups and an annual community event or mailing to give residents needed information.

Second, with eight votes, was satisfy your curiosity.

“That really goes back to that idea of lifelong learning,” District Consultant for the State Library of Iowa Becky Heil said.

Ways libraries could go about doing that included having programs like workshops, exhibits or speakers. Other ideas included hosting a community garden, having residents share stories or local history and holding a book club.

The final goal was to “visit a comfortable space,” with seven votes, which covered items like being able to offer more hours. Ideas floated to assist with this part of the plan included getting more volunteers, an outside reading area or getting an intern from one of the local colleges.

The recommendations now go to the Martelle library’s board of directors, who will be charged in figuring out how to implement the suggestions brainstormed by the community members.

Heil said other ideas brainstormed, even if they weren’t chosen as one of the three areas to focus on could be lumped in to the other areas.

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