IRON RIVER—The West Iron District Library is asking area voters to support a renewal of its millage during an election on Feb. 25.
The district includes the cities of Iron River, Caspian and Gaastra and the townships of Bates, Iron River and Stambaugh. It serves a population of 7,370, with 4,673 individuals (63 percent) holding active library cards. The WIDL is a member of the Superiorland Library Cooperative.
The ballot proposal asks for a renewal of the 1.5 mill levy, which provides operating funds for the facility.
“The library has been fortunate to have the strong support of area residents who value the services the library provides,” said library Director Barbara Bartel.
“Our patrons enjoy selecting from over 59,000 print materials, as well as more than 3,000 audio materials, 2,100 DVDs and videos,” she added. “And we have well over 100 magazines to browse.”
Collections include those for adults, teens and children. Local, state and national newspapers are also available in the library’s main reading room.
Some of the most well-used and popular services the library provides the community include wireless internet access and public computers, available any time the library is open. Additionally, patrons can use an inter-library loan system, borrowing materials from other libraries throughout the state.
“Patrons can place books. DVDs, audio books and other materials on hold through our website, right from their own computers or devices,” Bartel said. Downloadable audio books, ebooks and digital magazines are also among the technology available through the library.
As a vital community resource, the library also provides meeting space for local clubs, organizations and groups. With a building expansion project completed in 2008, the facility added the J. Patrick White conference room for large groups and serves as a convenient, comfortable area for the library’s many programs.
“Our programs are a huge part of our library’s function,” Bartel said. “There truly is something for everyone in the community. We offered over 200 programs last year, with attendance total of 6,116. The programs span a wide range of interest, from Story Time for the little ones, to after-school activities and adult reading clubs.
“We’ve hosted author visits, special concerts and programs on topical and local issues. All of them are free and open to the public.”
Bartel notes that 86 percent of the library’s operating budget is received from the millage.
“We hope to receive the continued support of the community so we can grow and offer the services that our patrons appreciate.”