Nobles County Library makes changes as it connects with community – The Globe

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WORTHINGTON — In June and July, Library Strategies, a library consulting firm, surveyed area residents and focus groups to determine how the library could better serve the community.

Five key objectives were identified based on the findings of the interviewees.

Following recommendations from Library Strategies, the library has worked to achieve these goals to better meet the needs of the community.

The first objective was to improve the current facility in Worthington and expand access for all. Since the Nobles County Historical Society vacated the library basement, the library basement has become a program and meeting room space. The lighting has been updated, the floors have been cleaned and the walls repainted. The large space is used for children’s story time, summer reading programs and teen programs.

Parents feel more comfortable bringing their children and often stay to observe the activities now that there is room to spread out and everyone can sit down.

There are now two rooms that can be reserved by the community for small group meetings or for individuals to spread out and work on a project. These parts have also been cleaned and painted. They are free and open to the public.

A new children’s area with tables and chairs has been added to the Nobles County Library in Worthington.

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Another objective of the strategic plan was to analyze the collections and service to determine their relevance and effectiveness. Although this is an ongoing process, the library has made several changes to improve the collection. The collection is currently being weeded of outdated materials and objects in poor condition or no longer in use. This has freed up shelf space to better see what is available. Additional shelves have been added in the children’s area to make navigation more pleasant. Library staff do a great job of tidying up and keeping this collection in order, making it more usable and pleasing to the eye.

DVDs, audiobooks, and music CDs have been rearranged and distributed for easy searching. We now have a children’s DVD collection and a DVD series collection, as well as our holiday and non-fiction DVD sections.

Although the library is not able to provide everything our customers want, we do offer services to help fill some gaps. Articles can be ordered from other libraries through interlibrary loan. The Plum Creek Library System serves 26 libraries in southwestern Minnesota. If customers cannot find what they are looking for in this collection of over 800,000 items, records can also be acquired through MnLink within our state or even beyond our borders if needed. This service usually takes 2-3 days but sometimes a little longer depending on where the materials are.

One of the basement rooms of the Worthington branch of the Nobles County Library has been converted into a conference room.
One of the basement rooms of the Worthington branch of the Nobles County Library has been converted into a conference room.

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Another way to get books not found in our library is to use the Libby app, which is available in your app store on your mobile device or computer. Audiobooks and print books are available for free using this app and your library card.

Library staff thanks all members who participated in surveys and interviews! Thank you for agreeing to share your time and opinions on improving the library for our community. Library staff have heard what the community has asked for and are continually working on the five goals. Updates will be forthcoming.

The Nobles County Library in Worthington has a collection of children's DVDs.
The Nobles County Library in Worthington has a collection of children’s DVDs.

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If anyone is looking for more information or has other concerns, you can call or drop by the library and meet with the director, staff, or board members.

Beth Sorenson is the director of the Nobles County Library and can be reached at (507) 295-5345 or [email protected]

A conference room in the basement of the Worthington branch of the Nobles County Library is pictured here.
A conference room in the basement of the Worthington branch of the Nobles County Library is pictured here.

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