A. H. Brown Public Library history starts in 1929

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By Peg Wunder

Rotary was treated to a tour of the new library addition on Monday with Karla Bieber, head librarian, starting the tour in the computer area. She said there will be 10 computers when all are up and running. All the computers were in use during the tour and people are allotted 30 minutes to use the computers.
She took the Rotarians through the area where there are shelves of adult books. There is an area adjacent to the adult reading material that is reserved for youth readers. There are a number of items that are on order but have not yet arrived.
Several lounge chairs have been ordered and the blinds for the community room are due to be installed on Thursday. There is no set fee for use of the community room, however a goodwill donation is requested. Groups using the room are asked to sign an agreement. If necessary the group will be charged $25 for clean up. Access to use the community room after hours is through the back door with Karla opening up and locking up after receiving a call from the group that they are ready to leave. When using the community room there is access to the bathrooms and fountain but the door between that area and the library is locked.
There was some discussion as to e-books versus hardcover books being checked out.  Karla said that they are finding that people use e-books for pleasure reading and like to check out regular hard copy books if they are going to use them for reference or education. Much of the time people spend on the computer is for job search. Karla said that when the state library stopped being a lending library they offered shelving and Mobridge was at the top of the list. Mobridge got all the shelving needed and passed on what was left to Timber Lake. The shelving was free and just had to be picked up.  The estimated value is $50,000.
The main floor of the original building is the new children’s library. The main room of the basement of the original building will contain used books for sale and the small room in the back will be a genealogy section for those interested in that field.
In 1929 A.H Brown built the original library and research shows he stipulated that it was to cost no less than $10,000 nor more than $20,000. There are stories about how closely he watched the building and was present most days to oversee its construction. There was some discussion about how this library has never received funds from Carnegie or any other national endowments and other than several grants from South Dakota organizations the money has been raised locally.
Announcements made included a reminder from Michele Harrison, Chamber Executive Director, that Crazy Days will be this coming Saturday with lots of new things happening ending with the demolition derby in the evening.
Herb McClellan announced that the Ambassadors will be serving the 4-H Achievement Days Friday evening meal and a few volunteers are needed for serving. Harley Overseth said that the meat will be cut up starting at about 1:30 p.m. that day at the Masonic Temple and anyone wanting to help should contact him.
Dean Tisdall announced that a few volunteers are needed for the demolition derby.  If interested, contact Kurt Neumiller.
John Badgley spoke briefly about the membership drive that is coming up. Presently, there are 36 Rotarians. He said we should strive to have 50 Rotarians. He urged everyone to think of people who might be approached to join Rotary. Forms will be available next week to list prospective members.
Marc McClellan commented that it is time to get the Monday Night Football books ready so they can be sold before the season starts.
Lyle Kemnitz was not present to claim the 50/50 pot. Next week when Rotary meets at noon at the Moose Club, Tom Frey, futurist and son of Norm Frey, will present the program.

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