After years of dreaming and planning, the Margaret Palmer Library Board is making it a reality for the library inventory to be all digital.
This year’s proceeds from the March fundraising event were deemed for this project, so as of mid-May, Bev Presswood and Katie Pritchett have been scanning books and giving them bar codes. The plan is to have all books in the computer by September.
Librarian Sarah Hunt has also been busy going through books to keep the total amount at 15,000 books entered into the database that is maintained by Biblionix, who charges a yearly maintenance fee based on the number of books entered.
It has been a big job weeding out old, battered and unread books to keep the number affordable. Hunt added, “We are trying to proceed with the process in a way that allows for the least disruption to library patrons and the Summer Reading program.”
According to the library website continuous library service has been provided to the residents of Elsberry and surrounding areas since at least 1920.
After numerous locations, their current location at 502 Broadway was determined in 1989 when long time resident Margaret Palmer changed the face of library service in Elsberry forever by announcing that she would build The Joseph R. Palmer Family Memorial Library in memory of her parents, Joseph and Florence Copher Palmer and her brother George Palmer. Upon completion of construction in June, 1990, Palmer deeded the building to the city to be used as a public library.
It should be noted that the last major upgrade to the facility was in 2009 when walls were moved and space in the children’s area was added.
The library offers free internet access, a large collection of children and youth materials as well as current bestsellers and a large fiction collection for pleasure reading.
All books that are being discarded are available in the front lobby of the library for a minimal price. As the process gets close to completion the library will hold a public event for patrons to get bar-coded library cards so they will be able to check out books through the new system.