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Hanska Library Board member asks for public input on library future

HANSKA — The future status of the Hanska Community Library is in question.

Hanska Library Board member Deanna Zea is asking patrons and friends of the Hanska Public Library to attend a Monday, May 10 Hanska City Council meeting.

Zea’s concerns included the notion that the City of Hanska spends too much money on the library and that too few people use its programs and services.

The meeting begins at 5:45 p.m. Monday in the Hanska Community Center.

In a front page story written by Zea in the May 6 edition of The Hanska Herald, she asked residents interested in the library to contact the mayor or city councilors regarding concerns that the city spends too much money on the library and that too few people make use of library programs and services.

Zea wrote that the library receives $9,500 a year from the City of Hanska, $1,000 of which is designated for summer learning and reading programs and $8,500 for non-designated funds.

The remaining $17,000 of the library’s projected revenue comes from Brown County, donations, grants and used book sales, Zea wrote.

Zea wrote that two library programs, Story Time and Kids Night Out, return this month, but that some families are not ready to gather with other families in indoor spaces, so attendance may be low for some time to come.

Following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health recommendations, the Hanska Community Library is currently open with occupancy restrictions from noon to 6 p.m. Monday, 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.

All library patrons over age five must wear a mask in the library at all times.

Hanska City Clerk/Treasurer Candie Martinka said the city council is looking at library finances, the city budget and library usage numbers have been down in recent years.

Several residents said Friday they favored keeping the library open.

“It’s nice to have the library in town. It’s quite sad more people don’t use it,” said Hanska Furniture owner Steve Odegard.

“I’d hate to see it close. There are people that really depend on it (library),” said Darlene Odegard.

“I think it’s important for rural small children to have library access. It’s a great asset,” said Cami Larson.

“I think the library is good for children. They like going to it in the summer. It would be a shame to shut it down,” said Lori Mosenden.

“I’d hate to see it close. It’s good for the community,” said Franz Helling.

For more information, visit www.hanskamnlibrary.org and the Hanska Community Library Facebook site.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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