A number of adults and over 100 elementary students were on hand to tour the new Kelliher Library and Information Center during its grand opening Oct. 6. The library is located in a former sixth grade classroom in the building that was once the Kelliher school.
The product of a grant from the USDA Rural Development program, the library has been in planning stages for nearly a year. The center is the culmination of effort from many organizations in and around Kelliher.
"Many stakeholders can say they had a hand in making the library a reality," said Kelliher School Superintendent Tim Lutz.
He said that the library project included an overhaul of the old classroom that included upgrading the fire sprinkler system, lowering the ceiling, painting walls, adding flooring and improving the lighting. In addition, the Kelliher School Industrial Trades class built bookshelves for the library and the local FCCLA chapter helped with painting. Much of the work was free or donated.
"We received free paint from Home Depot and had the help of FCCLA members who painted the walls. A local resident provided free carpet and free installation of the carpet," Lutz said.
The library now boasts approximately three thousand books in it circulation, as well as about 500 movies on DVDs. In addition to books and movies, the library offers five computers with Internet Aaccess. The library also subscribes to a number of newspapers and magazines.
"We couldn't have opened without the donation of books from so many local residents and organizations. Many people have dropped off bags and boxes of books in very nice conditions and we are very grateful," said librarian Nichole Persons.
She cited a donations of thousands of books from the Northome Library, as well as a donation of money from the Friends of the Bemidji Library.
The grand opening began with tours of the facility before coffee and cookies were served to those who attended. Visitors included Kelliher School elementary students in grades one through six.
The Kelliher Library and Information Center is open on Mondays from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.
"It's great to be using more of the Old School Center and a library is a service that everyone can enjoy," Lutz added.