By Abby Walton
When what is now the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library was established in Zionsville in the late 1800’s, people used the library as a way to broaden their horizons through the written word. More than 100 years later, the library is adapting to a world where learning can come from reading a book or surfing the web.
According to Virginia Hilbert, department head of circulation services for the library, more than 270,000 patrons visited the library in 2012. While many came searching for the perfect read, others visited the library to take part in one of its many programs.
“We try to plan our programs at least three months in advance,” Hilbert said. The library is broken up into three departments: youth, teen and adult. Each department has a team that creates programs to fit the needs of each age group.
“The youth department does a great job at providing programs for kids of all ages. Each month they have story time or crafts. They’ve also created a great space for kids and parents to get out a book and read,” she said, adding that with each department their main goal is to find out what each age group wants to see from the library and then try to incorporate it into their programing. “We love the input from our members,” Hilbert said.
For the children of today, libraries will have always had books, computers, e-readers and tablets to use or check-out. That is not the case for many adults in the community. Hilbert said the library is seeing a large number of adults use its services to learn how to operate different computer programs.
To enjoy the library’s services, patrons must have a library card. Cards are available to any Zionsville resident and gives the owner access to the library’s entire book collection, plus digital and audio books and music. The library even has a program called Evergreen that allows you to access a digital catalog of books from more than 100 libraries in Indiana. You can reserve a book and have it sent directly to the Hussey-Mayfield library.
Libraries were started as a service to the community. In today’s digital age, that service has grown in spite of limited funding. That’s why Hilbert said the Friends of the Library help raise funds that make its programming possible.
“The Friends are a very important, active and growing organization,” she said.
The Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, located at 250 N. Fifth St., will host its annual Holiday Stroll from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7.
“Families can take part in lots of holiday activities and take a look around our facility. The Friends of the Library will also have a gift boutique where the proceeds will help fund future library programs,” she said.
For a list of upcoming events at the library, visit www.zionsville.lib.in.us.