Kay Wold, Jud Bell and Eric Miehlisch were the big winners at the FOLL annual meeting, bringing home book bags and a Nook e-reader.
Kay Wold, Jud Bell and Eric Miehlisch were the big winners at the FOLL annual meeting, bringing home book bags and a Nook e-reader.
At their annual meeting and potluck dinner on Friday, Feb. 1, members of the Friends of the Lanesboro Library (FOLL) got together at the Lanesboro Community Center to reflect on the successes of the past year and to look forward to the rest of 2013.

FOLL President Anna Loney thanked the group of FOLL, library board, volunteers and community members for attending and helping the library have a great year.

"We are fortunate we live in a rural area that still has access to a library," shared Loney. "The overall abundance of local libraries in the area is great."

For the Lanesboro Library, 2012 marked the turnover of a new leaf. Beginning in January, the library was renovated to open up more space and provide a children's reading area that was dedicated as the Rose H. Bell room. The renovation has drawn praise from board members and library-goers alike for it helping the library become a friendlier place with a more welcoming and brighter atmosphere.

As FOLL member Jeff Lepper stated, "It's the best place to bring your kids."

The library has seen many positive consequences resulting from the renovation, including increased public awareness of its presence. Library Director Tara Johnson reported there has been a significant increase in the number of circulations from the library. In January of 2012, the circulation number for all library resources was at 1,160. In January of 2013 that number increased to 2,076 circulations. Johnson has also seen the number of library-goers increase within the past year. Besides the appeal of the renovation, programs continue to be a main focus for bringing in more people, the young and the old, to the library.

The summer program Wednesday Walkabout started back in 2011 for kids to get to know their town better and regular story-time events are planned throughout the year. Johnson and the FOLL are always trying to think up new ideas to bring people in.

With the increasing number of e-reader users, the library has provided training sessions that show participants how they can still get books through their local library on their e-readers.

Johnson recognizes the fact that more and more people are able to access library materials remotely without ever having to physically enter the library. This is why the library is focusing in on developing additional programming.

A new program started on Feb. 4 and will occur every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This is a free computer class that will teach skills often used with Microsoft Office, emailing, ancestry researching, and much more.

The library also remains dedicated to serving senior citizens who live in the Sylvan and Kenilworth apartment buildings by personally delivering books and other circulating resources to those places.

Library Board Chairman David Hennessey described the library as having a new spirit with all that has been going on. "The FOLL really get people enthused about the library and they help a lot with fundraising," referencing the effort FOLL puts in every year with handling book fair events.

Hennessey also pointed out that the city and state aren't able to completely sustain the library, but supporting groups and businesses from Lanesboro have been very generous, for which they are grateful.

First-year library volunteer Enid Dunn commented on the fact that "people have generous hearts in Fillmore County."

Coming up in 2013, Hennessey said the library will be doing a major inventory of all their materials as well as developing a new logo.

These are things that all area residents should be sure to continue to read up on!