National Library Week is April 23-29. The theme this year is “There’s More to the Story.”
To the folks in north central Nebraska, where towns are small and there are many miles between homes, farms, and ranches, this theme comes to life at the Rock County Community Library. For the 1,264 residents of Rock County, the “rest of the story” is not just a home base, a comfortable place to be away from home and farm life, but also an open door to explore.
Librarians Macy Lackoff and Kim Ort have made the library a home base for the Rock County Community. They host meetings, book clubs and celebrations. Kids explore the library through scavenger hunts and parents settle in near the fireplace to read. The library serves as a landing pad for students home during college breaks, plugging in laptops and headphones and finishing projects while visiting friends and family at home in rural Nebraska. Recently, USDA Rural Development (RD) upgraded this special place by providing a $50,000 Community Facilities grant to create an addition, handicap accessible restrooms, a meeting room, and other renovations.
The Rock County Community Library’s story is certainly one of making people feel at home. Equally important to Lackoff and Ort, it’s also a place where people feel safe to explore. They use interlibrary loan to help people dig into new interests and passions. They open the doors wide to the kids who come rushing in after the school next door lets out for the day, helping them find new books and explore new ideas. The library even offers new services like virtual reality equipment and a cricket for crafting. In rural Nebraska, Lacy and Kim make sure that Rock County residents know the world is at their fingertips at the local library.
In many ways, the Rock County Library shows that there’s more to the story of rural Nebraska – that people can find both roots and wings from anywhere. RD is proud to be a part of this important message and mission.
Check out what RD programs are available to help your local community facilities.