With kickoff of National Library Week on Monday, the Brainerd Public Library wants people to visit and see what's new.
Catherine Edinger, interim library branch manager, said National Library Week is also a chance to show residents what the library needs.
"We haven't had a funding increase since 1993," relying on a twice-yearly book sale and the Friends of the Library, she said.
"A good library needs good friends," added Dawn Stattine, Kitchigami Regional Library Board member.
Several programs will be offered during the two-week event. At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Alison Edgerton will present a program on Laura Ingalls Wilder.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 7, the public is invited to the library to learn about library advocacy and help write letters to elected officials for library support.
National Library Week also gives Edinger a chance to show what has been done and what is being planned.
The library recently added a receipt printer and another card catalogue terminal. Edinger said the library is looking at adding more programs. Planned for students this year is "Wolfin' Down Books at the Library."
The Kitchigami Regional Library consists of nine branches, in Blackduck, Bemidji, Brainerd, Cass Lake, Longville, Park Rapids, Pine River, Wadena and Walker.
The Brainerd branch is the largest in the system. In 2000, 280,744 items were charged out of the library, and there are 8,961 registered borrowers.
With a lot of material being checked out of the library, Edinger said she is seeing a change in the way people are using the library. A lot of people, she said, come to use the Internet or read the newspaper.
"A lot of people are going in and out without checking out a book," she said.
Overall, Edinger and Stattine said the cities with a Kitchigami branch have been very supportive, and awareness has been good.
"But there are some people who don't realize what we do offer," Edinger said. "We're going to try to make people aware of what we have here."
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