Kewaunee, Algoma libraries offer convenience, save tax dollars with new Luxemburg station
LUXEMBURG – A new place for residents of the western part of Kewaunee County to check out library materials may also save money for taxpayers.
The Kewaunee County Library Services Board opened a station Jan. 6, at the service desk at Stodola's IGA grocery store in Luxemburg, to serve as an auxiliary branch of the Kewaunee and Algoma public libraries.
At the station, library card holders can pick up and return books and other materials ordered from the Kewaunee or Algoma libraries.
A kickoff celebration is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 14, when visitors can sign up for a library card and learn how to use the station.
The libraries opened a similar station in 2001 at the Nicolet National Bank office in Luxemburg to give county residents who live in Luxemburg, Casco and nearby communities a more convenient way to get library materials without driving to Algoma or Kewaunee.
The Library Services Board, however, wanted to provide a site with more open hours than the bank. Kewaunee Public Library Director Carol Petrina said Donna Thomas, a board member, pushed to expand the service and approached store owner Alex Stodola with the idea.
Stodola's is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily except for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and library patrons can pick up and drop off materials at the station any time during open hours.
"It's more hours, weekend hours," Algoma Public Library Director Cathy Kolbeck said. "The grocery store is open late, and that may work for people who maybe live here but work in Green Bay and have to travel. As long as the store is open, they can pick up and drop off."
Kolbeck said the about 2,500 items were picked up at the Nicolet station last year, and even though the Stodola's station is less than a month old, it's already proving popular.
"Probably half the patrons who went to the bank have switched over," she said. "Some people who've called were very excited now that they can come to the store."
Library card holders who wish to use the station can inform the Algoma or Kewaunee library that they want to become Luxemburg patrons. Then, they can place a hold on a book or other item at either library or order it from InfoSoup.org, which can access materials anywhere in the Nicolet Federated Library System that covers Northeast Wisconsin.
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Once the materials arrive at the library, they're placed in bags to protect the patron's privacy and delivered to the station. The library will let the patron know his or her materials are ready for pickup.
Besides offering a convenience for those living in the area, the library board also hopes it will save money for the county.
A state statute allows consolidated libraries to bill nonconsolidated libraries for each item checked out by residents of the nonconsolidated library’s home county — meaning, Brown County can send a bill to Kewaunee County for materials checked out by Kewaunee County residents from a Brown County library, for example.
Because of this, Kewaunee County paid $53,732 in 2018 and $45,117 last year. Petrina said she thinks the bank station helped bring down the bill and the new station could help more.
"The things we've been doing are making an impact," she said. "It's just raising awareness, I think."
Kolbeck said the potential savings to taxpayers is important, but it also matters to give local residents access to library materials.
"It's not just about saving that tax dollar," she said, "but about giving people on this side of the county access."
A kickoff celebration for the new Luxemburg Library Station will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 14 at Stodola's IGA, 602 Center Drive. Visitors can sign up for a library card and learn how to check out and return library materials at the Stodola's station. For more information, call Cathy Kolbeck of the Algoma Public Library at 920-487-2295 or Carol Petrina of the Kewaunee Public Library at 920-388-5015.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee, Algoma libraries offer convenience, save tax dollars with new Luxemburg station