When was the last time you visited a library? If the image of a crabby lady with a bun hairstyle saying, “Shhh!” immediately comes to mind, it’s probably been too long.

Those of us with cell phones, tablets and wireless internet access, where books and magazines are purchased with one tap or click, might question the need for a public library. With Siri, Alexa and the Google Assistant at our beck and call 24/7, who needs a library anyway?

Well, in La Porte City, it so happens all kinds of people do, as Hawkins Memorial Library is a very busy place, inside and out. And that’s a very good thing.

Inside the building located at 308 Main Street, you’ll find a bevy of activity in the form of programs offered for people of all ages. Where else can you watch a family-friendly movie with popcorn, build a LEGO masterpiece or go online to do a little research and catch up on Facebook? Need to have a test proctored for work? Hawkins Memorial Library can help you with that too.

Outside, don’t be surprised to find someone seated on a bench or in their car, taking advantage of the free wi-fi service the library provides. Of course, the wi-fi is free to use inside, as well.

This week is the 60th annual celebration of National Library Week. Libraries aren’t just places to borrow books or study—they’re also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies and develop their skills and passions. This is especially true in La Porte City, thanks to the outstanding service provided by Library Director Jolene Kronschnabel and the staff of Assistant Librarians- Jan DeWitt, Charline Moine and Laurie Rife.

As a member of the Hawkins Memorial Library Board of Trustees, it’s very exciting to see the number of people who take advantage of the many programs the library offers. It’s also encouraging to see the public’s demand for the wide range of materials La Porte City’s library provides to area citizens, free of charge. Hawkins Memorial Library consistently ranks near the top of libraries in its class in terms of patron visits, materials circulated and participation in library programs.

If you haven’t visited the local library lately, this week would be a good time to check out what Hawkins Memorial Library has to offer. Just don’t expect to find a bun-haired, crabby lady on “Shhh!” patrol.