On Monday, June 22, David Hargrove began his duties as the new librarian at the Winterset Public Library.
Readers of the Madisonian may recognize Hargrove from his weekly Covered Bridge News column. With an advanced degree in history, it follows that his programing contribution at the library is public history.
Some of Hargrove’s earliest memories are of his family’s weekly trips to the library. He’s always felt at home in libraries, and in graduate school, worked full time as a circulation manager at the university library.
When he and his wife moved to Winterset in 2015, Hargrove became the library director in Creston, and did his best to help improve services, programming, and the collection.
In addition to traditional services, like supporting children’s literacy and providing print materials for all ages, libraries are a central point of public access to technology and information connectivity. For online resources, digital document delivery, online resources for employment, health, and education, and for downloadable e-books and audiobooks – the library is the best and often the only source.
“Library services are essential for a good quality of life and workforce vitality in our community,” summarized Hargrove.
In the immediate future, Hargrove plans to expand the library’s curbside availability, resume interlibrary loans, and offer an abbreviated version of the summer reading program.
The staff and board are writing a plan to reopen the library as soon as possible. It won’t be an immediate return to the pre-pandemic normal, in terms of the library as a gathering space, but patrons will still be able to browse materials, use a computer, make photocopies, and scan and send documents.
Hargrove anticipates that curbside service is here to stay. It keeps the numbers in the building down for now, and protects patrons who are vulnerable or just aren’t ready to reenter the building.