Local libraries are struggling to stay relevant in the age of te - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Local libraries are struggling to stay relevant in the age of technology

(KTIV) -

More than a quarter of U.S. households don't have a computer with an internet connection, that's according to the American Library Association and they believe free-WI-Fi should come without a receipt.

Some small local libraries are working hard to stay relevant in this age of technology. 

"We are struggling a little, we went from a card catalog system to a digital system and then from there we got more computers that kids can come in and play games on, do research and homework," said Megan Hansen, Assistant Librarian, Emerson Public Library.

With constant budget struggles, the Emerson Public Library has to make due with shrinking funds and shrinking customers.

Despite the thousands of books that you can check out at this Emerson Library and the fact that you can rent movies for free, those who work here say they still have a difficult time getting getting people through the doors.

The library recently received a grant for new computers that are also free to use and they sometimes have unique programs for patrons.

"We have Donna Datavio, she is a former foreign language teacher, she is retired and and she was teaching Spanish speakers how to speak English," continues Hansen. 

Despite the new computers, they also need additional improvements.  

"We've had a lot of water damage from a leaky roof, we have a patron that built us a lego table so we need more legos," said LaVaille Reifenrath, Director, Emerson Public Library. .

Hansen and Reifenrath also say they are hoping to add more programs that will be of interest and use to the community.

LaVaille Reifenrath has also decided to do an independent campaign to raise money for the library. As an independent project and fundraiser, the library director will make a special journey in her wheelchair to raise money for the Emerson Public Library.

"I chose on my 50th birthday, June 11th, to wheel from here to Dakota City and to collect money to do some updates to the library," said LaVaille Reifenrath, Director, Emerson Public Library.

If you would like to roll with Reifenrath on her 25-mile journey from Emerson to Dakota City or donate money, reach out to her at the Emerson Public Library

The number is 402/695-2449 or stop by the library at 110 N Main St, Emerson, NE 68733.

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