Broadview Community Library accepting donations for rotating stock

by Martin McConnell

Kathy Rush-Parsson of the Broadview Human Services and Senior Center department said she is extremely proud of the community library the city has been able to build. Throughout the past few years, the library has been able to amass a “surprisingly large” collection of materials, she said.

Of course, the library is always taking donations, Rush-Parsson said. The group is putting out a call to anyone in the area with books that they are willing to donate to a good home.

For those looking to check out their own books, the library is completely free.

“It’s actually a pretty simple concept,” she said. “We have a library here in human services, and it’s really just a free lending library to anybody who, you know, lives in the city or otherwise. We get a lot of donations of books, and we do have a volunteer librarian.”

Rush-Parsson said the library is constantly rotating stock. Having enough materials to keep the stock fresh year round can be a challenge for a library that survives mostly on donations, but Rush-Parsson said the community has been exceptionally kind through the years.

“Mark comes in and he is a volunteer, and he just kind of changes the books (every so often),” she said. “We’ll get donations. A lot of the seniors or residents, when they’re looking to downsize, they just donate the books, and we put them in the library according to genre.”

Rush-Parsson stressed that unlike the county’s public libraries, the books are available for however long a reader needs them. The community library does not charge late fees, and works entirely on an honor system.

She noted that the library experienced a boom period during the pandemic, and has been thriving since.

“I know that it’s been around for a while; it was pre-COVID,” she said. “It became very popular during COVID because people could come in, grab a book (and) take it home. We were doing a lot of things remote, but it’s been here at least five years.”

Rush-Parsson said that the library has a strong following in the city, mostly among seniors. However, many younger residents have yet to discover the library. She hopes that the library’s call for donations can reach younger audiences and help diversify the materials.

“The people who know about it are coming in once or twice a week,” she said. “I think that the misconception is that it’s only for the seniors, because people tend to associate human services with the senior center but the lending library is not just for seniors.”