New Librarian Andrew Kelton knows that the face of library’s are changing. As part of his job duties at Dyckman Free Library in Sleepy Eye, he’s making small changes now to make the library a place residents will come to gain a sense of community.

New Librarian Andrew Kelton knows that the face of library’s are changing. As part of his job duties at Dyckman Free Library in Sleepy Eye, he’s making small changes now to make the library a place residents will come to gain a sense of community.

 

“My biggest goal is to get more people to visit the library,” Kelton explained. “Libraries are becoming more like community centers. We are some people’s only access to the internet. In some instances we are also the only place where people can access books. We are a gateway to the rest of the world; one stop in the information stream.” 

 

To begin with, he made his office where the used bookstore used to be and moved the used book store to the older part of the library and expanded it. In addition, he found many Native American artifacts in the attic as well as many old pictures that he thinks would be a great draw for the library. He is currently in the process of looking for a display case to house those artifacts.

 

He plans to begin having movie night at the library once a month and also has expanded the DVD and young adult fiction sections of the library.

 

“We need more young people in here. This is a great place for them to come,” Kelton noted. He went on to say that he wants to get people to use the older part of the library that has previously gone somewhat unutilized.

For those that come in on a cool winter day, free coffee is now being offered.

 

Kelton, orignally from Durand, Wisc., about 30 miles south of Eau Claire, says Sleepy Eye and his hometown have some similarities so the transition has been smooth.

 

He attended the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire where he earned his bachelor’s degree in geography and history. He received his master’s degree in library science with a concentration in archives.

 

“I majored in geography and history because I love maps and history. I’m a big history buff,” Kelton said. “I spent a lot of my youth and college years in the library and thought it was a good step to go into the library field.” 

 

He arrived in Sleepy Eye in November with his wife, Allysa and his five-year-old daughter, Chloe. Allysa is a Zumba instructor and fitness coach who has been instructing Zumba classes at Curves. Chloe is in kindergarten at Sleepy Eye Public Schools.

 

The library is something the family has always been familiar with. Allysa’s aunt and sister both work in libraries in addition to her husband.

 

This summer, Kelton, together with his wife, plan to offer activities to go along with the Summer Reading Program to bring children into the library and show them that the library is more than checking out books and being quiet.

 

The Dyckman Free Library, located at 345 West Main in Sleepy Eye, is open daily beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and stays open until 8 p.m. Monday’s and Wednesday’s.

 

For more information about the library call 507-794-7655.