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Marshall has a long history with its public library. A provision for a public library was created in 1880 and officially established in January 1886. On February 12, 1903, Andrew Carnegie granted the town of Marshall $10,000 in funds if the town of Marshall maintained a levy of $1,000 and an appropriate right. site for which the free public library would be built.

The Marshall Carnegie Library was one of 65 public libraries built in Minnesota with funds from Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Corporation. Between 1899 and 1917, Carnegie contributed nearly a million dollars towards the construction of a library in Minnesota. This makes Minnesota the eighth largest recipient of Carnegie Library grants in the United States.

The decision to approach Carnegie for funding was initiated by Marshall’s Art History Club. Plans were prepared and contractor HP Fulton was responsible for building the library which was completed in 1904. While the Carnegie Grant was used to construct the building, the Marshall community had to provide a suitable site and had to be taxed at the annual rate. 10% of the grant amount, hence the $1,000 deduction.

Carnegie had a lifelong passion for books and reading, and he was a shrewd businessman. He donated the money and asked communities to sign up to the Carnegie Formula, a six-step plan to ensure the community would support the library (providing the site, paying the staff, and using public funds to run it), and the library would in turn support the community (by offering a free service to all). The chosen site was located at the corner of Lyons and Third streets and was purchased for $2,500.

In 1942, a delegation from all the regions of the county of Lyons met with the council of commissioners of the county of Lyons and asked them to create a permanent departmental library. After an affirmative vote by county residents in November of that year, a formal agreement was established with Lyon County and the Library Board of Marshall, with county library services located in the basement of the library building. public Marshall Carnegie.

Marshall’s Carnegie Building served as the city and county’s public library until it was torn down in 1966 and replaced by the Marshall-Lyon County Public Library (currently the Lyon County Museum).

In their most traditional role, public libraries provide all residents, regardless of income, with free access to information, including printed materials, videos, recordings, electronic databases, and the Internet. Public libraries allow area residents to browse library catalogs and obtain many library services from home, office, or school computers. Libraries also offer a wide variety of programs and resources that promote literacy or lifelong learning. They give all residents, regardless of income, free access to information, including printed materials, videos, recordings, electronic databases and the Internet. They also offer a wide variety of programs and resources to promote literacy or lifelong learning, such as computer classes, job training, and children’s story hours.

Finally, public libraries serve as sites for community meetings as well as informal gathering places for residents.

Over the past few decades, many have begun to argue that in the 21st century – when so many books are digitized, there is such a public culture online, and people interact so often virtually – libraries no longer have need this support. Yet public libraries are still vitally important and we should continue to support them for various reasons.

Sociologist Eric Klinenberg noted that for many, the library is the main place where they interact with people from other generations. For the elderly and those who live alone, libraries are places of culture and socialization.

He further noted that for children and adolescents, libraries help to inculcate an ethic of responsibility, to themselves and to their neighbors, by teaching them what it means to borrow and take care of something public, and give it back so others can have it too.

For new parents, grandparents, and caregivers who feel overwhelmed when watching a baby or toddler alone, bookcases are a godsend. In many neighborhoods, especially those where young people are not hyper-scheduled in formal after-school programs, libraries are popular among teens and teens who want to hang out with other people their own age.

Libraries also provide institutional educational support. At the start of the pandemic, schools switched to virtual education and most public establishments were physically closed. Many families lacked technological resources such as Wi-Fi access – libraries served in unprecedented capacities. Many libraries, including the Marshall-Lyon County Library, provided free supplies, book bundles, curbside assistance and Wi-Fi access.

According to a National Library Study, nearly three-quarters of survey participants said that having a great library was a source of pride in the community, and more than two-thirds believed that public libraries boosted community community growth and development.

Residents of Marshall have had access to public library services for over 100 years. Since then, public libraries have evolved from simple buildings people visit to view books to virtual environments that allow users to access library materials from around the world from home, office and home computers. school 24 hours a day.

It is important that we continue to preserve and support public libraries.

— Sharon Hanson is the Municipal Administrator for the Town of Marshall

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