Melissa Wheeler, Farm Bureau

The North Bend Eagle


Library use down during pandemic

by Nathan Arneal
Published 2/10/21

Head librarian Amy Reznicek presented her annual report to the North Bend City Council at its Feb. 2 meeting.

As expected during the pandemic, use of the public library was down last year. Visits were down 37% between October 2019 and September 2020 compared to the year prior.

Overall circulation was down 15%. However, total adult circulation was actually up 31%. Use of the audio books and e-book available online was up 152%.

The drop in overall circulation was due to children’s circulation dropping 48% compared to the prior year. Reznicek said that could be attributed to the lack of an in-person summer reading program in 2020. It did have 55 kids participate in an online program.

“Usually we’ll have 100 kids in the library every Friday for seven weeks,” she said, “and we didn’t have that.”

In all, there were 7,378 visits made to the North Bend Public Library, down from 11,674. The library operated with limited access and hours for about 2.5 months early in the pandemic.

The library’s physical collection includes 12,096 items. In the last year, 1,449 books were weeded out of the collection and 683 new books were added.

Reznicek said if a fiction book hasn’t been checked out for six years, it is removed from the collection. Non-fiction books get a longer runway and are removed after about 10 years of non-use.

Reznicek said she has also been negotiating with Great Plains Communications to get faster internet in the library.

In other council business:

• City clerk Theresa Busse was informed that FEMA would not be contributing funds to a dike repair project along the Platte River south of North Bend. As detailed in the Jan. 13 Eagle, the project would fortify four weak spots on the North Bend dike and cost between $1 million and $1.7 million. It was hoped FEMA would cover 75% of that cost, but those funds will not be coming, so the city and Natural Resources District will not be able to go forward with the project.

• One citizen who received a nuisance letter about cleaning up junk in his yard proposed that he put up a fence to hide the junk from public view. The council decided it would approve a fence permit only after the junk was removed.


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