Marion Public Library hosts Grand Opening

Marion Public Library hosts Grand Opening
Published: Aug. 26, 2023 at 7:55 PM CDT
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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday, the Marion Public Library hosted its Grand Opening, nine months after its soft opening in November of last year.

“I was literally just going to pick up a library book. I kind of forgot the Grand Opening was happening if I’m being honest,” said Kelsey Dralle. However, she said she was glad she was at the event. “I love supporting the library.”

“I am an absolute book dragon. I hoard. I read all the time,” she added.

The library is not only a place for Dralle to find her next great read, though.

“I’ve already met new individuals because I’ve come to some of the genealogy projects here, which is just something I’ve never experienced at any library before,” said Dralle.

Stories about making those kinds of connections is exactly what Library Director Bill Carroll wants to hear.

“We are a community space where the community can come together,” said Carroll. “The library has become a lot more than books.”

It’s the extra, specialized areas that led to the wait for the “official” opening after doors first opened in November.

“Our culinary learning area was one of the areas we didn’t have online, our digital recording studio, our green screen recording studio, and our maker space area were all areas that we really didn’t have online yet,” said Carroll. He added they are now “fully online.”

Carroll said he appreciates what he called Marion’s patience in enduring the long process to get to celebrating this new location.

“This new location is literally right across the street from our old Nancy A. Miller building. That was the library building that served Marion from 1996 through 2020. When the derecho came through in August of 2020, that old building was damaged beyond repair,” said Carroll.

After a derecho, a temporary location, and lots of construction, the new Marion Library is finally complete for people like Dralle to enjoy.

“I’ve used the library since I was a kid. My parents taught me how to read. I’ve loved reading,” she said.

The celebration Saturday morning came as a surprise, but for this “book dragon,” it was a poignant and sweet one.

“I teared up little bit. I’m not an emotional person, but I teared up a little bit,” said Dralle.