What a difference a tailwind can make! Today we rode 72 miles in record time, plus gained an hour crossing over into Central Standard Time, from Indiana into Illinois. We rode through several small towns, including the beautiful and friendly Marshall, Illinois, where we stopped at the Marshall Public Library. Marshall has a thriving downtown with the library centrally located in a historic building with beautiful high ceilings. The building has an interesting history, previously serving as a farm implement store, an automobile body shop, and a Kroger grocery.
At the library we had the chance to talk with Gabby Fraser and Angelina Throckmartin (both Library Clerks), and Jamie Poorman (Head Librarian). They were so very enthusiastic about their jobs, the library, and the community. John and I learned that Marshall Public is part of Illinois Heartland Library System. This means that any library card from the over 500 participating libraries within Illinois can be used at Marshall Public Library. Out of town guests can also sign in to use the computers or wifi, use one of three available iPads, buy a book from the booksale, pick up a free book at their “little libraries” placed throughout the area, or participate in library programming.
The big news for the Library is the upcoming renovation that will begin this summer. Sonny Daly, member of the Handy Writer’s Colony, donated $100,000 to the library upon his death. With matching funds saved by the library over the years, the entire main floor will be redesigned to include a maker space (with 3-D printer), an enhanced genealogy area, improved handicap accessibility, and increased seating. John and I were so impressed with this small town and library, we hope to return and see the renovations, plus visit again with the librarian and library staff.
Thanks to Gabby, Angelina, and Jamie. Your enthusiasm is evident throughout the library, a truly special place.