Library Checkout

Johnna Schultz (left) and Colby Higgs, of the Effingham Public Library, show off a few of the items available for checkout.

By Kim Jansen

News Report Staff

What do fishing poles, snap circuits, exercise equipment, an escape room kit and a ukelele all have in common?

Give up yet?

They are all items available for checkout at the Suzette Brumleve Memorial Effingham Public Library in Effingham.

And there is more … board games, video games, children’s learning kits, a massage kit, a croquet set, a balancing board, DVDs and even Internet hot spots!

Johnna Schultz, adult service manager at the library, and Coby Higgs, user experience manager, give a laugh, as they go through the long list of items available.

“I tell people it is like the Netflix for everybody, but you can get more. Here you can get your books, your movies, your media and everything else. And, it is free!” said Higgs.

Although the library has always had an array of items available for checkout, Schultz said the list has definitely grown since the library moved to its new location on Third Street.

“We have more now that we are at our new location, and we have more now targeted to adults and teens,” said Schultz.

The library began offering items, other than books, several years ago when the staff saw an increase in preschool families and homeschool families.

As a result, the library made available learning kits geared toward those families, and from there, the library services have just continued to grow to meet the needs and requests of its patrons.

“People are using the library differently, and we have responded to the community,” said Schultz. “We have become a community hub and a place where people can come to try new things.”

Several of the non-traditional items have become very popular, especially the Hot Spots, which allow patrons to have Internet access from their homes.

“They get checked out regularly, and they all go quick,” said Higgs, to which Schultz added the ukulele is also surprisingly popular and often gets checked out.

The library has also become a great source for those seeking movies, video games and board games. Over 3,000 movie titles and video games for a variety of gaming consoles are available.

“It is a great idea to try them out before you invest in them,” said Schultz of the video games and board games.

By using their library cards, patrons are able to checkout items for a two-week period.

Effingham residents may receive a library card at no cost, and those who live outside the city limits can purchase a card at the cost of $139 a year, which allows everyone in the household to check out items.

Even if patrons do not have a library card, they are welcome to use the library and to participate in the library’s programs. However, they would not be able to check out any items.

“It is open to anyone. Even if you do not have a library card, you are welcome to the programs and to the space,” said Schultz. “We are certainly a great place to come to study, to spend time and to just hang out.”

Higgs and Schultz recognize the important role the library plays in the community, as the library continues to evolve to meet the needs of its patrons.

“It is important for people to keep learning, and we want to provide those opportunities for the community,” said Schultz. “We are finding that the community is using us in a great variety of ways, and we want to be able to support the direction our community is going.”