It started in a cubbyhole in the Keizer City Hall as The Reading Connection, a children’s library. It moved in a small space in the Keizer Heritage Center and became the Keizer Community Library.

In the coming weeks the library will double its space and offer more services. It is the little engine that could.

Due to the tireless efforts of its directors past (Art Burr) and present (Steve Prothero), the board of directors and volunteers, the community library is serving more needs and more visitors than ever before.

In years past the library survived by receiving a small stipend from the city; those days are long past because of tight government budgets. The directors, board members and volunteers rolled up their sleeves, went to work, and created, and continue to create, a library that can serve the needs of its patrons, be they children  or adults.

The library is doubling its space because of changes in the Keizer Heritage Center. The Keizer Chamber of Commerce has moved into its gleaming new office at Keizer Station. The Keizer Heritage Museum is in the process of moving into the Chamber’s old space, giving that institution a bit more breathing room and a research room. With that move the community library will spread out into the museum’s current space, doubling its size and the ability to offer more services.

Last summer the library began its children’s reading program for pre-kindergarten children.  The program will continue this summer once the library has fully expanded into its new space.

The library has also added a new books section to its web site to augment the shelf of new books. At the library patrons are able to use one of two computers which have Internet access, which are good tools for a student’s research paper or searching for other information.

Besides books the library has a selection of large print books, books on tape and CD, videotapes and DVDs, all available for a three-week checkout.

In an increasingly technological and web-based world, the Keizer Community Library is not so much a throwback to an earlier time, but a bridge between the old and the new. For the past two years the library has operated without financial support of the city but that has not stopped its supporters from thinking big and moving forward. For that they all deserve kudos for keeping the dream of having a library in Keizer alive.

– LAZ