The Muenster Library, part of the Parkland Library system, has a new lease on life with its recent expansion and renovation. The departure of the Village of Muenster offices to the former credit union building allowed for the removal of a wall and the library to become a more expansive centre for reading, learning and gathering. 

Monica Kiefer, Muenster librarian, talks about what’s become possible in the new space.  

“We have more craft times; we have a knitting club started. Summer reading has opened up so much more. It allows me to have 35 people in the room and not be tripping over everybody. We have ladies craft nights and one of our board members’ spouses suggested a Lego Club, along with a chess club. We are open to new ideas.”  

Of course, the additional space allows for a larger collection, and Kiefer says the Regional Library was pleased to help with the increased volume of books. The rotation of materials is better accommodated by the library’s vastly expanded shelf space.  

At a time when rural libraries are seeing cutbacks because of resource and funding restrictions, Muenster is one of those rare gems that’s seen an expansion of space, resources and personnel time owing to its usership.  

“There are 55 libraries in the Parkland system, and out of those libraries, we are usually in the top 12 for usership, so we actually ended up getting more hours. Muenster Library and one other library were the only two who had more hours, so we were really appreciative of that. Now we’re open 16 hours in a week, and that means we are open four days a week.” 

The other benefit of the strong client base is that Muenster Library is on a weekly delivery rotation for library books and material exchange from the central library out of Yorkton, as opposed to a bi-weekly exchange. 

“We usually get a weekly drop-off and return of 120-150 library books.” The increased provincial exchange means that any library book in the province can be ordered and often retrieved much more quickly. 

People’s reactions have been immediate when they come into the new space or visit for the first time. The spacious environment has room for a cozy seating area, and the room is adaptable for groups or individuals. The familiar reading nook for kids is still a feature, but now with bright and welcoming surroundings for their parents.  

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The library expansion was made possible in part by funding by the Parkland Regional Library, but also by many local donors and supporters, says Kiefer.  

“We’ve always had burger sales and raffles, and we’ve always had wonderful support from all of Muenster for that. We’ve had grants from Good Neighbour Store, and support from Muenster Credit Union and Affinity Credit Union. BHP gave us some money, along with SaskTel, St. Gregor Credit Union, Michel Industries. It’s always a wonderful response to see.”  

Work was facilitated by the Village of Muenster, JBW Builders and ongoing support with everything from Christmas trees and stands to help and maintenance from Monica’s husband, Mike Kiefer. 

Take a moment to enjoy a relaxing read at the newly expanded Muenster Library.