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Miami News

Posted on: November 6, 2023

Miami Public Library Serving as Community Resource Hub

Library photo

(MIAMI, OK.) The Miami Public Library (MPL) has made some changes to best serve their patrons and the community. The library has become a community resource hub far beyond just books, offering a variety of programs, resources, events, and classes for children, teens, and adults.  
Despite the challenge of a limited budget, MPL offers a large variety of programming. A limited budget calls for careful consideration and prioritization by using funds where they are most needed. The Miami Public Library’s total Fiscal Year 2023/2024 budget is $602,469. 
“We have so much we want to offer, but only so much funding in our budget,” Director Callie Cortner said. “It’s a challenge to prioritize the services, but we try our best to offer something everyone will enjoy or use.” 
Cortner, her staff, the City of Miami’s grant writer, and the Friends of Library pursue every funding opportunity possible to add to the fiscal budget allocated. Grants, fundraisers, events such as used book sales, donations, and partnerships help further spread the budget.  
The staff keeps statistics of the services offered at the library and refers to this information to make decisions on how best to use the library’s allotted funding and financial resources most effectively. 
One of the cost-saving changes being made is to offer magazines and some newspaper subscriptions digitally instead of physical paper copies. In 2022-2023, MPL subscribed to hard copies of 56 magazines, and beginning in 2023-2024 reduced to 8 magazines in hard copy form. 
“Instead of continuing to spend thousands on physical magazines, we can now offer 4,800 plus magazines to our patrons through Libby, a library app that allows access to thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines for free,” Cortner said. “There’s so much more availability and access this way since Libby can be used from anywhere 24/7 with their library card.” 
Cortner, her staff, and City staff have worked hard to update and upgrade the Miami Public Library, which was built in 1921, and more plans will be implemented as funding becomes available. 
MPL’s list of over 300 programs, services, and resources is a treasure trove of opportunities offered through the library to the community for all ages. 
Adults have a vast resource library for learning, research, and reading for enjoyment and entertainment, access to the world’s most extensive library catalog through an online inter-library loan process, and an Adult Summer Reading Program was created this year. 
Just a few things adults can enjoy; classes in everything from healthy cooking demos, genealogy, art classes such as ceiling tile painting, a fun Murder Mystery Night, and monthly book discussions are offered. MPL adult health and fitness seminars offer activities including jump rope, pickleball, Tai Chi, and even line dancing. Some fitness DVDs, books, and sports equipment are also available to check out. New this year there are two stationary bike desks so you can workout while you work! 
Teens have a wealth of activities and choices at MPL: murder mysteries, virtual field trips, movie nights, arts and craft nights, games, contests including a poetry contest, parties, bingo, physical and emotional health and safety resources, a teen life fair, and goody bags. 
At MPL, children are encouraged to read to instill a love for learning through programs such as the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, 100 Books Before Graduation, and the popular summer reading program with fun activities. Area children can participate in fun learning activities such as magic shows, science and engineering experiments, puppetry, scavenger hunts, themed parties, a Lego club, stuffed animal sleepovers, and much more. 
MPL offers family-friendly fun nights, resource fairs, grab-and-go’s, block parties, and outdoor movies, allowing families valuable time together and chances to interact as a community. MPL supports and is heavily involved in the Arts and Humanities Council’s annual arts festival, promoting cultural and artistic opportunities. 
MPL digital services offered include online homework tutoring, career assistance, VA benefits assistance, mobile printing, and the Excel Adult High School program that allows qualifying Ottawa County adults to earn their high school diplomas for free. Cortner has even been building new pages of the website that feature area job opportunities and a page titled “Community Connections,” which is a go-to for those wanting to find groups, activities, or resources in Ottawa County.  
Through the vast variety of opportunities available, the Miami Public Library’s staff strive to meet their mission: to enhance the quality of life in our community by promoting the joy of reading, providing lifelong learning, and facilitating digital inclusion. 
“To learn more, we invite you to browse our website, sign up for our newsletter, stop in the library, and discover all we have to offer. You can always follow us on Facebook at Miami Public Library or Miami Public Library Youth Department for information and events,” Cortner said. 
The Miami Public Library staff can be reached at 918-541-2292 or The library is located at 200 North Main Street in Miami, and hours are Monday, Wednesday & Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays & Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and closed Sundays.

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