If you haven’t been in a public library lately, there’s a good chance you may be unaware of just what libraries can offer today’s patrons.
“Libraries everywhere are becoming community spaces and learning centers, providing easy access for people of all ages to technology, videos, books, public art, and learning opportunities.”
-Gary Carlson, HNI Corporation Vice President, Community Relations
Libraries offer not just dusty old books and encyclopedias or sleepy computers with ancient software but a suite of services and information accessible to the public through multiple (including digital!) means. Like the workplace, the physical space is evolving—becoming more human—to support users’ desire for an interactive atmosphere. The use for libraries may be changing, but the underlying philosophy remains the same—to help community members learn and connect.
The Musser Public Library’s philosophy is no different, and the capable team makes it their mission to serve the community of Muscatine, IA—home to HNI, Allsteel, and the HON Company. However, the library department hasn’t historically had the means to fully support its community through its built environment. Challenges like parking, accessibility, and limited square footage restricted the ability of staff and leaders to empower their local residents as they wanted.
With the donation of HNI’s previous headquarters building back in December of 2016, we’re excited to announce the facilities grand opening of its new space in downtown Muscatine—the Musser Public Library and HNI Community Center. The 34,000 square foot LEED-certified facility at 408 E. 2nd Street offers a modern space with generous views of the Mississippi to support the evolving needs and expectations of more collaborative users.
The new library Musser Public Library and HNI Community Center will serve as a hub for people throughout our city to collaborate, solve challenges, exchange ideas, and learn for a lifetime.”
Visitors can expect a variety of amenities:
- WIFI and wireless technology (think tablets for adults and kids)
- An array of accessible meetings spaces to support various tech needs and group sizes supported by HNI blended product solutions
- Services and programs ranging from tax help to book clubs
- A designated “maker space” for craft and trade innovation
Pam Collins, Director of Muscatine’s Musser Public Library, shared these sentiments, saying, “This space in the heart of downtown Muscatine will support the library’s mission to instill a passion for lifelong learning throughout our community. The upgraded facility will allow a variety of creative and intellectual initiatives to flourish, now and for decades to come.”
The new Musser Public Library space is now open to the public, and the team invites everyone in the area to stop by.