For many students, Drake Community Library can be an often-overlooked resource.

“[Students] come for a quiet study area…a way to get away from campus and do [their] studying and for recreational reading,” said Marilyn Kennett, the director of the Drake Community Library.

The Drake Library opened in 2009 and is almost three times larger than the town’s old library.

“The space has allowed us to do many more things than we were able to do in the old library,” said Kennett, who also notes that the building is much more accessible than the former location.

The library is also a community hub; many community groups, including senior education, meet there and local children flock to the library’s children’s section after school.

“Normally we’d get maybe between thirty and forty kids … It’s usually really busy here after school,” said Karen Neal, the Youth Services Librarian. “This [is] like a community center after school.”

This also includes the Drake Tutor program, through which Grinnell students help younger students with their homework.

“Libraries are evolving into more of a community gathering spot,” Kennett said.

The Drake Library hosts both community meetings and library events, at which students are welcome.

“You’re going to have a community feel here at our library, and an academic feel at Burling Library,” Kennett said.

Librarian Brenda McDonald greets children in pirate attire as they enter the library.
Photo by Corson Androski

This “community feel” makes the library a resource for students looking to become more connected with the larger community of Grinnell.

The library also held a celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day this Wednesday. Inspired by the success of a pirate-themed storytime, the children’s librarian found out about Pirate Day.

“[Pirates] are a big deal with kids,” Neal said, who decided to host festivities for the holiday.

This year, there was a treasure hunt with pirate-themed prizes and decorations. The library also has, as part of its language learning software, resources for anyone looking to learn to speak Pirate.