New Galva librarian has ties to outgoing longtime director

For The Prairie News

GALVA – If Lauren Heck ever needs advice regarding her new position as director of Galva Public Library, she won’t have to look far.

Heck is taking over the library directorship from her mother-in-law, Melody Heck, who retired Aug. 31 after 47 years at the library – including 27 as director.

Lauren Heck lives in Galva with her husband, David, and comes to her job with several new ideas that she hopes to implement as early as this fall. Some of those ideas include new programming, game nights, children’s programs, after-school programs and craft nights.

Story hour for pre-schoolers will also start again this fall.

Lauren Heck also noted that the library has a printer that can print from cell phones and can print black and white as well as color copies.

With a strong background in library-related programming and software use, Lauren Heck said she can teach small groups on the computer or can help fill out an application for someone in need.

The library she takes over has plenty to offer, including access to over six million Ebooks and more. For instance, all of the Galva Standard and most of the Galva News newspapers are online due to money left from the Marvelle Herbster estate.

Galva High School yearbooks – which are the Galahi’s – are online from 1950-1988. The Library and the Galva Wiley House Museum have many older volumes also.

The library also subscribes to and anyone is welcome to come and check out their ancestors.

The staff deliver to shut-ins and the library is handicapped accessible.

During Melody’s time as director, the Galva Public Library has made the following accomplishments:
• Joined RSA and cataloging the library’s collection in the shard database.
• Developed an automatic hold program for favorite authors.
• Expanded the large-print collection.
• Accomplished numerous building projects such as new HVAC system, carpeting, painting, cement work, restroom remodel for ADA compliance, exterior work on façade and trim, new windows, landscaping and installation of a new roof.
• Secured grants to bring public access computers and the internet to the library for patrons.
• Developed a web page and subscribed to online content for patrons.
• Purchased new furniture and shelving for various areas of the library.
• Eliminated fines for overdue books.

Melody’s last day was Aug. 31 and she said she felt very lucky to be able to make a career of something she liked so much.

“I only hope that throughout my years here, I have helped to pass on this love I have for a great book,” she said.

The Galva Library was built in 1909 and 1910. Money was raised for the brick building through the Galva Womens Tuesday Club. Andrew Carnegie paid for the bulk of the building. Carnegie paid for many libraries in the United States. His stipulation was for a town to have the building and maintian it once it was built.

The Galva Library has had many leaders in the last century: Blanche Morgan, May 1910-July 1916; Olivia Peterson, July 1916-January 1922; Blanche Morgan, January 1922-February 1926; Amy Wiley Houghton, March 1926-December 1933; Eva Goodale, December 1933-August 1943; Amy Seeley Nelson, August 1943-June 1971; Imogene Farquer, July 1971-April 1975; Anna Laura Powers, May 1975-November 1980; Faith Burdick, November 1980-March 1983; Ann Larson, March 1983-August 1994; Constance Ericson, August 1994-March 1996; Melody Heck, April 1996-August 2022; and Lauren Heck, July 2022 to present.

Library hours are Monday through Thursday. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. Hours change after Labor Day.

The present library board consists of Linda VanDeVelde, president; Sheryl Anderson, vice president; Barb Carvello, secretary; Randy Anderson, treasurer; and members Gloria Wilson, Pat Emmerson and Donna Carlson.