CADL Okemos Library proves just how important libraries still are

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Betsy Hull, head librarian at CADL Okemos branch

Betsy Hull, head librarian at CADL Okemos branch

By Jamal Larry Tyler
Meridian Times

The Okemos branch is 1 of 13 libraries of the Capital Area District Libraries. Currently CADL serves 23 municipalities. Okemos library caters to a large section of the international community.

At the Oct.6 Meridian Township Board meeting Cecelia Kramer said, “The friends of Okemos library would have a Joan C. Smith Memorial. Smith was head librarian for 10 years of the Okemos branch. She passed away last year.” On Oct. 10, this memorial will occur.
Recently Smith’s successor said, “I met Smith several times and she was so vibrant although I only spoke to her a few times,” said Betsy Hull, head librarian of the Okemos branch.

The library is used for all sorts of things; the event room is used for book meetings and many writers’ guilds. “Everyone thinks because everything is on the Internet there is no need for libraries. However, I have eight tables filled right now. People use libraries very different than when I was a kid,” said Hull.

This branch is open 74 hours a week, more than any other public library in the State of Michigan. “Any given day 600 to 700 people come through the library.How I do it I count by hour that is 55 to 60 per hour. So when people say libraries are dead they obviously have not been in a library,” said Hull.

In the morning, it is usually noisy because of story time for the infants and toddlers. Afternoon is usually filled with the school crowd to study and meet with tutors. “People are looking for a place where they do not have to buy something and still be independent while feeling a part of something,” said Hull.

The library continues to expand. Two years ago it underwent a renovation and expansion. The renovation gave the library more space. Prior to this there was only five electrical outlets in which two were extension cords. Now there is electricity at every table and Hull wants to add more.

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