Giving Back with Herrick District Library 

Library of Things items for checkout modeled by Dan Zuberbier, librarian and Groundworks coordinator.
Library of Things items for checkout modeled by Dan Zuberbier, librarian and Groundworks coordinator.
Photo: Herrick District Library

By David Hoekman

Herrick District Library (HDL) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In May 1997, Holland Township, Laketown Township, Park Township and the city of Holland voted in a millage referendum to establish and support a district library to serve the greater Holland community.

“With new services, resources and ways to access materials, HDL is living into our mission of empowering our community to connect, discover and create,” said Diane Kooiker, library director.

The main library is located at 300 S. River Ave. in Holland, while the North Branch is at 155 Riley St. in Holland Township. A construction project in 2021 doubled the size of the branch, adding three study rooms, two study rooms specifically for kids and teens, a community room and a fireplace.

Books — and so much more

Both buildings house printed books and magazines as well as movies and music. Knowledgeable librarians make recommendations and help patrons navigate the myriad of services and resources. At the library you can — with your library card — borrow books, eReaders and tablets full of learning apps and games. Parents bring kids to storytimes and reserve the LEGO Lab to play with thousands of Lego bricks. You can use computers, research your family tree or reserve a study space. There’s even a seed library!

In addition to traditional printed material, HDL provides access to a vast digital library. Patrons can read, listen, stream or download offerings with eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMovies and TV, eMusic or eMagazines. Learn everything from crafts to languages online with library resources.

Library of Things and Groundworks

One of HDL’s major new non-book offerings is the Library of Things.

“The goal of the Library of Things is to give people an opportunity to try something before they buy it or to use an item that they may not need very often,” said Sara DeVries, community relations manager. 

Create with a GoPro camera or a graphics tablet, scan the night sky with a telescope or play a tune on a ukulele.

“The reaction to the Library of Things has been better than we expected,” DeVries said. “We are going to continue to grow it; it’s been so well received.”

Groundworks, located in the main library’s basement, is a free community workspace that provides tools to help adults learn new technology skills and support creative exploration for lifelong learning. 

The computers and software at Groundworks are open for walk-ins during open hours and through one-on-one appointments with staff. One of the most popular stations has devices to digitize slides, photos, VHS and more. Other equipment includes a poster printer and audio recording station, with a 3D printer due to be operational soon.

On the horizon

Late last year, HDL installed a 24-Hour Library — a book lending machine — in Holland Heights next to the Community Action House Food Club. DeVries said HDL would like to place another 24-Hour Library at the former airport in Park Township.

What’s the next big thing for HDL? DeVries said the leadership team is beginning to work with architects on plans to renovate the main library over the next several years.

Herrick District Library