Hartford School and Siouxland Library Likely to Split

HARTFORD, S.D. — Growing school districts are a hot topic in the Sioux Empire. Sioux Falls has even assembled a task force to find solutions.

Hartford is also dealing with a bigger student body which is limiting the city’s use of its library. Many say it’s time for a new chapter.

“Then as you continue now you turn to the student collection,” says West Central Superintendent Brad Berens.

Superintendent Brad Berens shows off a unique partnership. This high school library doubles as the public library in Hartford, but not for long, if all goes according to plan and city council approves to move the public’s half to another location.

“I plan on moving that item up due to public interest,” Hartford Mayor Jeremy Menning.

West Central has more than 400 high school students and counting. To make more room for the school library, and give the community extended book and computer time– this Siouxland Library branch needs to find a new home.

“We have heard from a number of our residents who really appreciate the library and want to be able to come in during the day,” says Jodi Fick Siouxland Libraries Director.

Right now, the library has limited public hours for the safety of students during school. On weekdays it opens at 4 p.m. to residents. Moving across town would mean a more normal schedule.

It’s new home could be the downtown Hartford Senior Center. The location is smaller than the school, but supporters say it’s still ideal.

Superintendent Berens says the move would be a win win for everyone.

“Both entities the city and school could then program more for their target audiences,” says. Berens.

Berens says he’s impressed with students’ interest in the library and realizes there’s a demand for more resources for them inside these walls.

Now it’s up to Hartford City Council to allow the move. Council members discussed the item Tuesday, but didn’t vote. Their decision is expected on May 1st.

In the meantime, they encourage hart ford residents to give them feedback.

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