Mason City library suggests moving genealogy archives

MASON CITY (AP) — A genealogy library in northern Iowa that has served residents for about four decades may need to find a new home by the end of September.
Discussions of moving the North Central Iowa Genealogical Society’s files from the Mason City Public Library began earlier this year, the Globe Gazette reported.
Shelly Schmit, who was president of the Mason City Library board until June 30, said the board gave the society timely notice about vacating the space at the library.
The society was asked to vacate by Aug. 1, but that deadline has since been extended to Sept. 30.
Society President Mark Suby said he’s concerned about relocating more than 5,000 items in the collection. He said the group has “absolutely nowhere else to go.”
“We’re a regional center, and there’s seven or nine counties and we have people that come from different states and countries and we keep a log book (for people who come in),” Suby said.
Society librarian Sandra Turner said she’s optimistic about finding a new home for the materials, some of which have already been stored at her house in Eastbrooke. But she said that she’s concerned of having to put most of the files in storage.
“Whenever you lose a connection with your public, it’s never quite the same,” she said.
It’s unclear why library officials have requested that the society relocate. An eviction letter only cites “changing space utilization needs of the library” in the board’s decision.
Board President John Henry couldn’t be reached for comment by the newspaper. Library Director Mary Markwalter declined to comment on the eviction.