Hoffman’s Don McCollor loves books. Growing up on a farm seven miles west of Hoffman, he enjoyed checking out books at the Hoffman Public Library whenever he came to town.
“The library changed locations many times when I was growing up, but I remember when it was managed by the Women’s Study Club, I had to have my mother check books out for me because I was not old enough,” McCollor recalls.
Is it any wonder, he is the perfect person to act as volunteer librarian for the new Hoffman Public Library, located in the Main Street Galleria building in Hoffman?
McCollor graduated from Hoffman High School in 1970 and started college at the University of Minnesota, Morris, then transfered to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. After getting his degree, he stayed in Grand Forks and started a long career with the Federal Energy Research Center, doing research on one of North Dakota’s most important exports… coal.
In 1983, the Research Center was turned over, lock, stock, and barrel, to the University of North Dakota, and McCollor continued working there until retirement in 2018, when he moved back to Hoffman.
When he moved, he also moved back with him his huge collection of books… over 5,500 titles!
“It took a lot of boxes,” he said.
When he was appointed librarian at the Hoffman Public Library, the first thing he did was organize their nearly 4,000 books. He is still working on a complete inventory. As of now, the books are sorted by topic and in alphabetical order. Topics include: mysteries; general fiction; romance novels; westerns; biographies; general non-fiction (McCollors favorite by the way); Minnesota History; local town histories; Grant County history; self-help books; inspirational books; young adult; children’s books; and a small collection of DVDs.
The library features a generous helping of books by local authors, such as Jimmy Olson, and books on the Kensington Rune Stone.
“Most of our books are donated, so they reflect the community’s reading tastes,” he said. “We also get books donated from the Friends of the Library’s used book sale in Elbow Lake every summer.”
The Hoffman Public Library is supported by the Hoffman Economic Development Authority, which pays their rent at the Galleria. The HEDA also paid for materials for new shelving. The shelves were made by Jerome Kiehne who donated his labor.
A grant from Runestone Electric Association’s Operation Roundup also purchased a collection of new books.
No library card is required to check out a book, simply write your name on the book’s inclosed check out card and leave it in a box on the desk, There are no fines for late returns.
“We suggest you check a book out for about three weeks, and can check out about four books,” McCollor said nonchalantly.
McCollor does keep track of what books are checked out, so he knows what are popular reads, and when he finds books that are doubles, he will keep the best one and sell the older one during the Hoffman Harvest Festival.
Library hours are the same as the Galleria: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
So if you love books, or like to talk about them, check out the Hoffman Public Library and its very knowledgeable librarian, Don McCollor.