Mid Columbia Libraries (MCL) first opened the Connell Branch in November 1965 after a group of citizens worked for many years to establish a permanent library in the community. In 2015 the Connell Branch celebrated its 50th anniversary.
MCL has 12 branches that serve residents in Benton, Franklin and parts of Adams counties. Branch locations include: Basin City, Benton City, Connell, Kahlotus, Keewaydin Park, Kennewick, Merrills Corner, Othello, Pasco, Prosser, West Pasco, and West Richland. Through the MCL system, cardholders have access to more than 400,000 books, audiobooks, magazines, and videos including more than 50,000 downloadable eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines. Using the on-line system, customers can search the catalog and request items for pick up at their home branch. MCL has a floating collection…thanks to the daily courier service, materials are available to customers in any of the twelve branches in a timely manner.
The MCL digital collection is the largest in the state outside of the Seattle metro area. Not only do customers enjoy eBooks and eAudiobook for reading and listening on their devices, but they can also access digital resources such as the Chilton Library auto repair manual, Pronunciator language learning service, Procitizen U.S. citizenship test prep, Tri-City Herald archive and obituaries, and much more.
The Connell library provides free public Wi-fi accessible both inside and outside the building with no password. They have seven public computers that customers can use with two free prints daily. There is also a copy machine for public use for a nominal fee.
Connell offers weekly storytime for preschoolers to help prepare children with the social and developmental skills needed to enter kindergarten. Storytimes are held each Wednesday at 10 am. Elementary activities are held for school-age children as well. The annual Summer Reading Challenge is popular with all ages. Check the online calendar for more information.
There has been much discussion about expanding the library over the years. The Connell branch has been in the same building since 1995 and has outgrown the confined space. For more than just book materials, space is needed for public computers as well as a meeting room that could be used by the community. Over the years they have had to take out bookshelves to make room for people to come in and use the library and for events that are held. The discussion continues as to how this larger space could be acquired and funded. If you have any helpful ideas, stop by the library as they would love to hear them!
The Connell Branch is located downtown at 118 N. Columbia Avenue (next to the movie theatre). Information about the other local branches (Basin City, Kahlotus, and Merrills Corner) can be found on the website. To reserve/checkout/download items or for much more information about MCL, visit their extensive website at midcolumbialibraries.org. The Connell library is open daily Monday through Friday 2 to 7 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm. The branch phone number is (509) 234-4971