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National Library Week April 9-15: Libraries Transform

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This week, Camp Verde Community Library is supposed to be joining libraries nationwide to celebrate some of the ways libraries are transforming their communities every day through the services and invaluable expertise they offer. April 9-15 is National Library Week, a time, according to the American Library Association, to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.  And, it’s true, Libraries are more than a place of quiet study. They are also creative and engaging community centers where people collaborate using new technologies, grow alliances, maybe learn how to build a 3D printer or even listen to Music in the Stacks. As libraries evolve, so librarians are tasked with learning new skills and generally keeping up with the changes.

The goal is to use the “Libraries Transform” campaign to remind our community of some of the groundbreaking work we are doing, highlight the amazing resources we have, and explain the useful services or skills we provide. All true! But, it feels like a message for another time and place. In my mind, National Library Week is the one week of the year when we get to express gratitude to our community for all the support we are given, for how so many of you come into our library every week with good cheer and good will, and for the fact that the work of supporting the Library in Camp Verde did not end with the move into this beautiful new place we work in and from. There’s no truer statement in the campaign then, “Because of You. Libraries Transform.”

Just over five months ago, we moved from our small, battered, but loved 45,000 square foot, 40+ year-old library into this brand new building designed for both beauty and functionality. It was a bit like moving from an old barn into a mansion. In these five months, many people have told me what a great job I did, how we wouldn’t be where we are today if I hadn’t come along at the right time, and how proud I should be of what I’ve accomplished. And, I am proud. But not of myself. I realize that I have played only a small part in the decades-long work required to get this library built. I’m proud of our community, honored to be part of the effort that put us where we are today.  Also, really glad that all the crazy work of building and moving is done and I can begin to catch up in places I have been neglecting, like writing this blog.

When I take a moment to brag on the Library, know that I am bragging on you, Camp Verde. Libraries are evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve but not every library is as fortunate as we are to have a community of individuals supporting them, advocating for them, keeping them on their toes. The library embraces the entire community, offering unlimited opportunities for personal growth and lifelong learning. Libraries level the playing field for people of any age who are seeking the information and access to technologies that will improve their quality of life. Libraries also offer something unique to their communities, the expertise of individual librarians. Librarians assist patrons in using increasingly complex technology and sorting through the potentially overwhelming mass of information bombarding today’s digital society. This is especially crucial when access to reliable and trustworthy data is more important than ever. If, at Camp Verde Community Library, we are transforming lives in any way, shape or form, it is, because of you.

Because of you, we have much to be grateful for, and I am hard pressed to express our thanks adequately, especially when seen in the light of all you have given. I am reluctant to start thanking people by name because nearly everyone in this Town has given to the library in one way or another and I have no doubt I will leave someone out. Whether you bought a bottle of “library water” or “attended” the Phantom Ball, donated books to the library or bought them at a book sale, walked away with a once-in-a-lifetime find at the auction or donated to for sale. Or, maybe you just said, “keep the change,” when paying for overdue fines. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your support and we thank you.

Deep breath. Here goes, naming a few key people who got this whole project going… starting in 2000 with the vision of the charter members of the Camp Verde Library Endowment (CVLE). Thanks to Yona Ash, Betty Chester, Phil England, Vaudene Glotfelty, Pat Hjalmarson, Vada Lovato, Baltazar Lozano, Sharon Massey, Fred Sanchez and, driven forward by Dorothy Wood, the original investment of a couple $10K  has grown to nearly $420K. Thanks to people like Charlie & Linda German, Larry & Jeannett Teets, Alice Derrick and Ann Martin, Jim Ash, Laura Gagnon & Co., Irene Peoble, Ambie Charles, Diana Hopper, Debbie Schwalie, Amber Polo, former Library Director, Gerry Laurito, and so many more – for keeping “Dorothy’s Dream” alive. “Because of you. Libraries transform.”

Then, in 2008 Linda Harkness and Charlie German started the Citizens Committee for Camp Verde Library (CCCVL) a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated specifically to building a new building. Board members, Linda, Karen Heuman and Judy Feldstein set themselves the task of growing a $250K donation from the Kay Watkins’ estate by Camp Verde resident, Larry Watkins into what would become more than $417K presented to the Town of Camp Verde eight years later. Thank you! It is, “Because of you. Libraries transform.”

We thank you for every fundraiser, every Denim & Lace auction, every letter written and envelope sealed, every cookie baked, every picture taken, every design drawn, every cent collected, counted and deposited toward our account. Only you know the hard work, the sweat and aching muscles, the tenacity required to finish the job, the exhaustion at the end of the night. We appreciate the sacrifice each one of you made so that “Dorothy’s Dream” of a modern library with more capacity to serve the community and the funds to make it happen could become a reality. “Because of you. Libraries transform.”

And still, the all-volunteer work continues every day. In addition to those who have donated dollars to us, there is a tireless group of volunteers we will never be able to repay or adequately thank. These are the people who get into the nitty-gritty of our daily work, people who  have committed their time and expertise to meet our scheduled needs week after week throughout the year. From the volunteers who work at the circulation desk to the newly formed 501(c)3, Friends of Camp Verde Library Board and Book Nook volunteers, every single minute given to us makes a difference. In the past 6 months, we averaged 46 volunteers/month giving 740 hours/month. That’s an incredibly generous gift of time and energy from people who have many other interests and obligations.

Others like, Camp Verde’s Tree Advisory Committee designed and planted the Library grounds. The men fondly called, “the Old Guys,” have been seen weeding, refurbishing benches, and putting flowers in our planters. One young mom is voluntarily tending our Monarch Way Station and seeding the area with wild flowers. Our community is giving to us in ways we cannot even count. Though it sounds trite, truly, we would not be where we are or do what we do without you. Thank you for all that you do for us, Camp Verde! It is “Because of you. Libraries transform.”

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Let’s Talk: Verde Valley Librarians Collaborate to Engage Communities in Conversations

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A few months ago your librarians from around the Verde Valley began meeting to hammer out a collaborative initiative focused on engaging community members in regional conversations, thanks to a grant from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State. Librarians from Yavapai College, Village of Oak Creek, Sedona, Cottonwood and Camp Verde applied their collective intelligence to the abstract idea of meaningful community engagement and began to create a plan.

We vaguely suspected we wanted to facilitate moderated discussions on polarizing topics that would encourage logical presentation of opposing views in a respectful environment. Wow! Both a mouthful and a pipe dream? We knew that none of us had the skills or experience to jump into something quite that complicated. Instead of throwing out the idea, we spent a few hours with a grant-provided consultant who encouraged us to look for community partners and start with something less explosive.

Buoyed by examples of collaborative regional efforts that have gained energy (think, Sedona Verde Valley Geotourism, the Verde Valley Wine Consortium, Verde Valley Leadership, Inc.) and multiplied success through collaboration, Verde Valley Librarians felt the hopeful stirrings of similar possibilities. We were blissfully envisioning polite, academic discussions on topics like the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana or gun control when we looked up to realize we were living in libraryland where all stories are wrapped up neatly between two covers. Fortunately, before we closed the book or leapt into the fray, Arizona Humanities entered the picture.

Partnering with Arizona Humanities gives us the opportunity to try our hand at a collaborative project that is a lot less volatile than those mentioned above under the direction of an organization that brings years of experience and specialized skills in leading community discussions. Mix Veterans Day in November and Pearl Harbor Day in early December, with the hearts of compassion that beat inside seasoned librarians, and you get the direction our first collaborative program is taking: honoring and supporting American veterans.

Since the ultimate goal of the Verde Valley Librarians is bring a series of topics of regional interest to our cities and towns through facilitated community discussions, we chose to call our collaborative program, Let’s Talk. Some might say we’re still living in libraryland – dreaming the dream, but we believe that community discussion leads to listening, listening to understanding and understanding to innovation and solution (actually, some of us believe, you can get nearly the same effect by thoughtfully reading diverse literature that crosses time and cultures).

doh-poster-iSo, without further ado, announcing: your Verde Valley Libraries collaborate to kick-off the first in a series of community conversations called, Let’s Talk. Let’s talk about understanding, honoring and supporting American veterans. Join us for a screening of the Ric Burns film, Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History followed by a moderated public dialogue and question and answer period.

Choose from 2 days and three times: Friday, December 4 at the Cottonwood Recreation Center from 1:00 – 4:00p or Monday, December 7 at Sedona Public Library at 10:00a or 6:00p to view the film, participate in the community discussion and sample the variety of resources available to veterans in the Verde Valley. Each program starts with an informal Coffee with a Vet meet & greet with coffee/tea and light snacks included. Resource tables to include Yavapai College Veterans Education & Transition Services, Cottonwood Vetraplex, American Legion, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Veterans Administration, the Veterans History Project and more will be setup for veterans and family members to learn more about services available in the Verde Valley.

Debt of Honor examines the way in which the American government and society as a whole have regarded disabled veterans throughout history, beginning with the Revolutionary War and moving forward to include the current conflicts in the Middle East. Discussion following the film will be moderated by Ellie Hutchison, Arizona Humanities with veteran and scholar, Dr. Dan Shilling, handling the question and answer period in Cottonwood and someone from ASU’s Pat Tillman Center in Sedona.

The kick-off Let’s Talk program is made possible by Arizona Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with Verde Valley Libraries: Camp Verde Community Library, Cottonwood Public Library, Sedona Public Library, Village of Oak Creek Library and Yavapai College Verde Campus Library. Admission and participation is free, but donations of non-perishable food items to benefit local food banks are appreciated.

Look for future Let’s Talk topics dear to Verde Valley residents like river recreation, water use, dark skies and more in coming months. Believing that community discussion will lead to listening, listening to understanding and understanding to solution may be a dream from libraryland, but such sometimes get libraries built!


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Get the Coolest Card During Library Card Sign-Up Month

PEANUTS_WEB_PSA_336x280School rooms are ringing with the sounds of students again and Camp Verde Community Library is joining with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school. Be sure the children in your life have the best opportunity for success by giving them the most import school supply of all – a FREE library card.

Resources for success at Camp Verde Community Library are available to anyone who has a valid library card. Students in traditional, alternative or home schools can turn to the library to access materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement. For example, online resources like Britannica Library, Gale Cengage Learning and Student Resources in Context link to thousands of articles, videos and images about any current or historic topics students are looking for. Youth Services Librarians can help students locate the in-library or online resources that contain vetted and trustworthy information students require.

Parents, grandparents, caregivers only need be expert in one area – getting students to the library for help! Ask a librarian for help or use Tutor.com and your library card to connect through live chat with experts who can help your student understand a subject or solve problems when they don’t know how to (and neither do you).

Today’s libraries are more than a place of quiet study. They are also creative and engaging community centers where students can collaborate, use new technologies, learn new skills or relax with peers. Our library offers access to a variety of print and digital resources available at the library or at home with your library card. Free Language learning tools like Mango Languages and Powerspeak Languages, access to ebooks, downloadable audiobooks and online homework help to support school programs. Resources like Universal Class and Learning Express Library can supplement learning with self-paced classes, practice tests, and more.

Camp Verde Community Library provides access and programs for students of all ages. For preschool age children we offer early literacy and interactive story times to encourage school readiness. For school-aged children and tweens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs and book clubs. For teens we have information tools and mentoring programs to help them graduate and prepare for college or the work world. Plus, we have books, books and more books waiting on shelves for someone with a library card to walkup and checkout. There’s really something for everyone and it’s all free with a library card.

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To celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month, CVCL encourages you to get (and use) a library card. If you have never had a card, sign-up in September to be entered into a drawing for a $20 Basha’s gift card. If you lost your card and have been putting off getting a replacement, you are in luck. Replace your lost card in September for FREE! Write on our board in the Youth Library to tell us what you use your library card for and walk away with a kiss (chocolate, of course).

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit Camp Verde Community Library in person Monday through Saturday or visit the library online at www.cvlibrary.org.


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Making Reading Fun

11694034_893169350737384_3367360995113178995_nYes… leisurely days of Summer Reading have ended. Kids are back in school. The Librarians get a small break and the teachers go back to work.

The goal of the Library’s summer reading programs for kids is to encourage reading over the summer and help 11412123_877807725606880_6170023271196329800_nprevent loss of reading sills during summer break. Studies indicated that kids who read or are read to 20 minutes per day are more likely to maintain or improve their skill levels. Then, when they go back to school after summer break they are ready to learn new skills instead of needing to review what was learned the year before.

Camp Verde Library’s Summer Reading Program (SRP), Every Hero has a Story, ended with a Pool Party/11407252_880415842012735_2717425152471423710_nPicnic & Awards Ceremony at Camp Verde Heritage Pool. Our program was a success thanks to many people who went above and beyond to interact with our kids and demonstrate what a local hero looks like. People at

  • the Camp Verde American 11752572_898702660184053_7242706695850891732_nLegion
  • Camp Verde Marshal’s office
  • the Camp Verde Fire District
  • the Verde Ranger District
  • Camp Verde Public Works Department
  • Fort Verde State Park
  • Parfitt’s office

We are grateful to Mike Marshall & Camp Verde Parks & Recreation for supporting the Library’s Summer Reading Program grand finale event. Nearly 100 people came to celebr1610950_889177467803239_6518391672814302815_nate the 141 children ages 0-17-years old and 54 adults who participated in programs and events throughout June and July.

Camp Verde kids logged 162, 562 minutes of reading and 1,289 titles. The SRP ran 52 days, from June 3 to July 24. That’s an average of 22.2 minutes per day per child, easily meeting the goal of reading 20 minutes per day. I realize that a few kids read like maniacs (our top reader logged 14,316 minutes), but most read more reasonably (between 1,000 and 10,000 minutes) and others read little (less than 1,000 minutes). Yes, the rabid readers skew the results. Still… it is impressive and the kids who participated had a blast. After all, reading – especially Summer Reading – is not just about wor10013962_884953758225610_8378706135900643436_nking to prevent summer slide. Librarians love it most when kids, teens or adults discover that there are many varieties and types of pleasures to be found in reading. Reading IS fun!

I appreciate all the library staff who encouraged kids, teens and adults to try something new and to the many local heroes right in our community who participated in the library’s Summer Reading Program. But my appreciation is nothing compared to this statement from an elementary child in a thank you note received by Miss Dianna:

“Thank you Librarians… Your summer reading program was so much fun it made me allmost(sic) want t11390031_878383655549287_9121841509054626544_no read all day.”

I’d say, kudos are in order for our Youth Library. Well done. You nailed it. You made reading fun! Here’s to our 2016 SRP events taking place in our new library!!

Camp Verde Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Program Winners for most minutes read in each age category are:

Pre-Reader Category:

1st Place: Milayna Freeman
2nd Place: Jacob Freeman
3rd Place: Michael Harmon
Runners Up: Travis & Trinity Todd

Kids Category
1st Place: Tonali Jimenez
2nd Place: Kiena Jimenez
3rd Place: Bayley Dykstra
Runner Up: Witten Armstrong

Teens Category:
1st Place:  Celeena Johnson
2nd Place: Bailey Gagnon
3rd Place: Summer Trutt
Runner Up: Solon Dellsoz

Camp Verde Community Library’s Summer Reading Program was part of the Statewide program supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We could not do what we do without their continued support.


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Every Hero Has a Story, but…

…not every hero knows his/her story. One of my heroes was a very ordinary neighbor on a street called Harlem Road in a small town in Galena, Ohio. I knew these neighbors as the Joneses and that’s all I know about them. I don’t know if they were rich or poor, if they had children of their own or if they rented their house like we did. I can, however, guarantee that the Joneses never knew what their simple gift at Christmas a week before I turned eight meant to me.

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First a little background. I was born into the middle of a family with eight kids who arrived in the space of nine years to one mother and one father. No twins. Middle kids in a large family with children so close in age usually feel like we get swept along with the crowd and perhaps a bit deprived of personal attention – a blessing at times and a curse at others. Understandably, it’s the oldest and youngest who get the most attention from the parents, first because each moment is new and last because they are the end of an era. In our family, that left four middle kids striving to stand out or blend in according to the bent of their temperaments.

Besides being one drop in the large bucket of the Burkitt Family, I also recall that much of what we kids had at our disposal for entertainment was communal property. There were plenty of books, crayons, construction paper, tinker toys, modeling clay, games, etc. but they belonged to all of us. We shared beds, baths and many of the toys we played with.

One year at Christmas for a reason I do not know, the Jones gave me and each of my seven siblings a book of his/her own carefully wrapped and taped. Though we made weekly trips to the library and it was my job to read to my younger siblings while my mom got dinner ready, it was the first time I had a book to call my own. The books were inexpensive and plain without illustrations. When I opened that book and started reading, at the age of eight, I fell in love with the story of Heidi, by Johanna Spyri. I wanted to meet Peter, the goat-herder and slip my hand into Grandfather’s. I wanted to taste goat cheese between thick slices of fresh-baked bread and experience all the sensory beauty of the Alps – hear the wind in the pines, smell the fresh mountain air, see the clear night sky, feel the warm sunshine on my shoulders and run up and down the steep mountain trails until I was breathless, then flop down in the field of flowers and laugh for pure joy.

As a little girl growing up in Ohio, the vivid description of Heidi’s life in the Alps and her longing to return there was beyond my experience but not my imagination. I wanted to stand on top of a mountain and touch the sky. It set my heart to dreaming that one day, I too would go to the Alps and live in the mountains.

The twisting road of life often takes us places we never thought we’d go, and I did wind up living in this high-mountain desert land in Central AZ and I touch the sky every single day. I even visited the Alps one summer week while living in Germany. It’s not that I strove to fulfill a childhood dream, but my adult experience was made richer and fuller because of the dream started in my eight-year-old heart. Because I had previously imagined the moments, while camping in the Alps I listened more closely to the wind in the pines, breathed more deeply of the scented mountain air and marveled more at the clear night sky. It was all Heidi had promised it would be and more. I thrilled to thunder rolling around the mountain basin one night and hiked a mountain gorge with my own family, pausing to catch my breath and feel the joy of living in a world where childhood dreams do become reality.

Not all heroes rush into a burning building, protect a person from harm, or rescue someone from the jaws of death. Some heroes simply plant seeds into hearts or open doors in the minds of others through simple acts or gifts without fully realizing what they’ve done. I don’t know if our neighbors, the Joneses, put much thought into the titles they chose to give to each of us or if they just did their best to distribute what they had according to our ages. I only know that an ordinary act from ordinary neighbors (with a very ordinary name) set my imagination to dreaming of possibilities that seemed extraordinary at the time and serve to remind me that any one of us could be a hero to someone somewhere… sometime.


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Library Offers FREE Digital Music and Movies via Website

If you are observant, you noticed when a couple of new icons appeared on the Library’s online catalog home page a few months ago. One is for Freegal® music and one is for Freegal® movies and Television content.

That’s because Camp Verde Community Library joined Library Ideas® network of Public Library websites that offer access to over 7 million songs, including Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog of legendary artists plus access to streaming movies and television content. We are the only library in Yavapai County offering this service at this time and are excited to offer a service that delivers great content, compatibility with lots of devices and simplicity of use. We think this will be incredibly popular and will help the Library further transition into the digital age.

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The Freegal® Music Service allows the Library to increase the size and diversity of its collection by offering access to over 28,000 music labels from 101 different countries. As downloadable or streaming files, Freegal® music cannot get scratched, jammed in your CD player, lost or stolen like music on CDs may and you don’t have to wait for someone to return it or for it to be placed on the shelf. No holds required, no due dates to remember and no overdue fees. In fact, you get to keep the songs you download as long as you want to. You can access Freegal® music from anywhere in the world with your mobile device, an Internet connection and your Camp Verde Community Library card.

Same goes for Freegal® Movies and Television Service. The Freegal® Movies and Television Service allows the Library to offer access to thousands of video selections from major content suppliers and independent filmmakers from the convenience of your personal computer or portable device at home or in the library through the Library’s website.

The Library’s agreement with Library Ideas® gives registered cardholders of Camp Verde Community Library the opportunity to download five Freegal® Music MP3 files each week and stream hours of music every day at no direct cost to you. In addition to songs and complete albums, Freegal® Music Service also has popular music videos for download. Freegal® Movies and Television Service allows you to stream three videos per week. The Library, through a Library Services and Technology Act 2014 grant awarded by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records a Division of the Secretary of State, pays a subscription fee to purchase access to the music and movie content so you can use it for free.

The Freegal® Music Service and Freegal® Movies and Television Service has free mobile apps for registered patrons with a valid Camp Verde Community Library card. The apps are available in the Apple® App Store and Google Play®. If you would like to learn more about how to download the apps and access Freegal® services join us on Friday, June 14, 2015 at 10am for a demonstration. Bring your own mobile device and your library card so you can get started using Freegal® music and movies right away.

About Library Ideas:  Library Ideas is a global leader in providing digital content to all kinds of libraries, and is located in Vienna, Virginia. The Company offers online music, movie, eBook and language learning solutions to libraries as part of its developing product suite. Library Ideas was named “One of the Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry for 2011-12” by EContent Magazine.

About Sony Music Entertainment: Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street Records, BNA Records, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, Kemosabe Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, Reunion Records, Roc Nation, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music, Verity Gospel Music Group, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

 


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What’s the Holdup on Library Construction?

Granted, it’s been a little quieter than anticipated on the library’s construction site this past month. No good vibrations. No shake, rattle and roll. No dust in the air or people walking around in hard hats. No activity to amaze us when we look out our windows. As we head into May, the lot just north of the library looks pretty much like it looked at the beginning of April. So, what’s the holdup?

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The holdup is that we are waiting for submittal and approval of the steel building plans before we can forge ahead. The foundation prep work cannot begin until the plans for the steel building are confirmed. In the meantime, library architect, Joel Westervelt, has been busy reviewing material samples and over 800 pages of product data sheets and shop drawings associated with the project. Mr. Westervelt assures me: “…the submittal process is a crucial part of construction. These procedures help minimize potential conflicts and additional costs during construction. Also, note that the steel building, once on site, will be erected in approximately a month.”

Work on building our new library is progressing. You just can’t see it at the moment because it’s all happening in the offices of the general contractor, the architect, the public works department, and the project engineers. Before we know it, we’ll be feeling the shake, rattle and roll of good vibrations again.

While we’re on the subject of building a new library… somebody reminded me the other day that some folks in Camp Verde still wonder why we are going for such a big library. Couldn’t we manage with half the size (see 17,000 Square Feet for Books? Really?). Even at 8,500 square feet, it would still be a lot bigger than the current one. True, it would be bigger, but it would not leave much space for the most important element of our library – the people who use it. I will remind you up front that we do not plan to fill up the place with books, movies and other stuff. Today’s libraries and the libraries of the future are more about making room for people, allowing people to interact and make connections with information and with one another, not collecting stuff that sits on shelves and collects dust.

One of the reasons public libraries have survived in this age of advancing technology is the ability of leaders in the field to re-envision 21st century library services. Rather than being threatened by the ubiquity of information and the spread of technology, librarians have embraced technology as an opportunity to learn, change, and share that knowledge and experience with library users (see Taking It to the Next Level). What we are doing is not essentially different from what librarians have done for hundreds of years – providing access to individuals and connecting them to the knowledge or information they seek/need. Now, however, we have to be a bit more creative and innovative as we apply new technologies to our mission and purpose.

As librarians, we have made major changes in the way we deliver services. There are not nearly as many shushing, frowning and distant librarians working away in dark, dusty offices as there are talking, laughing, librarians with open doors or desks out on the floor. At Camp Verde Community Library, we especially enjoy serving our patrons and helping people get what they need/want from the library. Our patrons have responded to the changing atmosphere in the library by using what we offer and seeking interaction with librarians and each other. These changes have made the library more like a community center than the traditional library (see New Library: A Place for People and Community Involvement).

Currently, as I sit here typing in our small, old, crowded slump block building we have people using all 10 public Internet computers, several people using their own laptops wherever they can setup, kids using all 6 Internet computers in the Children’s Library and parents sitting with children at the early literacy computer stations. A couple of kids have pulled out toys and are engaging in imaginative play while their mom selects picture books to take home with them. I can hear conversations between people sitting around, see some folks browsing the stacks for book selections or periodicals, see a couple of men sitting and reading the newspaper, and hear the beeping of the checkout/check-in stations. Earlier, a group of writers sat discussing, laughing and learning in our one “meeting” room, I was approached by a couple who want to learn how to use their tablet, saw a colleague helping a patron use the Job-Helps computer, assisted a patron sending a FAX, helped someone place a hold, renewed items over the phone for a patron, and helped a patron save a file to a flash-drive then showed her how to email it as an attachment. Now a group of half a dozen ranchers from Rainbow Acres have come in to pick out books and movies. It’s a typical Monday. A steady stream of activity, not our busiest day of the week since there are no children’s or teen’s programs scheduled. Still, we find people are surprised when we say it’s time to close at 4:30. They would stay longer if we were open longer and yet, a year ago we weren’t even open on Mondays at all. Now we are connecting people to what they need in their community library Monday through Saturday.

Working weekly for 3 years now, observing how people use our space and fielding requests from community members, I’d say our biggest need is room for people to connect with one another and with library programs and resources. The more space we have opened up to be used by people, the more people have come to use the space – from the table by the window with outlets for laptops to the patio with access to Wi-Fi 24/7. All the activity we have makes our library a fairly noisy place. We have no quiet spaces for people working on job applications, taking online classes or having a test proctored. Children often sit on the floor with their moms or caregivers during or after children’s programs. We like to see people interacting with one another, visiting, reading, hanging out, etc. but there is no place where families can do this without being right in the walkway between staff offices. When teens, children and families fill our Children’s Library during weekly Teen Game Nights, the room becomes an obstacle course for anyone trying to get from one side to the other.

In the new library, we will have room to separate the noisy activities and quiet activities to serve both needs while making more room for more people. The building is designed with meeting rooms, meeting spaces, study rooms, study spaces, training areas, patios, reading nooks and more. It will be both an asset and resources for Camp Verde, something to be proud of and used. I can hardly wait for you to see it. Any person with any question about the design of the new library is invited to stop by and look at the plans. Don’t ask your neighbor about the library. Stop by and ask the librarian. I’d love to give you a personal tour and the inside scoop on why we are building the library we are building.