7/9/2014 9:17:00 AM Are libraries obsolete? Not in Prescott Valley!
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
Prescott Valley mother Janine Smith and daughter Erika, 12, visit the PV Library every two weeks, and have since Erika was a baby.
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
Library patrons in the teen section respond to the question "How important is our library to you and why?" with "Important to me because learning is important," "A place to study and learn," "Without the library I would not be informed on world events," and "The library is a place I meet a lot of friends, so it is my second home, a shoulder to cry on. I love coming here. My life is here."
Library Q & A
How do I get a library card?
A valid photo identification and proof of address are required to obtain a library card. If the address and phone number associated with your library card account card should change, please notify us as soon as possible.
If necessary for the reasonable operation of the Library, as determined by the Library Administrator.
On the written consent of the library user.
On receipt of a court order.
If required by law.
Assistant Library Director Ted Johnson said the catalog system does not retain the history; it can't generate it even with subpoena. "It was created that way so a person's privacy is protected. A person can keep track of their own history by creating a list on their account online," he said. "But that's voluntary; you choose to do it."
What kinds of fines and fees are in place?
Each library in the Yavapai Library Network has its own policies, loan periods and overdue rates. Prescott Valley Public Library has a three-day grace period. After that, fines are 10 cents per day.
Cool Express - usually newly published, high demand books -can be checked out for one week only and cannot be renewed. Fines are $1 per day with no grace period.
Once fines reach $10, patrons cannot check out any materials until they pay down their fines to get the total below $10 or paid in full.
Lost my card? No worries
Until this past month, patrons had to pay $3 to replace a lost card. Not anymore, said PVPL Director Stuart Mattson. The Board of Trustees voted to remove the replacement fee.
"We want to encourage people to use their card," he said, adding that many people also access the library from their home computers via their card number.
Reading Railroad Mobile Book Service utilizes two volunteers serve nine homebound patrons. In July 2013, the most recent report available, homebound book deliveries numbered 164, up from 86 in July 2012.
Volunteers: a library's lifeblood
Volunteers recorded 10,566 hours for the 2011-2012 fiscal year - equivalent to almost five full-time employee hours. Between 700 and 1,000 hours are logged every month.
The Prescott Valley Public Library opened Monday at noon this week for the first time in four years. The town's budget cuts decreased library hours and personnel in 2010. Deputy Town Manager Ryan Judy said the town saved "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in utilities and staff costs during that time period.
Beginning July 14, Monday hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Library Director Stuart Mattson fielded many phone calls from patrons about Monday's opening, and said 30 to 40 people walked through the doors within the first hour. Sunday service is still down the road, he added.
Whether it's parents and children wanting some quiet time and relief from the heat or an unemployed teen or adult searching for work, the library can accommodate these and a plethora of other patron needs.
It offers free books to borrow, free music, free movies, free fun activities, free computer use, and lots of knowledgeable people to help patrons find what they are looking for.
Mattson said currently there are 21,130 active patrons based on the number of card users. The library purges cards from its system after two years of no use. "This is half the population of Prescott Valley," he said.
Mattson is aware of the love-hate relationship some PV residents have about the award-winning, 55,000-square-foot building that opened in October 2009. Most residents feel the library accomplished what it set out to do - provide the space and services needed for 40,000 residents in a unique, innovative structure.
"Once they come in, they love it," he said, "especially the cedar ceiling."
The architect firm of richard+bauer drew inspiration from the extinct volcanic cone of Glassford Hill to the west, using an asymmetrical spiral layout that won three International Interior Design Association awards, as well as other awards from the American Institute of Architects in 2009, and American Library Association and Arizona Public Services in 2011.
"The new library has become a significant community gathering place, and is like an art piece in and of itself," said Kim Moon, the town's capital projects coordinator.
The one-of-a-kind building came with its own challenges. Workers made adjustments to the heating/cooling system soon after it opened, and added a vestibule with two sets of doors to reduce the amount of air coming in and out, she added. LED light bulbs were replaced in the ceiling fixtures earlier this year due to malfunctioning ballasts. The metal Cor-Ten roofing system requires regular maintenance because temperature changes can cause expansion and contraction leading to small leaks.
"Our facilities team does a good job of keeping up with seasonal changes, including weather and temperatures, and how it affects our library building," Moon said.
The library provides more than reading and listening materials. This past week alone it offered music duo Sticks and Tones; Writing Poetry for Fun; Crochet One, Knit Too; MS Word Basics; Sign Language Workshop; Internet Basics; Open Computer Lab; Basic Computer Class for Spanish Speakers; Make Your Kaleidoscopes; Legal Clinic; and Book Chat.
The Friends of the PVPL raise money through used book sales to help pay for children, teen and adult programs, and subscriptions. Attendance at programs increased from 8,641 in 2008 to 13,962 in 2013.
"When the economy dips, library use increases," Assistant Library Director Ted Johnson said.
Volunteers from the Northern Arizona Genealogy Society staff the library's Genealogy Room on Thursdays for anyone wanting to research their family history.
The library also is a geo cache location with clues hidden around the building, which attracts people from around the country, Mattson said. The town council and Central Yavapai Fire District Board use the auditorium for meetings; the room has been used for memorial services, author readings and concerts, as has the upstairs Crystal Room.
The town recently completed an online survey about the library; results have not been released.
The library by the numbers Circulation - check outs - in the fiscal year as of October 2009 in the former Civic Center building was 300,476. In FY2013 circulation increased to 453,405 items, with a 23 percent increase in teen circulation over the past five years.
In 2012, the library's collection increased across all divisions by nearly 8,000 items. This figure included print and audio books, music CDs and DVDs, but did not include electronic books or downloadable audio books, which increased by 478 titles.
In the children's section, the library added 1,476 items between July 2012 and June 2013, including 1,112 books, 92 book and music CDs, 199 DVDs, and 73 children's ebooks.
The McBride Family's $1 million donation helped fund the Opening Day Collection in 2009. The library also received a $20,000 donation by local resident Claire Macewicz, 91, to purchase large print titles in memory of her late husband and her late daughter.
A list from the Yavapai Library Network lets Library Director Mattson know which books have not been checked out for the past two years. Some are discarded, given to the Friends' used book sale. Some, like the classics, remain on the shelves.
"You can't just keep adding and not taking out," Mattson said.
New library cards issued:
Yavapai Library Network
includes 41 libraries offering a total of more than 1 million titles.
"If someone comes into a library, uses the computer, reads a magazine and checks out several books, the value comes to $79," Mattson said. "The Yavapai Library Network has given the citizens of Yavapai County a great resource."
Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by:
I can't tell you how much the library means to me. I go every two to three weeks and check out 2-3 books each time. I have been doing this since I moved here about 7 years ago. I LOVE THE LIBRARY. THANKS YOU FOR EXTENDING THE HOURS.
Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by:
I am so glad that this was posted in response to that awful article a few weeks ago. Excellent job Sue!! Libraries are crucial for our communities to thrive.