Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Julie Bulau, Staff writer
Eden Valley Area Library has a lot in common with the books it houses, each chapter brings something new.
It was July 2010 that the idea of establishing a library in Eden Valley really took hold, the result of a Vision for the Valley Night Out, sponsored by the Healthy Communities Partnership. A group of interested volunteers was formed and the pieces started falling into place.
Two years later the library has a home in the Event's Center on Eden Valley's main street. The center, a former hardware store, is in the process of being renovated and the first project was to establish space for the library in the front section of the building.
It has some shelves containing 3,000 to 4,000 items which have been donated. "This doesn't count the 2,000 books still in the back room that were gifted from the Edna/David Tintes family," said Nancy McNab, chairperson of the library committee. "Once we get ready to open, we will be pretty nicely stocked."
The library is holding off accepting book donations for awhile until they get the additional shelving in place and everything they currently have is on display. Three things they will accept at anytime are movies (especially DVDs) for any age group, and audio books and materials for teens/young adults. They currently have three full shelves of books by the front entrance which are for sale.
Staffed solely by volunteers, the library is open every Tuesday/Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. "We aren't checking out material just yet," McNab said, "but there are book sales, information and if you can drop off materials."
The group recently decided to have the story hour program two mornings a month. Those sessions will be conducted by Judy Thielen. Upcoming dates are from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, July 25, Aug. 8.
"We are totally volunteer operated and will continue to do so," McNab said. "Anyone interested in volunteering for anything from working shifts to marking materials, cleaning, helping with fundraising, or doing a program for the library should feel free to visit during the open hours."
One of the next chapters in the library's story is to get an electrician in for wiring computers. The State Bank in Eden Valley has donated three computers for patron's use. The library committee hopes to have them up and running soon, offering Internet service, Wifi and copy/printing services.
Future plans include installation of a kiosk locker system. The library committee has been communicating with Laurie Ortega, director of Library Operations for the Pioneer Library System and Mark Ranum, director of the Pioneer Library System. Ranum attended the June Healthy Community Partnership meeting and expressed optimism that Eden Valley would be able to qualify for a grant funding the installation of the kiosk system expected to cost upwards of $80,000.
The locker system would allow patrons to order materials via computer and have it delivered to a locker located at the Eden Valley Area Library.
"We'll start this process in the fall and will know by early next spring if we receive the funding," McNab said. "He (Ranum) will also be working with us to enhance the programs our library has to offer."
In the meantime, the library committee will continue to work on current projects, marking and displaying all the materials, and installing additional shelving, computers, a book drop, window blinds and a new bathroom.
"We know it will take some time to accomplish everything on our list and we don't want to wait another year to start checking out materials," McNab said. "As soon as we are better organized, we will probably start checking out material the old fashioned way, paper and pencil!"