DEL NORTE— With several changes on the horizon for the Del Norte area, the Del Norte Public Library has plans to keep up as much as possible.
“I think with the nursing home, the new school, renovations to the hospital and everything else that’s happening in Del Norte it is obvious that we are on the brink of growth and I think the library needs to grow with the town,” said Director Susan Williams.
Williams, with the help of several volunteers and the library board, was able to secure a grant through the USDA in the fall of 2017 to bring the library into the 21st Century with new computers and library technology.
Now, as the library looks to the new year, hopes are to continue the growth of the library through reading programs, additional grants and even a look at how the library functions internally. “We are currently working on rewriting our board policies and would eventually like to have a training through the Colorado Library Consortium so that when we are ready to expand, we have all our documents and resources aligned,” stated Williams.
The library will be celebrating their 103rd anniversary this year and with it will come new programs, new resources available to patrons and a new hope for the future. “Our new system is working out really well and our patrons love it. We can now access an entire online database where people can rent books, audio books and get resources for free classes,” said Williams.
In the past, the library offered online college courses through Universal Classes, but after consideration of the amount of money it took to participate in the program and the number of patrons who used it, opted not to participate this year.
“Even though we are not participating in the Universal Classes program, we can still offer free resources to patrons who need that additional help without the expense of the program. Our website has a variety of resources available to patrons that offer the same type of program without the cost,” explained Williams.
Williams also stated that the library will once again offer a reading program throughout the summer to area youth. Last summer, the library partnered with High Valley Community Center to offer summer reading programs and hope to do so again. “We know High Valley has a reading program of their own that we can help them with as well as offer something to patrons that is outside of that partnership,” said Williams.
The library is looking to apply for more grant funding in the year to come to help increase their children and young adult readership by encouraging young readers to utilize the library. “We want to continue to encourage young readers however we can. We plan to apply for more grant funding in order to get new furniture and child-friendly equipment to bring the younger crowd back to the library,” said Williams.
“This is our year to tighten things up internally, bring our system up to date by replacing old barcodes with the new ones and going through our collection to weed out the old so we can bring in the new. We plan to use this year to finish up what we started last fall and be prepared for an expansion in the future,” finished Williams.