DEL NORTE—Library Director Susan Williams walked through the Del Norte Public Library as she explained what the board plans to do with the existing building in order to make it more open and user-friendly. “We recently received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help us purchase new computer equipment and supplies to make over the library,” said Williams. The library was awarded $10,000 to help with the purchase of equipment and bring the library into the 21st Century.
The process began a few weeks ago when representatives from the Colorado Library Consortium, otherwise known as CLiC, came in and helped staff clean up the shelves and dispose of old or damaged books. CLiC is a quasi-governmental, non-profit organization that strives to help libraries connect, innovate and stay on top of the changing times by providing sources to learn new and innovative techniques needed to have the best books on the shelves, up to date equipment and user-friendly atmospheres that invite the public into the library.
Between the USDA and the CLiC program, the library plans big changes. Williams explained that preliminary plans are to have the walls painted in soft, light, earthy tones to brighten the dark rooms in the back part of the building. Once the walls are finished in their new colors, the real work will begin as staff move the children’s section to the front and the significant Colorado and fiction section to the back, opening the front portion of the library up to families wanting to visit.
“The way it is set up now, families and children have to go all the way to the back. We wanted to change that and have them closer to us, here in the front to make it more welcoming and give the adults the quiet space in the back of the building,” explained Librarian Vilate Thacker. Between the two librarians, plans are to have all of the moving complete before the end of the year.
In addition to the rearranging, Williams and Thacker have been busy working with the USDA to choose the correct type of equipment needed to bring technological advancements to the library and will be adding a new scanning system to scan in and out books, actual library cards and finally, two new computers for public use. “We are moving the checkout desk to the west side of the building and the main public computers will be in an open area in the front, which makes them easy access for the public,” said Williams.
Now that there is a scanning program in place at the library, Williams invites all of the library’s patrons to visit their Facebook page under Del Norte, CO Public Library and follow their link to the online registration form. Anyone who is not computer savvy can come into the library and staff members will be on hand to help.
Once all of the renovations have taken place and all equipment is up and running the library plans on having a grand re-opening to celebrate the additions. In the meantime, as work continues, the library will be closing periodically in order to accomplish some of the tasks. According to Williams, dates and times of the closures will be released soon as well as an official date for the grand re-opening.