Copyright © 2007 Henrietta W. Hay
The New Library
January 12, 2007
I Last week I had a tour of the "new" Library building, personally led by Director, Terry Pickens.
I spent twenty-five good years of my life working for the Library that is now the Mesa County Library District. That meant three administrations, and two buildings. It was a great experience, watching the growth of the library itself and the intellectual growth of the community that needed it.
As we all know, Mesa County in its wisdom, or lack thereof, rejected an effort to acquire a much needed new library building, not once but twice.
So the Library Board chose to remodel the present building. But far more the
physical improvements, the plan created a modern library, designed for the needs of 2007 and beyond..
Terry explains, "Our goal was to recognize and organize library services in a way that accommodates the users of traditional services and those who want to get information and training in the world of the Internet. The two divisions flow together for convenient use."
When I walked into the building that noon, I was dumfounded. Although I had not seen it since the beginning of the remodel, I knew the general plan. But nothing prepared me for the "new" building. It seemed twice as big as before and much more beautiful.
In modern libraries books are by no means being eliminated, as some people had feared. Here the entire book collection is shelved upstairs for convenience.
The basement is devoted chiefly to computers for people who want to do e-mail, search the Web or take classes.
At one point the tour group stopped and the Director looked at me and said, "Do you know where you are?" "No idea," I replied. "This was the Catalog Room, where you spent so many years." For once in my life I had nothing to say.
The building we occupied when I started to work for the Library is now the northwest corner of the City Hall. One experience I had there does remain in my memory. I was at the desk one day when a man came in and asked for some books on how to care for a snake. It seemed a bit odd, but I started hunting. I should have kept my moth shut, but I asked him where he kept his snake. "Here," he said and opened his jacket. There, serving as a belt, was a very much alive snake. I wonder whether he is still here and remembers the day he emptied the Library.
After we moved into the former grocery store on Grand, We had some snakes from time to time, but none out of cages. My most graphic memory from that building concerned an inanimate object.
Eureka! We had joined the computer age. We had our very first computer and I was put in charge of it, having had more experience than anybody else. That wasn't saying much. One day I was working furiously and in a moment of stupidity hit the Delete button. For a full minute I sat there and listened to the hard drive being stripped. It took us two days to get everything back on. Oh yes, I kept my job.
Our fine "new" library has no such problems. They have many computers and experts to use them.
We needed a new Library, but we didn't get it. But thanks to Terry and the Board we have a much more efficient one and one easy for the patrons to use.