OCPL 25 years at Montgomery Street Location
By Ginger Kohr

Did you all realize that OCPL has been in the current building for 25 years as of this year?
The minutes of the January 1997 library board note that the elevator had not yet been installed, and they were installing new lights in the vault. They were drywalling and painting the walls, and they were expecting the new front windows and doors to be delivered soon. They were pricing book return slots and carts. They were trying to decide what to do about the lock boxes the bank left behind in the vault. They scheduled an interview with Vickey Freeland for the director’s position, and by January 30th she had been hired and handed a long list of problems to solve and things to check into.

In February it is noted that the County Commissioner, Lowell Simpson attended the meeting to ask if county employees could begin using the north half of the parking lot, which was leased to the county. It was decided that tutoring for GED students could be held in the library. There was discussion about blinds, shelving, and carpet in the genealogy area.

In March the Board decided the library would keep the “Trust building” (currently the Lifelong Learning Center for adult education) rather than sell it. Furniture and equipment began arriving, and they had begun the puzzle of deciding how to place the book shelving. They hired a landscaper, Bill Glass who also presented a design for a stone sign for the front of the building, to be created and donated by Bybee Stone. Concrete picnic table or bench pads were also discussed. The elevator and the fire alarm system were both nearly completed.

In April they decided the new library should be open for longer hours. They planned to conduct a survey with the community to help decide what the new hours should be. The decision was made to add soundproofing to the vault ceiling to eliminate an echo problem. Lights were added to the attic, and carpet ordered to replace some that was water damaged. Asphalt was to be removed from the staff parking lot, and they made plans to have it re-paved.

On May 8th, although it was not yet ready for the public, the Library Board met in this building for the first time. The parking lot was finished except for the striping. They decided to have the stone on the outside of the building professionally cleaned. Jerry Benton was hired to build cabinetry. A decision was made to put a new roof on the Trust Building, to add a flagpole and lighting, as well as a bicycle rack, folding tables, and a rack of folding chairs. They planned for 7 patron computer stations and 3 for staff, and they were writing a computer use policy. They decided they should put a stop to buying anymore furniture, but then approved the purchase of two wing-back chairs, which I think must be the “visitor chairs” that are currently in my office.

I could go on; it was another four months before the grand opening, but that brings us up to what they were doing by this time in 1997.
Twenty years later we completed a second renovation, and now we find ourselves nearing the end of another building project: the Library Pavilion, which to this point has been paid for entirely with gifts and donations.
We have had many requests to use the pavilion already. We will soon release information about how to go about reserving the pavilion when it is ready. Please watch for announcements of a grand opening celebration later this summer when the pavilion is complete.
Also, watch for information about summer Reading programs for all ages, which will be starting soon.
The library joined a new consortium for digital content as of March 11th. There is so much more content to choose from that it is making a big difference in the number of items being checked out.
Just for comparison, in the two months before we joined the consortium, we checked out 903 audiobooks. In the two months after, we checked out 1,625.
Before the consortium we checked out 497 eBooks, after we checked out 769.
Before the consortium we checked out 159 eMagazines, after, we checked out 260.
You can see the difference it has made.
There are also 30,000 movies available on the site.
We recently heard that some of our patrons had stopped checking out physical CD audio books because they no longer had anything at home to play them on. The library has purchased CD players, and now has them available to check out along with the audiobooks.
Don’t forget that we have wi-fi hot spots available for check out and a Tech Room that is becoming a fun family place. We have staff who can help with learning to use the Tech Room games and equipment. Scheduling ahead is not necessary but might be a good idea to be sure room and staff are available for you.
Congratulations to all those who will soon be Owen Valley High School Graduates 2022!!!!