Library News: New Director, New Hours
By Mary Jelf, Leadville Today Contributor
Have you stopped by the Lake County Public Library recently? If so, you may have seen a new face. Brena Smith recently started as the new library director. She moved to Leadville from California just for the job. Smith had visited many mountain towns, including Leadville, and applied for the library job as a way to deepen her career and her life. She is enjoying getting to know the area and has taken up cross country skiing.
The library recently expanded its hours of operation, in response to the results of the community survey conducted last year. Some longer hours were offered starting January 1 to see how patrons and staff would adapt to a new schedule, and the plan is now officially in place. The new hours are: Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. The library will still be closed on Sundays during the months of June, July, and August.
At the regular meeting for the library’s Board of Trustees on February 13, Smith was excited to talk about all of the things she had learned about the library and to share her ideas for a new strategic plan. She will be working with staff to update the library’s online presence with a new logo and up-to-date website. These changes will make it easier for patrons of the library to access the online databases and other resources, including a newer, more efficient catalog for searching the collection. The library website is almost like having another branch of the library that is open all the time.
Smith is also forming a plan to reorganize some of the public and staff work spaces in the library. Some of these changes will provide more public access to resources like the 3D printer and maker-space activities. Other changes will provide opportunities for improved communication and more efficient storage.
The new library director was dazzled by the high quality of the children’s programming at the library and would like to pursue expanding programming to include other folks. She would like to form partnerships with community organizations to find out their interests and needs and see how the library can be more a part of all the great things happening in Lake County. She noted that last year’s community survey indicated interest in more programming for senior citizens and she hopes to be able to create partnerships to reach out in that area especially. Collaborations could also provide better connections for volunteers to learn about and help with the library’s mission.
Smith also looks forward to getting to know and work with the Friends of the Library group that helps raise money for the library. Their spring used book sale is coming up next month on March 16 and 17 and is sure to offer treasures for bibliophiles and readers of all kinds.
The Lake County Public Library, located at 1115 Harrison Avenue, is a great resource for everyone. In addition to a wide variety of books of all kinds, the library has computers that can be used free of charge and free public wi-fi. If you haven’t used your library card in a while, a trip to see what’s new at the library could be a great way to spend a chilly afternoon indoors. If you’re curious or have questions, you can stop in, call the library at 719-486-0569, or visit the website.