With National Library Week coming up April 10 to 16, public libraries are planning how to strut their stuff and promote the services they provide.
It is also a good time to look into local history and offerings. Here are 10 things you might not know about Cache Valley public libraries:
• Ever wonder what a Carnegie library is? Cache Valley has three.
Scottish-American billionaire Andrew Carnegie set up a foundation that gave money to build more than 2,000 libraries between 1883 and 1929 in the U.S. and other countries. Smithfield and Richmond, Utah, and Preston, Idaho, were all recipients of his generosity.
Both Smithfield and Richmond are in their original buildings. After renovation work that included an addition to the back of the building, the Smithfield Library was rededicated in June 2015.
Preston’s Carnegie Library, which celebrated its centennial last year, moved to a newly constructed building under a new name, Larsen-Sant, in 2002.
• There are eight operating public libraries in Cache County, plus a bookmobile service.
These locations are in Providence (operated by the county), Hyrum, Lewiston, Logan, Newton, North Logan, Richmond and Smithfield.
Mendon has plans for a public library/city office and officially broke ground last year. Mendon Library Board Chairwoman Katie Child said the city is in the process of signing paperwork with a contractor and construction should start soon. The estimated completion date is this fall.
• The libraries in Cache County are operated separately.
The public had the opportunity to vote on the idea of forming a countywide system in 2010. While majorities in Logan, North Logan, River Heights and Mendon precincts voiced support, voters in other municipalities turned it down, and opposition composed about 52 percent of the vote.
• A bookmobile fills in the cracks of library service around Cache and Rich counties.
Librarian Shawn Bliss drives his truck full of about 5,000 titles across both counties, through weather fair and foul. The Cache/Rich Bookmobile is headquartered at the aforementioned county-operated library in Providence.
For more information about library cards, making requests and finding out the bookmobile stop schedule, visit bookmobiles.utah.gov.
• You can borrow a GoPro.
Most people are aware they can use the computers and rent books, audio books, movies and CDs, but what about GoPro cameras and Kindles? The North Logan City Library offers both, and other libraries are pursuing similar items to lend to the public as part of their effort to keep up with the times.
• Libraries are trying to market themselves as education, cultural and public gathering places.
Aside from storytime and activities for little ones, many libraries also have afternoon groups and clubs for teens and classes for adults.
Libraries such as Logan’s also participate in and put on cultural celebrations like the downtown Gallery Walk and last September’s Hispanic Heritage Festival.
Often, the public can rent space for events like club meetings, performances, fairs and even debates.
• A library card can give you access to a lot of electronic materials.
Anyone with a library card in Utah can access the state library’s electronic collection of books, movies, periodicals and more at pioneerutah.lib.overdrive.com.
Depending on your library’s subscriptions, a card can give you free access to databases like Lynda.com — which offers training videos in all sorts of subjects — and Mango, a language learning program.
• A growing trend for libraries is providing “makerspaces.”
North Logan Library Director Adam Winger said while his library offers items that help people do things like make home movies and convert VHS tapes to DVD, he recently applied for a “handwriting plotter.” The machine, still in production, uses software to design or plot whatever you want a pen to draw, using robotic technology. He also plans to acquire a 3D printer for the makerspace, the items of which are free to use and do not require a patron card.
Using a grant, Logan opened its digital media lab just over a year ago. This includes a digital scanner, a desktop personal computer, an iMac, VHS-to-DVD adapter, cassette-to-CD adapter and video software.
• The Logan Library is, predictably, the largest local library when it comes to card-holding patrons and collection.
At the end of Fiscal Year 2015, Logan reported having 25,802 registered borrowers and logged 255,000 visitors. The library has more than 215,000 print, audio, video, electronic and “other” materials in its collection, according to a statewide library report.
• Logan’s library is celebrating its centennial this month.
April 18 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Logan Library, and city officials say they intend to celebrate. The city has, in fact, been celebrating for the past year, on the 18th of each month, with a theme for each decade the library has been in service.
While it has moved locations over the years, the Logan Library currently resides in the old city hall building at 255 N. Main St.