Librarian: Tech, space questions still loom

Library Director Sena Loyd talks to the Rotary Club on Tuesday.

Library Director Sena Loyd talks to the Rotary Club on Tuesday.

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Carson City’s library personnel and supporters heard the community’s voice loud and clear regarding the City Center project, and they will explore other options to deal with space limitations.

So said Sena Loyd, the new library director, who spoke at Tuesday’s Carson City Rotary Club luncheon. She made the remark after her speech and during the question-answer period, saying “the community decided pretty heavily” when it spurned CC1 in 2012. It was a project downtown calling for a tech-library combination that was billed as a public-private collaboration.

She also said that in the next five years, which is the term of the strategic plan she covered during the talk, the library may “burst at the seams.” She said options to find additional space are on people’s minds, but remain up in the air right now. She still didn’t rule out a different building rather than the current one across Roop Street from the Community Center. Books, technology and the community are among the reasons.

“I do want to say,” she noted during the Q&A, “our print books are not going away.” But she also emphasized her vision of the future involves focusing on technology for the generation now inundated with new ways of interacting with all media. Much of her talk, in fact, zeroed in on that aspect.

She opened with a quote from President John F. Kennedy about libraries, which included this: “We cannot afford to let our libraries slip behind.”

She said library backers have a vision of upgrading efforts making it a community resource, respecting diversity and differing points of view, and guiding literacy via all forms in which information is made available. She offered up a series of slides showing children, teens and adults using technology to do things such as learn, work on movies or mix music.

“Here is our own mayor mixing music,” she said as a slide of Mayor Robert Crowell showed up on the screen behind her. Crowell was in the audience. Another slide showed youngsters from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada working at an event and learning about things in Carson City.

“The kids were engaged,” she said. “They were fascinated by what they could find in their community.”

Loyd said the 2014-19 strategic plan includes changing things at the library, such as converting the auditorium into a “digitorium.”

She said five things her audience might not know about the library involve partnerships with schools, the Boys & Girls Clubs, and others; interior shifts to enhance limited space, as in the digitorium changes; availability to library card-holders of e-books on any e-reading device they may have; classes of all kinds; and a strong focus on serving the community.

Before Loyd’s talk, the mayor spoke briefly, saying the community’s capital projects proposal and one-eighth-of-a-penny sales-tax hike issue scheduled for the Feb. 20 Board of Supervisors meeting will be taken up at 2 p.m. that day.


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