Library extends reach into the future | NevadaAppeal.com

Library extends reach into the future

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

Churchill County's public library continues to be on the cutting edge of technology with its existing and new programs.

Carol Lloyd, director of the library since 2012, and Zip Upham, president of the Churchill Library Association, presented an update on activities and services at a recent Churchill Economic Development Authority breakfast.

During her presentation, Lloyd touted the advancements the library has successfully undertaken for the past six years.

"We get the newest books when they come out, and we have new films," she said. "We have a pretty good budget for material so we get most items."

Reading is alive and well in Fallon.

Lloyd said the library did not receive Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," on time because of demand. Normally, she said new books arrive at the library before the announced release date, but even with ordering Woodward's book two months ago, it didn't arrive until a week after its debut. Lloyd said the library had a long hold list of people wanting to check out the book written by The Washington Post reporter known for the Watergate investigation.

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Lloyd said the library has downloadable material and also belongs to a consortium that shares eBooks, audio books and other material.

According to Lloyd, a free library card enables patrons to access many items at any time, and the technology found at the facility exceeds many other facilities in the state.

"We have computers and internet access," she said. "We have Gig internet in our library complimentary of CC Communications. We have software technology classes on a huge variety of subjects."

Gigabit connectivity represents a data transmission rate of 1 billion bits per second, which is about 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households.

Many of the favorite programs continue to draw both children and adults. Lloyd said the popular summer reading program attracted more than 700 children. She said the state's database is also available to both the area schools and library. Another website feature Lloyd promotes is the Business Resource and Workforce Development Center. She said the center is a one-stop resources and information for starting a business, building a business, career opportunities and workforce development training opportunities.

Lloyd said the library and Churchill County Museum are partners to catalog the museum's books.

"They show up as a branch … their material doesn't circulate," Lloyd said. "I'm proud of that relationship."

The library has also been an integral venue for artists to show their works. Lloyd said the library holds a reception for the artists whose artwork is displayed for about two months.

"We work to support local artists and its pretty astounding at the number of artists in our community. They're pretty darn good."

While the library featured the traditional displays, she said virtual reality gaming, an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment, incorporates auditory and visual experiences and different types of sensory feedback. Lloyd said the children love virtual reality, and she added it's a way for the library to show the community emerging technology.

Lloyd said the library has a wonderful staff.

"I'm lucky enough to run this library, but it's yours," she said.

Upham said the library association is the fundraising arm for the library and helps programs the county budget doesn't cover.

"Not everything this library spends money on is funded by the county," Upham said. "We exist to help the library."

One of the programs the association funds is the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program. He said children enjoy the program because it allows them to grow and develop. Upham said the association is involve with the reading programs and another program, "Books for Babies." He said the parents of babies born at Banner Churchill Community Hospital receive a bag of books with the idea of fostering reading.

Upham discussed some of the technological features. When the staff moved out all the books, videos, CDs and other material during the repurposing project that concluded in early 2015, Upham said each item was chipped with a radio frequency identification tag. Patrons are now able to check out and in library materials, which gives the staff more time helping visitors.

During the year, Upham said the library works in conjunction with a number of community partners to sponsor author events and every year in August, the library conducts its major fundraiser. Formerly referred to as a wine tasting fundraiser, Upham said the event is now called Books, Bites and Beverages with the focus on wrapping beverages and food items around a certain literary work. The items are included in the raffle.

"It has been a very fun evening," Upham said.

As for the future, Upham said the library is working on an endowment fund that will extend "well into the future."