The Dolores Public Library has upgraded its facilities and is expanding educational services.
To accommodate researchers, writers and readers, library director Debra Greenacre created a quiet room separated from the rest of the library by a large glass wall.
“You can’t talk on the phone, or have discussions in here,” she says. “We responded to what the public said they wanted, more privacy.”
The glass wall blends well with the architectural theme of the building that focuses on large windows letting in natural light with views of the Dolores River.
But none of them opened, so Greenacre changed that as well.
“We redesigned some of them so now we can let in the fresh air and hear the river,” she said.
The library is also adding materials, services and programs for the community.
Known for its variety of children and student programs, the library is focusing more on adult education needs as well.
They added a free online language learning service called Mango. The service offers lessons on more than 60 languages, English as a second language instruction, and specialty cultural courses including Romantic, pirate and medical Spanish.
Also newly available for patrons is indieflix, on online independent film service offering award-winning shorts, features and documentaries from more than 50 countries.
Described as “bringing the film festival experience to you” indieflix gives library card holders access to film festival hits, including the best of Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, and more.
“We thought we’d offer something more for adults, and this service seemed ideal,” Greenacre said.
Also coming up is a regular free lecture series featuring local adventurers, artists, musicians, authors, and professionals giving presentations at the library.
Brett LaCompte, author of Southwest Circle Quest, will give the first presentation on Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m. Other planned lectures are from a local naturalist who attempted to summit Everest, and a lesson on guitar picking from local musician Wild Bill Kneebone, of the Porch Lights.
“There are so many talented and interesting people in this area who want to share their experiences and knowledge,” said lecture series organizer Kathie Butler. “We’re reaching out to the community for people to participate in our lecture series.”
Other recent library improvements include: more sitting areas, 13 new computers and monitors, more materials such as Tumblebook and WorldVital Records, upgraded DVD collection, new website and Facebook, a resurfaced parking lot, plus more.
The library has been experiencing increased use in the last three years, Greenacre said.
Materials checked out from the library in June, July, and August in 2015 was 11% higher than the same three months in 2013. Patrons visiting the library in June, July, and August in 2015 was 37% higher than the same three months in 2013.
“Come and check us out. We’ve improved the building, and have more to offer,” Greenacre said.