The Moffat County Library has more to offer the community starting this spring, with not only extended operating hours but also expanding the way the library reaches the community.
As part of the approved library budget, the Craig branch of the Moffat County Library is extending its hours on Friday. The library has hired two new part-time staff in order to extend Friday hours from noon to 6 pm, a change which officially started on April 1.
The library has also made some changes in how community members can get a library card and utilize services. All that is required to obtain a library card is a photo ID and current contact information, including an address and email.
Anyone who resides in Craig, Moffat County and neighboring communities in the region like Hayden, Baggs and Savory, can sign up for a library card. Library cards are also available to workers and visitors who are in the area for an extended stay. As long as a patron can provide updated contact information where they can be reached regarding materials, they are eligible for a library card at no cost.
If someone can not provide an address or contact information, the library has plenty of other ways to obtain reading materials, including a paperback book exchange. The library keeps a collection of regional newspapers and a variety of magazines that can be read on-site. Once these print materials are a year old, they are given away for free.
Books that are no longer in circulation are also available through an ongoing book sale. Proceeds from book sales go to the Friends of the Library, an organization that supports the growth and sustainability of Moffat County Libraries.
A library card is not required to use any of the technology services available at the library. There are computers, fax machines, scanners and printing services available with nominal fees for printing or faxing.
“The feel of the library is new,” said Tracy Spencer, who has been working for the Craig library branch for six years. “People sometimes come in thinking it’s a stuffy place where you need to be really quiet, but that’s not the case.”
Spencer explained that the library is a community center where people come to read together, do crafts, play games and hold meetings. It’s a place for all ages in the community to gather and connect.
The library has an atmosphere that is fun, active and welcoming for families, children, and seniors in the community. There are programs, services and spaces for all ages to utilize.
“We’re here to be a place for people who need to connect. We want to be a hub in the community. The library is an information center – it’s the heartbeat of the community. ” Spencer said.
The library offers events and programs year round to engage community members. One of the upcoming events is an Easter Egg Hunt from noon to 4 pm April 16. This event is free for families, and they do not need to pre-register; they can just come for the festivities.
Every summer the library hosts a summer reading program for all ages to participate in, from small children to adults. There will be a kick off party in June for participants to sign up, and anyone can join the reading program during the summer at any time.
Spencer is the children’s programming coordinator, social media specialist and resident storyteller. The children’s reading room always has something new for young readers and is adorned with floor-to-ceiling handcrafted trees that get decorated with the changing seasons.
Every Thursday at 10 am and 11:30 am, Spencer hosts a storytime for local families to come and listen. The readings are suitable for babies to early elementary school ages. The library also hosts local homeschool students regularly as part of their reading programs, so there are always activities and new people to meet at the library.
Spencer said it’s too hard to pick just one favorite book for storytime, but one of her personal favorites as a mom and grandparent is “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney.
Stay tuned for more updates on local library programs and offerings by following the Moffat County Libraries on Facebook, or stopping in to chat with one of the staff.