Library's First Year Outstanding At New Location

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The big story for the Payson Public Library in 2002 was settling into its new building at Rumsey Park.

The library relocated from Main Street to Rumsey Park in January 2002. A year later, a look at the pages of programs and services provided shows a blossoming community facility.

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The Payson Public Library, which recently celebrated its first birthday with a gala party, has been a huge hit with local residents. The special children's reading room, which features murals and a kids-size entrance door, attracts young and old alike.

"It is absolutely everything I ever envisioned it could be," Library Director Terry Morris said.

From all the input she has had from everyone, "It is the best thing going in Payson. People love it. A young mother can bring in her baby and get down on the floor with it to play in the children's area. An old man, with no place else to go, can come in, get a magazine, sit down and fall asleep reading. That's true comfort," she said.

Even the teens keep their area clean, they use it and are very respectful of other users in the library, Morris said.

"The other day, a young father brought in his little boy. The boy was maybe 3 and was telling his dad to hurry up, exclaiming about the children's room, ‘It's the best! It has a door just my size! You're gonna love it!' That's where you get lifetime readers," Morris said.

Another highlight of 2002 was the award presented to the Library Friends of Payson, Inc., as the state's Library Friends Group of the Year.

"Our grand opening was wonderful and so was our first summer reading program (here). It was just great with the kids going through the library singing their little songs," Morris said.

During 2002, the library had a total circulation of 151,353, the year before, in the old library, the circulation was 96,579.

When the new library opened, it had 4,000 new books, plus all the books from the old facility.

"All the shelves were filled. We wondered where all these books had been at the old place. When people said it was stacked floor to ceiling (with books), they were right," Morris said.

There is a total of 65,633 items in the library's collection. Some of the books that have not circulated are being pulled from the collection and put up for sale in the library's used bookstore. The store also features books that have been donated, but are already in the collection, she said.

She said the library has 11,181 registered borrowers, but only 8,481 have actually used the library. There were also 14,864 Internet users at the library last year.

The library employs five full-time staff members; three part-time staffers; and makes use of 55 regular volunteers; 10 special project volunteers; and 29 volunteers in the book store.

Every month, 24 different civic organizations use the library's meeting room and 15 others use it occasionally throughout the year.

Services and programs offered by the library:

  • Books, large print books, books on tape, magazines for all ages, cassette players and audios for the visually impaired
  • Music on cassettes and CDs
  • Videos and DVDs
  • 12 Internet computers
  • Homebound Service, sponsored by the Library Friends
  • FAX service
  • Tax forms, the library is the only facility in town providing this service
  • Microfiche reader
  • Four study carrels for tutoring
  • Children's programs including a weekly story hour; summer reading; Dr. Seuss Read Across America; Christmas holiday; National Library Week Celebration
  • Adult programs including speakers at the Library Friends meetings and the Rim Country Readers book discussion group.

Morris said future plans at the library are a sport card show and tea party for children; having a young peoples' book selection panel and Teen Talk, which would be a book discussion group for young adults.

For more information about the Payson Public Library, its programs and services, call 474-9260.

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