With an expansion of the 2-year-old Payson Public Library already on the horizon, the Library Friends of Payson are looking for new members.
"I've plugged (the expansion) into the town's Corporate Strategic Plan for 2006," Library Director Terry Morris said. "We have plans actually done by the architect, and it's something Library Friends are keeping abreast of because they know that with the community growing at the rate that it is, and the number of library users, ultimately we are going to have to expand. We are just trying to be good stewards and look forward."
Library Friends currently has 170 members, President Karen Wartick said. But she wants the nonprofit organization to be ready.
"We want to bring in more members because we'll be doing more fund-raising, and, of course, you like to broaden your base and have more people involved for a lot of reasons," Wartick said. "We are looking for people to help the organization with time and energy and funds and ideas. One of the most significant things is bringing in people with more ideas."
Library Friends struggled for 15 years to raise money for the new library and provided funding to furnish the interior of the facility. The organization currently donates about $2,000 each month to the library for the purchase of books, tapes and other materials.
The major source of funds for Library Friends is the bookshop the organization operates inside the library. When books, magazines and other items are donated, Morris first selects those she wants to add to the library's collection.
The books that make it to the bookstore are carefully scrutinized by volunteers to sort out those that might have a high value. If an Internet search confirms their value, they are offered for sale at www.abebooks.com/home/LFOP/.
The vast majority of the books -- those determined not to be of special value -- are priced and put on the bookstore's shelves.
The most expensive books, those published in 2000 and above, sell for $4. Anything published from 1995-2000 that is gift quality is $2. Everything else is $1.
The library expansion is currently planned for the north side of the existing facility.
"There's space there between the (existing) building and the street next to the dog park," Wartick said.
The current library was designed to accommodate expansion.
"In the very beginning when the plans were developed for the library, there were three points of expansion integrated into the master plan, and the north was one of those areas," Morris said. "Basically the plan is to build the expansion beyond the (large) window on the north side, then remove the window and move it out to the new wall so it would be the least interruption for everybody."
The popularity of the new library, open for just two years, necessitated the expansion planning. Currently 12,732 Rim country residents have library cards, and new cards are being issued at the rate of 140 to 150 per month, Morris said.
"People think this is the greatest asset in town," Wartick said. It is so exciting because people just love this library."
Library Friends meets in the library community room at 10:30 a.m. on the second Monday of each month. The next meeting is Monday, Feb. 9 and is open to the public.
To become a member of Library Friends, attend the meeting Feb. 9 or call the library at (928) 474-9260.
Contributions to Library Friends also can be made at the library, and donations of books, new periodicals, video tapes, audio tapes, DVDs and books on tape are always welcome.
"People should bring their donated items to the front desk and we will be happy to provide a receipt for tax purposes," Morris said.