On the left is the North Valley Regional Library in 2004; on the right is the library in 2014. The library is celebrating a decade of service this month. See the full story on page 6.
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Local library celebrating 10-year anniversary

Elizabeth Medora~ 10/1/2014

ANTHEM – The North Valley Regional Library has been a community staple for a decade now.

The library has come a long way since its inception in 2004. In the past 10 years, the site has been remodeled, changed the classification system, added digital offerings, and expanded its patron list throughout the community.

“The library has had a positive impact on the community – promoting literacy, supporting education, inspiring personal exploration, and being that go-to place for books, eBooks, digital resources, online research, job assistance, and fun!” said library branch manager Pamela Blair-Sheldon.  Blair-Sheldon has been the branch manager of the North Valley Regional Library for almost three years and has worked with the library district for seven years, including a stint as Youth Services Manager in the downtown library district offices.

“I love being back at a branch and helping library users utilize our resources to the fullest,” Blair-Sheldon commented.

When the North Valley Regional Library formally opened on Oct. 9, 2004, it immediately started filling a gap in the surrounding communities. The north valley had few bookstores and libraries nearby.

“There was an expressed community need for a library and the Maricopa County Library District was able to partner with the School District to broker an intergovernmental agreement,” said library district public relations spokesperson Nelson Mitchell III, relating the background of the library’s origins. He described the library, which adjoins Boulder Creek High School, as serving “both the needs of the school and the community.” Mitchell explained that the Maricopa County Library District often brings libraries to unincorporated communities like Anthem and New River.

The library has seen tremendous growth over the years, almost doubling in customers in the last 10 years, from 138,000 in 2004-05 to 268,000 in 2013-14.

“We currently have 70,000 items in our collection, and looking back at the statistics, the circulation of our library materials has increased by 34 percent over the years,” said Blair-Sheldon. “In addition, many digital books have circulated, and those figures are not included in that statistic.”

The library’s growing digital collection is one of its most popular attractions.

“It is easier than ever to visit your library since you can visit from home!” emphasized Blair-Sheldon. “We have numerous electronic resources ranging from our databases to Zinio, a collection of popular magazines with no expiration date, to digital audio books and free downloadable music. Our latest addition of Hoopla offers the chance to stream or download thousands of movies, television, music, and audiobooks for free.”

Every reader is different, and the library fulfills a different need for each patron. For the young patrons, the library offers numerous storytimes and other kid-centered programs. For teens, the library reaches out to encourage feedback on books they want to read and offers programs geared toward that age group.

“We have been responsive to community needs, and those needs will continue to drive our service,” said Blair-Sheldon.

Happy 10th birthday to the North Valley Regional Library – the community wouldn’t be the same without you.