Several North Routt County residents gathered at the North Routt Community Charter School on Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of expanding library service to the area.
Since 1984, North Routt County residents have had access to a limited number of books to borrow from the Clark Store. The books were funded by a $5,000 grant that residents and library officials initially hoped would help create an actual library branch, Bud Werner Memorial Library Director Chris Painter said.
However, in the absence of a tracking system or staff to monitor the books, hopes for a library branch evolved into what amounts to a storefront collection, Painter said.
And while between 50 and 100 books are borrowed and returned to the Clark Store each month, some residents hope the Clark area can attract the support and financing for more modern library services.
Painter and North Routt Community Charter School Director Mary Bramer organized Tuesday's meeting to collect input from residents and determine what interest, if any, North Routt has in bringing library services to the area.
"People have always come up to me and said, 'Gee, I wish we could do more in terms of library service,'" Painter said.
With newer library services technology available and a larger North Routt population, Painter said now is a good time to explore options.
The North Routt area is part of the East Routt library district, which covers the same geographical area as the Steamboat Springs School District. The Steamboat Springs community library system pools the library resources at each district school, Colorado Mountain College and Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Bud Werner Memorial Library makes bimonthly trips to the Clark area during most of the year to drop off books for students at the charter school and the preschool, Painter said.
But Painter and those in attendance Tuesday night believe expanded services to the area would be of great interest to the community.
Additionally, the charter school wants to expand its volume of books -- possibly through grant assistance -- and discussions Tuesday touched on the opportunity to create a community library on charter school grounds. Several residents expressed interest in bringing library database accessibility to the area, which would allow users to access Bud Werner Memorial Library's system.
Discussions also involved the possibility of establishing a library book drop-box in Clark and a library resources delivery service.
Painter, a North Routt resident, emphasized the discussions were preliminary and intended to generate ideas and gauge community interest.
Painter said she might create a survey and distribute it to North Routt residents to get a better feel for community desire.
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