NAVAJO COUNTY — Navajo County Library District made their annual donation to local libraries. The Pinedale, Clay Springs and Rim Community libraries in Navajo County District IV were each awarded a check for $10,000 to support their operation. Woodruff Community Library in District III also received a $10,000 check from the Navajo County Library District.

The donation takes place every year and amounts are determined by the Navajo County Library District.

“These small libraries are in the unincorporated areas of the county so they don’t have any tax base except for property taxes,” says Navajo County Library District Director Geneva Durkee. “Before the library district was formed, $1,000 was given to them, then $3,000 and finally, after the district was formed, we were able to give them more.”

“We are tickled pink that we are able to help them out financially each year,” says Durkee. “They deserve their share of property taxes.”

The community library might be the most enriching asset for some of these outlying communities she explained. “For some people it’s their only means of diversion or their only source of internet,” informed Durkee.

“A public library in Arizona — in order to be bonafide and eligible for grants, they have to be open at least 750 hours per year (15 hours per week). And, to get financial support from the Navajo County Library District, we hold them to that but it can be a struggle for these small, community libraries,” assures Durkee.

Libraries have employees, insurance costs, utilities to pay and numerous to other maintenance and operational costs. Typically, the smaller community libraries such as Clay Springs and Pinedale also have a hard time recruiting volunteers.

“Students come in to get their school papers done and people have tax forms and business things to get done,” adds Durkee. “Oftentimes the only way they can get this done is at the library. So, it would be a pretty dark day if these libraries closed their doors.”

“We always invite the supervisors when we award the checks and they are always happy to support the libraries,” said Durkee. “This year Supervisor Daryl Seymore joined us for the check presentation in his district.”

For more information about libraries in Navajo County, visit http://navajocountylibraries.org/.

Reach the reporter at

lsingleton@wmicentral.com

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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