Library Services Manager

Library Services Manager Lisa Lewis holds a comic book in the new library expansion.

SHOW LOW — Reading is cool and fun in downtown Show Low in the newly revamped library.

The modern, bright and spacious 14,500 sq. ft. city facility originally debuted in 2010 is home to the Show Low city library, the Show Low City Council Chambers as well as Show Low TV.

This building was designed to embrace the technological and informational needs of the city and this new update embraces up and coming generations.

The library offers:

• Amenities such as ample patron parking and close proximity to public transportation, full ADA compliance, study carrels, restrooms, drinking fountains, and comfortable seating.

• Two convenient exterior book returns, one of which is a drive-thru return.

• A full range of technological equipment, including computers with high-speed internet access, Wi-Fi, black and white and color printers, a copier, a fax machine, and mobile device charging stations.

• The Garden of Readin’ used bookstore operated by Show Low Library Friends, Inc., which is the major source of fundraising for the group. Each book is priced at surprisingly low prices.

• You can reserve the Meeting Room for a community group or club meeting at an hourly rate of $5.

Organizations partnering with, sponsored by, or financially supported by the City of Show Low are exempt from paying rental fees. The room provides comfortable seating as many as 12 attendees and a large glass board which doubles as a projector screen or even a dry erase marker board.

• The newly redesigned teen area features comfortable furniture, mobile device charging stations, new magazines, and updated signage and décor.

If you’re 19 years of age and below, you’re invited to use the Teentastic! area to study, play games, chat with friends, read, or quietly listen to music. Those over 19 years of age are only allowed to browse.

One especially teen-friendly feature is that the librarians allow the use of window markers on the windows for group study activities.

“We offer wireless keyboards for check out, which the teens truly seem to appreciate,” said Library Services Manager Lisa Lewis.

The SLPL expansion project was in the works for two years — a grand project brought to life due to the collaborative efforts of the city of Show Low, RAIN (Rural and Activations and Innovation Network), Show Low Library Friends, Arizona@Work, and the Arizona State Library.

“This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” states the Arizona State Library website.

Multiple studies show that a teen’s reading habits are directly correlated to later life success, college or not.

Reading as a teen leads to success. When teens challenge themselves to read more than just class assignments, research clearly shows that they have better life skills. First of all, the extra reading expands a teen’s vocabulary and it also allows them a window into how different writers choose to put down their thoughts, which leads to better writing skills. Teens who read the more serious literary works gain stronger skills for handling complex situations and ideas.

The more time a teen spends reading, the more information they gain along the way, which adds a solid core of useful knowledge. For example, the teen who reads biographies on their own has a greater understanding of prominent people they would never know otherwise.

Another huge reading dividend is a better score on the verbal section of a college admissions test, should a teen choose the college path. No other activity builds the vocabulary and comprehension skills useful for high test scores better than reading.

Reading expands horizons far beyond the usual four walls and thanks to the library, it doesn’t cost a fortune.

The Youth Center is an expansion of the library that is meant to be a safe and creative space for youth to gather, share ideas, seek career guidance, and hang out! The area is filled with young adult books, a TV, desks, and couches, making this new space perfect for teens.

“We are quite proud of the new music studio, said Lewis.

“We look forward to Fridays and the place filling up with teens as they get out on early day.”

Arizona@Work’s partnership with the Show Low Public Library means that teens can also have easy access to some career direction.

“Arizona@Work is staffed three to four days a week to assist youth patrons,” said Lewis.

The Arizona@Work offers GED counseling, career planning, job searches and life counseling. The joint dedication to helping young people pursue positive life paths is one of the many inspirations for this new youthful space.

The Maker Space, formally the home of the young adult reading section, has been remade into a haven for crafty types. The Maker Space and Creation Station features a sewing machine, Cricut cutter, 3D printer, digitizing equipment, all things jewelry-making, t-shirt press, quilting/embroidery machine, and a quilting frame.

This project was supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2015.

You can visit the Show Low library at 181 N. 9th St., Show Low or call 928-532-4070.

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