In March of 2020, Ella McAdams, MLIS, became library director for the Snowflake-Taylor public library, as the previous library director, Kathy McDowell was retiring.

McAdams toured the library for the first time with McDowell and was shown a back area that was used for storage. It was quite large, but unfinished. The retiring McDowell had envisioned that room to be created into a meeting space that could be used not just for library purposes, but for whatever the community members might need it for, while expanding the children’s area. McAdams said “I took that idea and evaluated what the world was in the middle of at the time, a pandemic. So there was a real need for more space to be able to safely socially distance for any programs that the library had. Also, we have a large number of children in our community and supporting early literacy is one of the main missions of all public libraries and we wanted to be able to do that through the expanded children’s area. We have dedicated the new children’s area to Kathy McDowell and it will have a plaque that calls it ‘Kathy’s Kids Corner’. This will be done in honor of her dedication and service in keeping library services alive in our community for more than 30 years.”

McAdams said “last year we applied for a state grant and aid from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public records, a division of the Secretary of State. It’s a matching grant. They awarded $39,000 in matching funds to be matched by local municipalities, to be used for the renovation of the library’s children’s area and the inclusion of a new community room that can be used for both library programming, as well as for members of the community. Before, there was not enough space in the children’s area for people to come and stay and really connect with one another and learn together. So we wanted to expand the children’s area to better suit the needs of our community. Now, we have space for children’s computers, that were also purchased through a grant from the Arizona Rescue Plan Act. There are touch-screen computers, which are bilingual, meant for preschool to school aged children. They include preloaded software that allows the kids to learn at their own pace and explore different topics, from typing and coding to art or science, or whatever their interest is. We also have an overhead screen projector, tables and chairs for setting up our community room as a meeting space. We plan to host coding classes, Lego club, story time, all sorts of offerings through the library, but it can also be set up for community members’ purposes.”

The room for toddlers includes an activity table, seating for parents and shelving that all children ages zero to five can reach. Then the cojoined room next to it has books for ages 5 to 13 and are joined together with a beautiful set of trees that was created as part of the construction. “They were able to repurpose the wood leftover from the construction project, so it looks like trees growing. The plan was to invoke a feeling of growth and light. One of the most exciting features in the room for the older children is a beautiful case with a bench at the base, in the shape of a tree. This was donated to the library by ‘Friends of the Snowflake-Taylor public library’ organization. The president of that organization is Pam Flake. She helped coordinate the effort to purchase that for the children’s area. The old computer lab will be converted into a local history room where some reference books of local journals, personal histories and town history will be accessible for the first time to be able to be viewed and used by members of the community,” said McAdams.

A new event that the library hopes will become an annual event as part of the 12 Days of Christmas, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. It is a “Christmas Storywalk,” where people can walk through and actively participate in a story. Tours will be happening every 10 minutes.

One of the most important and valued resources that the library offers is access to the internet, whether that be through the library’s Wi-Fi, a wireless networking technology, or their public computers. The library was able to install an access point that allows Wi-Fi to reach every point of the library’s parking lot. The Wi-Fi access is on 24/7. “We are one of two of the pilot programs for the libraries that has this. The other library with a fiber connection is in Holbrook. We absolutely love to see people in our parking lot. We have increased security to protect the assets that we have at the library and we have extra cameras and better lighting in our parking lot so people can feel safe and to protect our building from anything that might happen,” said McAdams.

(1) comment


It is Cathie McDowell, not "Kathy".

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