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Spotlight on Delta Library

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Photo submitted Mary Saunders, dressed as a train conductor, talks to a young Delta Library patron during a movie program in December.

Delta County Libraries consists of five libraries, each of which strives to meet the needs of a particular area in Delta County. The district collectively maintains a collection, budget, human resources, marketing and much more for all the libraries; however, because the patrons of one library may have different needs from those in another town, staff members at each location constantly work to reach out to their users.

This is true even in libraries with new employees who are still getting to know library patrons. At the Delta Library, most of the staff was hired within the past year, but they have quickly jumped in with new ideas, great community connections, helpful attitudes and a strong desire to provide the public with a satisfying library experience.

Lead staff member Adriana Chavira, who has been a familiar face at the Delta Library for years now, is pleased with the way new employees have focused on making the public feel welcome. "Our new staff is doing so much to create positive interactions with patrons so people can get to know them and feel at ease. It seems like there has been a lot of turnover in Delta in general, leading people to be concerned about the future of our community. In response, the Delta Library staff has really tried to reassure our patrons that the library will continue to be the helpful and welcoming place they have come to expect."

Steps taken by the new staff, Mary, Sunshine, Shayna and Kami, include bringing back successful programs, making themselves available to answer patron questions, and initiating creative plans that are drawing in new and returning users. The Delta Library calendar overflows with opportunities for story times, book signings, craft activities, health clinics, movies, language classes, lectures and more. Inside the library, the ceiling over the circulation desk is overflowing with snowflakes displaying book suggestions, and the kids' room echoes with children on scavenger hunts. Signs advertise events led by community members, like "Rhythm Band Class," a music series for elementary-age students, "Living Within Our Means," a returning series for adults on finance and budgeting, and "The Plight of the Honey Bees," a lecture given by a local entomologist.

Delta Library staff checked out more than 92,000 items to patrons in 2015, including books, DVDs, children's materials and electronics like iPads. This is in addition to answering reference questions, providing computer help, administering programs and all the other day-to-day tasks of running a library. New staff members have had to learn their jobs quickly to keep up with the demands of each busy day, and veteran staff members like Chavira have faced the challenge of training everyone while keeping things moving forward.

"I am so pleased with the commitment level of Adriana and all of our new staff in Delta," says interim district director Lea Hart. "All of our libraries are doing incredible things and we feel it is important to highlight each location. Delta County Libraries provides irreplaceable services to our community and we will do whatever it takes to be open and ready to help our patrons throughout the county."

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