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Thu, Dec. 05

Prescott Valley library checkout figures are up

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<p>
Patrons browse in the main room at the new Prescott Valley Public Library.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<p> Patrons browse in the main room at the new Prescott Valley Public Library.

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Unemployed accountant Terry Schindele studied for a business math test on his laptop Tuesday at a table on the second floor of the Prescott Valley Public Library.

Schindele acknowledged this was the first time he'd visited the library in the 15 years he has lived in Prescott Valley.

"I have been studying at home, and I needed a change in scenery, so here I am," Schindele said.

After losing his job in September, Schindele said he enrolled Oct. 10 for online classes at Colorado Technical University to pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Oct. 10 also marks the day the library officially opened in a stand-alone 52,000-square-foot building near the Civic Center. The library outgrew its 13,000 square feet that it had occupied on the third floor of the Civic Center since that building opened in 1999.

The first visit to the library impressed Schindele, who plans to drop by a few times a week.

"Actually, I really like it," he said. "I'm very impressed with the facility. The staff is excellent."

Both new and continuing patrons might be driving higher circulation figures at the library.

Patrons checked out 34,000 items in October, a 13 percent increase from the 30,000 items in October 2008, according to Assistant Library Director Ted Johnson. Checked-out items include books, DVDs and CDs.

The increase occurred even though the library had been closed during the transition from Sept. 13 to Oct. 9.

By contrast, checkouts increased by only 1,700 items from August 2008 to 30,000 this August, Johnson pointed out. Johnson did not cite September figures because of the transition-period closure.

Johnson credited several factors for the increase in circulation, including a continuing economic slump that might have dampened book sales.

However, he said he thinks the new location "has a lot to do with it," adding, "That is what we expected. This is why we built this place."

Library patron Joan Lane, a medical technologist who lives in Prescott Valley, agreed. She checked out five books Tuesday afternoon.

"I think people would probably show up here more because it is a bigger place," said Lane, who moved from Phoenix two years ago.

Lane said she does not like the "rust-bucket" exterior of the library.

The library's appearance also does not appeal to Lynne Jorgenson, who moved to Prescott Valley in May after retiring from a job waiting tables at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif.

However, she said the library has a good selection of books.

Jorgenson said she checks out five to six books a week, and "pretty much" reads a book a day. She prefers biographies and nonfiction books on crime.

The library also has 40,000 new titles, Johnson said. The Town Council this past November voted to spend as much as $750,000 for an opening-day collection of books and other contents to supplement the library.

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