Thoughts on the American Fork Public Library, in Utah

By Colleen B. Eggett, American Fork Public Library DirectorAmerican Fork Public Library

Sperling’s Best Places describes American Fork, Utah as a wonderful, happening place. The growth rate is rapid and it’s a marvelous place to raise a family.  There is room to grow. There are two major universities nearby, outstanding natural resources, and it’s close to absolutely everything while remaining unaffected by much of it. That makes for a great recipe for success.

So, I am the new American Fork Public Library Director. It is such a great opportunity.  I am grateful every day.

I would like your ideas on what would make the Library great.  Please tell us your ideas in this short survey. Or, use this QR code to access it. aflibrarydreams

Here are some of my thoughts for how our library can evolve.

  • Keep doing those key functions of the library that are so important in the community.
  • Continue to build our image and presence in the community. Everyone will know us and benefit through the library.
  • Understand better than anyone else what the community wants and needs from us. Use Abundant Community Planning to determine the needs.
  • Continue to grow the American Fork Library in dynamic ways that keep up with current technologies, using best practices from other Utah and nationwide libraries.
  • Use technology to increase cost efficiency within the available resources and keep up with growth, as well as to enhance collections, programs, spaces, and services.
  • Collaborate freely in the North Utah County Library Cooperative Library Services, using our collective experience to help us all.
  • Build the American Fork community. Get involved in the community and get the community involved in the library, reading and literacy.
  • Work with others to secure funding for expansion of the Bryan McKay Eddington Learning Center. Use great design and appealing features in creating a new space. Keep a close connection between the Learning Center and the Library.
  • Completely value Sheena’s great contributions to the community and the library in the many years she was here. Build on what she and the staff accomplished.
  • Use and promote the incredible resources that we already have at no cost to us through Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library. Customize it to the American Fork Library.
    • eBooks and e-Audiobooksiphone
    • Online local newspapers
    • Heritage Quest genealogy
    • Auto repair manuals and service tips
    • Learning Express GED, SAT, ACT, GRE tests, more
  • Continue to make our online presence dynamic and evolving.
    • Use social media and our website to inform and engage the community.
    • Use online registration (free) for Storytime, Programs, Summer Reading.

The four most powerful words in our language are, “Tell me a story.” I can never overestimate the importance that libraries play in people’s lives. We hope to do the same for you.

Salt Lake 2002 Paralympics: right…right…right…right….

Paralympics 2002
Salt Lake Paralympic Games  March 9, 2002, Snow Basin ski resort


Right…right…right…right…       Left..left…left…left….

Those words rang out to the 114 blind kids and their parents or family members at the Salt Lake 2002 Paralympic Games at Snow Basin Ski Resort on March 9, 2002. All of the children had a reading disability that prevented them from reading regular-sized print. Some had been blind from birth, others had some vision, yet not enough to make reading a regular-sized print book work out. All were from Utah or Wyoming and some had come in from very long distances.

It was just so great that the kids that needed it the most–those that may be able to participate in the Paralympic games in the future–were able to attend. They experienced being there when others who were also blind were speeding downhill. The right..right…right…left…left…left…were the instructions that the coach to a blind skier said as they guided their Paralympic star down the steep course.

Continue reading Salt Lake 2002 Paralympics: right…right…right…right….

Trading Spaces: Utah Library Mentoring program

Trading Spaces is a mentoring program designed to enable Utah library staff to learn skills from each other. Library workers sign up for the program, get approved, and then work with their mentor on a specific project that might lead their library in positive directions. Complete details are on the Utah State Library websitetrading spaces

Apply by filling out the application form or applying online:

To be mentored: mentee application

To become a mentor: mentor application

Goals of the program:

  • Developing 21st century skills for all Utah library staff
  • Finding new ways of doing things and solving problems
  • Sharing expertise through collaboration and networking
  • Supporting newcomers to Utah libraries

Continue reading Trading Spaces: Utah Library Mentoring program

Connecting to Collections Town Hall

The results of our recent statewide Connecting to Collections Preservation Assessment are now compiled and a final report defining the State of Preservation in Utah has been drafted by Tom Clareson, our consultant on this project.

Everyone with a vested interest in the long-term health of collections in Utah is now invited to attend a Town Hall Meeting. This Town Hall Meeting will give you an opportunity to hear from our consultant about the survey results and discuss with the Connecting to Collections Steering Committee possible next steps for improving preservation in Utah. The Town Hall Meetings are scheduled for:

Continue reading Connecting to Collections Town Hall

Help for the technophobic librarian

Today’s class on Help for the Technophobic Librarian was fun! We talked about all things techie, with folks that have patrons in every day doing techie things. Library directors and others who are interested in technology came to the event.  Some takeaways:

Our patrons are doing 2.0 things every day on our computers. Are our librarians in the 2000’s or are we back in 1999?

Thomas Friedman said, “It’s all about how you horizontalize. It’s who addresses this clean power challenge the best that will find the most productivity.”  Thomas Friedman, \”The world is flat 3.0\”

We need to realize that it’s the masses of people who are deciding how businesses run and even the libraries. We need to “learn it or die” as one attendee said.  After all, “the people in the library are doing it like crazy,” continued another librarian.