ARIEL — After nearly 15 years and $1 million in donations, the Yale Valley Library District is celebrating its first brick-and-mortar branch at a ribbon cutting ceremony 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at its Lewis River Road site.
Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries Executive Director Amelia Shelley said the district graduated from a bookmobile, to a makeshift library in an elementary school lobby, to the new stand-alone building.
The Longview Public Library is in the early stages of bringing a bookmobile onto the city streets.
“To finally have a library for the community is a huge goal and real milestone,” she said.
The roughly 2,000 square-foot-building opened in June, and recently increased its hours, Shelley added. She said the library is “self-serve,” meaning patrons can enter the building during business hours by scanning their library card at the door and check out materials on their own. The branch will be staffed about 15 hours a week, and include about 3,800 items including books, DVDs and books on tape, she added.
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In addition to items at the branch, patrons can check out materials through its contract with the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries District.
Friends of the Yale Valley Community Library member Mariah Reese said the library’s structure maintains local control, while providing access to Fort Vancouver’s large catalog — an option small districts typically can’t afford.
The Castle Rock Library will ask city voters in August to pass a levy to fund services after the last two measures failed in two years. The library is running on donations off a bare-bones budget. The Yale Valley Community Library has found a unique way to pay for services and is opening its first brick-and-mortar library in July. Could the Castle Rock Library find a new funding source by looking at nearby districts?
Residents of the library precinct voted to form the partial-county, rural library district in 2003, according to Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. Shelley said the district raised more than $1 million to build the branch and the land is leased from the Woodland School District.
Sunday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will include pre-packaged snacks and outdoor entertainment like a clown, balloon artist and music, she added.