Library patrons across Cochise County will have expanded access to services thanks to the award of two grants.
The Cochise County Library District will soon add new ebooks to its collection, as well as offering activity boxes following a successful pilot project in Portal.
Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records awarded $4,000 for “Ebooks for all”, which allows readers to download books on their mobile and electronic devices. The funding means the County can buy more ebooks and audiobooks, which can be accessed by anyone with a library card.
Since February 2017, the number of titles available to the public has grown by 36 percent, and check-outs increased by 32 percent in fiscal year 2017-2018, compared to the previous 12 months.
“We hope to get some popular items to help get even more people excited about the program,” said Cochise County Libraries Director Amadee Ricketts.
To view the current collection of more than 5,000 ebooks visit https://ccld.overdrive.com/
The second grant, also awarded by Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, will enable the County to expand its “Creativity In A Box” initiative, which was first implemented at the Myrtle Kraft Library in Portal in 2016.
The project created self-contained kits and supplies to help library users learn a new skill, such as photography, videography, crafts, and growing herbs. It has also included a series of workshops. The $22,770 grant will expand the program to every County library.
Both grants were approved by the Board of Supervisors at the Library District meeting on July 10.
In other business, the Board also approved a new license agreement with the Elfrida Citizens Alliance for the use of their building on N. Hwy. 91, Elfrida. The building currently houses the Elfrida Library.
The agreement transfers responsibility for the electricity bill from the non-profit Elfrida Citizens Alliance to the County, which amounts to about $1,400 annually.
Ricketts said the Library District was also looking into ownership of the building, to help relieve the Elfrida Citizens Alliance of any future financial burden.
“The Elfrida Citizens Alliance has been a great partner and we very much look forward to working with them as we continue to provide this wonderful facility for the community,” said Ricketts.
The Board also approved the revision of the Library District’s Collection Development Policy to better reflect the services provided, to update the language, and to reduce it from 15 to five pages to make it more user friendly for the public.
For more information about the Cochise County Library District visit https://www.cochise.az.gov/library/home