August 28, 2014

Coulter to guide library as needs grow


By Edna Sailor

The New Town City Library has a new face … literally. She is Stephanie Colter and she assumed her duties in June of this year. Coulter replaces departing Jennifer Church and steps into the position at a time when library services are facing increased demand. Coulter expressed concern that with this demand, space, materials and resources are not sufficient to serve public needs.

"The library no longer has the capabilities we would like it to have," she said.

Longtime library board member, Geri Bratvold agrees.

"We have seen the traffic through the library increase from 5 people per day to 30 people per day." Recently library statistics hit an all time high of 40 people in one day.

Bratvold is a familiar face to the public. She has been a board member off and on, and volunteered her services for almost 30 years. Bratvold and Coulter discussed other pressing needs for the library.

Computer services are limited to availability of three computers. Bratvold says the computers are very old, do not work well and there is no money currently to upgrade them. There has also been a problem with the server which crashed recently.

Space and overcrowding are also issues. Coulter says there are many times when being in the facility "feels too crowded. People would like to check out the newest books, but we have to remove old ones and stack them somewhere in order to bring new materials in," she said.

"The board has always had a desire to obtain a larger facility," Bratvold said. "It just has not been possible to do yet."

Bratvold said the funding of the library is a "shoestring operation." The library cannot fully fund itself and depends on other resources to operate.

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