November 18, 2017, marked the Hildale Branch of the Washington County Library System’s first year in service. The Hildale Branch has already made a large impact on the community in its first year. They don’t just provide books. Along with the library services come a host of programs geared toward all age groups and a variety of community needs. The community response to the library services is interesting to note as well, with relatively high visitation rates in its first year.
The Washington County Library System is composed of eight different branches. According to Hildale Branch Manager Amanda Reeve, the Hildale Branch has become the busiest of the small branches of the system. There are 803 card-carrying library patrons and there have been close to 50,000 items checked out over the course of the year. The Hildale Branch’s services are not just open to Utah residents. Washington County officials reached out to Mohave County and reached a deal to extend the library services to Colorado City, Centennial Park, and Canebeds.
It may come as a surprise to discover the scope of service that the library brings to the area. Along with the 22,000 or so items held by the library, they can access nearly any literary resource you desire, between the overall library systems collection and their connections with wider library system networks. They offer audiobooks through an app which you can download to your phone or tablet. They offer every amenity available in any standard library including an extensive collection of film, magazines, computer access, children’s resources and a variety of community resources.
There are two large meeting and multi-use areas that can be utilized for approved gatherings. There is a large boardroom style area that has been used by local groups for meetings, along with another area that hosts a large television and seating for presentations. According to Reeve, they have held 53 community events in their first year and have many ideas for additional programs depending on the interest.
The programs offered through the library are geared toward specific age groups. For children, they have done a variety of events including a movie night (they recently acquired a popcorn machine), story time held twice a week, and a summer reading event. The summer reading event takes place over eight weeks where they track reading with a pizza party at the end of the program.
For teens, they created the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) so that teens can come together and choose the activities they would like to do. They have a young adult book group and have held numerous events including a Halloween party, treasure hunt, movie nights, and crafts projects.
Adult programming is still being developed, but they do have a monthly book club and have done several classes including financial awareness, healthy posture, and a history presentation by a local historian. The Department of Workforce Services for Utah is at the library twice a week providing a host of services including job searching, resume writing, interviewing skills, and training resources.
In just its first year, the library has been actively working to bring much-needed community resources. The great thing about the library is the more patrons they have, the more it will grow. If you haven’t visited the library, they are located at 440 E. Newel Ave. Hildale UT 84784.