The mission of the North Valley Public Library in Stevensville, Montana is to strengthen and support our community by:
- fostering a welcoming and comfortable setting for all people to gather, explore, and discover;
- promoting literacy and lifelong learning;
- providing exemplary service and quality, timely materials.
The North Valley Public Library District is open 10-7 five days a week and 10-5 on Saturdays. The bulk of the library’s funding is local property tax revenue. The library also receives State funding. The remainder donations and charges for fines and fees. North Valley Public Library provides a full complement of children’s programming including a robust Summer Reading Program for children and adult programming throughout the year
A Summer Reading Program (SRP) for children is an essential service libraries around the country provide. Research shows that children who do not read over the summer lose up to three months of reading achievement during the break away from school and the loss is cumulative. Public libraries took up the gauntlet to make sure children are encouraged to read and learn throughout the summer.
SRPs aren’t just about reading and getting prizes. When libraries say “Summer Reading Program” that entails a whole program, a host of activities that are both educational and fun to keep children interested, engaged and learning. Children’s librarians and program coordinators get started preparing their SRP months in advance.
The 2015 Summer Reading theme was Every Hero Has a Story and North Valley Library offered the following fun:
Weekly Story Time for children 7 and under was visited by numerous local superheroes such as Missoula Smokejumpers, Smokey the Bear and the Forest Service, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Stevensville Volunteer Fire Department, the Bitterroot Water Forum and the Clark Fork-Bitterroot Search and Rescue Dogs.
The library hosted outstanding national and local special presenters throughout the summer.
- Bat Honey Puppeteers from Missoula
- Sock Rockerz interactive dance concert for young children.
- Retired NASA scientist, Kevin Manning’s Star Tour astronomy program
- Animal Wonders and their exotic animals.
Super Hero Science Club. Children ages 8-18 came every week from June 23rd-August 4th to engage in fun, messy and noisy experiments!
Kids’ Book Club. This is a unique program and was the first of its kind among Western Montana’s libraries. Each week in July had a different hero theme – historical heroes, mythical heroes, animal heroes and magical heroes. Children from ages 9-12 read a book of their choice for each theme and met at the library to share their book with others. This pilot program started off slowly, but gained several fans along the way. We are expanding it to meet once a month throughout the school year, and we hope to see it grow!
Last, but not least, NVPL hosted a reading competition for children of any age, including high school students. Participants turned in book reviews for each book that they read and earned points for each one. At the end of the summer, they spent their points at the library’s “Prize Store”. There were awards for the highest point totals in each age category, and there were several raffle prizes as well. 101 participants registered for the competition, almost doubling the number of last year’s participants.
Aside from the reading competition, in FY 2015 our summer programs were attended by approximately 900 community members, including adults, teens and children.
The library fulfills its much used traditional role of providing access to print materials and audiovisual items, but also provides access to eBooks and electronic audio through MontanaLibrary2Go.org, and electronic research databases through the Montana State Library.
The library 9 PCs and 5 laptops for patron use, all have Microsoft Office and internet access. The library provides one-on-one computer training and help.
Although the library purchases copies of all the best-selling fiction, there are times when a patron may want something more esoteric or academic. The library belongs to the Montana Shared Catalog Partners Sharing Group of 31 public and school libraries located throughout the state. Most items are available through this group. If an item is not available through the Partners, we can often get it through interlibrary loan, borrowing from libraries throughout the United States for a nominal fee.
- Books & audiobooks (physical & digital)
- Magazines & Newspapers
- DVDs circulate for 14 days
- Research Databases
- Interlibrary Loan (Partners & OCLC)
- Access to Montana Shared Catalog
- Computer instruction
- Community room rental
- Art exhibit space
- Community bulletin board
- Photocopies Printing from library computers
Children’s Programs – Children’s programs are continually being evaluated, modified and added. Check our website for events and calendar.
- Summer Reading Program
- Homework Hour
- Kids’ Book Club
- Lego Time
Storyline takes the library out to the community. Every week Kim Gibbs visits senior centers and daycares. At the daycares Kim is the character of Captain Hooked on Books. It is an interactive program in which she reads, sings, dances with the kids. For seniors, Kim makes deliveries of books and reads to them from the magazine Past Times. She uses her own vehicle and is reimbursed at the IRS rate. Kim is retiring in the summer of 2016 and the funding for this program is almost at an end.
FYI 2015 Kim made 194 visits to seniors and 316 visits to daycares. The number of people she read to 2399 children and 791 seniors. The program is about 7.5 hours a week.
Kim Gibbs and children’s program coordinator, Mary Winegart also go to Missoula once a month and record a reading of a children’s book for the Montana Public Radio program, Pea Green Boat. http://mtpr.org/programs/pea-green-boat
- First Friday musical programs
- Book club
- Special programs at least once a month (when the library is not under renovation.) Humanities Montana lecture series starts November 2015. We will be adding many new types of adult programs once the library renovation is completed.
- Computer skills training
- The Friends of the Library support the library programming by organizing and hosting some popular events such as the annual Chocolate and Authors as a fundraiser.
- Population of the library district in fiscal year 2014-2015 was 10,283 (Figure provided by the Montana State Library Census and Economic Information Center.) The library also provides library services to residents of the surrounding areas and to guests who are traveling through Stevensville.
- Daily utilization = 200-300 patrons
- Circulation = 75,882 materials (69,141 physical and 6.741 electronic)
- Children’s Programs = 80 with total attendance of 1126
- Teen Programs = 20 with total attendance of 92
- Adult Programs = 29 with total attendance of 1518
- Outreach Program: 316 daycare and 194 senior center visits
- 2399 children and 791 seniors enjoyed these reading programs
- Computer Utilization = 245 people per week
The library collects statistics on services such as circulating books but there are other services that libraries provide that are harder to quantify. The library is a community gathering place. Many people stop by to pick up holds but they also want to find out what is going on in the community, talk about movies or books. The library staff regularly troubleshoot computer issues patrons encounter. There are not many places that you people can go, and free of charge, just ask someone to help you on the computer, ask how to format a resume etc. Staff are here to help with all types of questions and provide services such as informational interviews and proctor exams. An article published on INALJ.com http://inalj.com/?p=67856 states it well, saying librarians are teachers, tech savvy, advertisers, event planners and researchers.
The North Valley Public Library’s website can be found at www.northvalleylibrary.org
The North Valley Public Library’s Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Valley-Public-Library/356568284875
We invite you to take a look at some of the services and programs provided by the library.