Orofino library expansion overdue

By Jo Moore

Last week’s splendid article featuring Ellen Tomlinson’s tenure as CMPL Director elicited many responses, such as, “I didn’t know our library does all that!”

It is true that in the six or so years since Ellen took over as Director, so many advances were made that the library has certainly outgrown the space it needs to accommodate the expanded and new many services that are provided.

When Chris Ashby, former director until 2009, commented to our citizens that the library “must be continually supported by the community and nurtured like a good garden,” he alluded to the fact that times were changing, and like a good garden must be tended, so must the library.

With programs expanding the need for more “people space” has become a reality. The Board of Trustees in its study has determined that library expansion is overdue, and plans are now being made to create more physical space for its patrons in the near future.
A survey is in the works for the community to have an opportunity to decide what is most needed to make our library the “go-to” place for information, education, recreation, or entertainment.

A good library is more than just books anymore! This survey will help the Board of Trustees determine how to meet community needs and desires.

The activities of the new CMPL “Friends” since 2009 have been able to raise over $25,000 with their annual summer fundraisers and semi-annual book sales.

These monies have gone toward many improvements for the library, some of which were mentioned by Ellen in her interview last week.

However, it has become clear that a much bigger effort must be made in order to keep up with the times, hence the need for a non-profit foundation, which can hopefully accomplish bigger goals. The active support of the community of Clearwater County will be essential to meeting these bigger goals of expansion.

Ways to be involved and show support will be, first, to participate in the survey when it is published; second, to indicate your desire to help on the survey form, and/or join the membership of the CMPL Friends, or of the new CMPL Foundation, Inc., which will be seeking members soon, under the direction of Jo Moore and her Board.

This article was published in the Clearwater Tribune: