CMPL Foundation’s new website launches this week

By Jo Moore

Although a work still in progress, the newly-formed Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL) Foundation, Inc. plans to launch its new website this week.

It will be a means to let our readers gain more information about upcoming plans for library expansion; as well as news on what is happening at that copper-roofed building on the corner of A Street and Michigan Avenue!

For instance, we would like to make our website user-friendly and interactive. If you are an avid reader, we’d like to know what you are reading, if you belong to a book club already, or if you’d like to form one, as well as what kinds of books you are most interested in.
If you are a teacher, please recommend books to read aloud at home.

We will be publishing a survey by mid-March, in order to help determine the most important needs for our library of the future. We would like to have everyone as involved as possible, so be watching for it.

We hope, through our website, to let readers know what new books have arrived at the library, and which ones have been ordered and will arrive soon, as well as what the staff at CMPL are themselves reading these days.

There is already an established website for CMPL, but we hope to get our readers interested in both, as they will not be identical.

The one for the library publishes a monthly newsletter with its upcoming activities posted, plus its hours, and lots of other very important information telling what is available at the library. This website has been in existence a long time and is very easy to use!

We hope to let our readers know about new goings-on each week that are now available at CMPL.

The website for Orofino’s library:

The website for the Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL) Foundation is: You will see our new logo on each page. This new website is just in the formative stages, and will develop as it is used. Send us your ideas!

Forty-nine libraries

Did you know that our library is connected to 49 other libraries, and when you want to search for a book title, if our library in Orofino doesn’t have it on its shelves, the title may be found in any one of 49 other libraries across our region? Even better, it can be ordered free of charge and delivered to CMPL here in Orofino.

The only stipulation is that you must have a library card, but the card is free! Just go to the library’s front desk and ask for one.

This article was published in the Clearwater Tribune:

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:

Farewell to another excellent librarian

By Jo Moore

In 2009 Ellen Tomlinson took over the reins of the Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL), succeeding Chris Ashby.

Ellen’s tenure has been almost exactly the same length as that of Chris: six and a half years. During Ellen’s time as director, a whirlwind of modern developments and improvements have taken place, and Ellen has always been at the helm.

From her stint as assistant director and then director, Ellen oversaw the reorganization of the Friends of the Library, who have become a leading force in raising funds for library improvement.

E-Audio books became a reality through VALNet, and an email newsletter was developed by Ellen. The Annex was spiffed up and became a combination meeting room, lunch room for library staff, and most importantly the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) Distribution Center.

The library was nominated for a rural library fund award and received $18,000 worth of books for CMPL. In 2010 Ellen was awarded RIF Ambassador for Idaho.

From 2010, under Ellen’s guidance, the library has accomplished a lot of maintenance and improvements, with the help of the Friends’ fundraisers.

The library also acquired a new telephone system, then joined the State of Idaho BTOP grants, which allowed high speed, wireless internet 24/7 for library and patron use.

This grant updated the library’s computers and added more, and epads and e-books for training were also provided. The library has continued to advance in its technology, and has now in its possession over 38,000 items for loan or use.

Being a member of ValNet with 49 other libraries as members provides an addition 664,000 items available to our patrons.

In 2009, when Chris Ashby retired, he directed some important comments to our local citizens, and I quote:

I wish to direct my comments to you, the citizens of Orofino and Clearwater County. I have been around libraries all my life and professionally so for the last 36 years. Thus said I want to impress upon you the worth of your local library.

Clearwater Memorial Public Library is one of the best small town libraries that I have seen…and I have seen a lot. It is definitely a library that its community can be proud of. But if it is to remain so it must not be taken for granted. It must be continually supported by the community and cultivated and nurtured like a good garden.

In this time of economic uncertainty the local library must not be allowed to become a whipping boy…because if Peter is robbed to pay Paul he won’t be giving it back anytime soon.” (Clearwater Tribune, July 23, 2009).

Chris would be proud to know that the two properties adjacent to the library have been acquired by the CMPL Board of Trustees with the aim toward expansion.

The Board consists of Margaret Cook and Jo Sharrai, co-chairs; and Lynn Card, Tammy Gilmer, and Betty Burnham.

The library is seriously cramped in space and needs to provide more services. Studies are being undertaken to see how best this expansion can take place, and how the community can help. Please watch for further news on this front!

Clearwater Memorial Public Library is one of the best small town libraries that I have seen…and I have seen a lot.
– Chris Ashby, past director

This article was published in the Clearwater Tribune February 17, 2016

Library Lines for the week of Nov. 19, 2015

By Jo Moore

This is the Britan house in the early years. It would eventually become the “new” library. Note the railroad tracks!

This is the Britan house in the early years. It would eventually become the “new” library. Note the railroad tracks!

As Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL) moved into the 21st century its purpose and motivation moved more towards involvement of the public, emphasis on computer education, reading discussion groups, and exciting summer reading programs.

It was forward-looking thinkers and librarians like Peggy Flowers, Pam McBride, and Chris Ashby who could see the coming importance of technology melding with the quest for good reading, research, and information.

W.T. and Mrs. Bennell, pictured here in 1945, were the first owners of this home at 402 Michigan Avenue, where the Clearwater Memorial Public Library would eventually be built. The house was built and first occupied in 1909.

W.T. and Mrs. Bennell, pictured here in 1945, were the first owners of this home at 402 Michigan Avenue, where the Clearwater Memorial Public Library would eventually be built. The house was built and first occupied in 1909.

From gardening clubs to Arbor Day celebrations, visits by local authors and the popularity of book discussion groups, to partnering of Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics (CVHC) with Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL) to provide access to medical technology and research via computer to the public, all have helped move this community forward.

Depicted here is the Clearwater Memorial Library’s 1965 expansion plan.

Depicted here is the Clearwater Memorial Library’s 1965 expansion plan.

Through all of this, certain names and organizations have continued to stand out in support, such as volunteer Boards of Library Trustees, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) who organized book discussion groups and started the annual affair known as the Patchwork Bazaar, and Friends of the Library, now known as the CMPL Friends.

Peggy Morrison checks out books to library patron, Mrs. Mildred Woods, in the 1970’s. “Did we really wear our hair like that? Yes, we did!” says Jo Moore.

Peggy Morrison checks out books to library patron, Mrs. Mildred Woods, in the 1970’s. “Did we really wear our hair like that? Yes, we did!” says Jo Moore.

Next week we hope to spotlight the group of Jaycees (now long-disappeared) and its leaders who did so much to help make the library expansion of 1965 a reality, and to recognize those who are now working hard to enable much-needed expansion of the present library facilities.

Library Lines for the week of Nov. 12, 2015

libraryLast week I mentioned that I wanted to share with your readers some of the names that appeared repeatedly over the fifty-plus years that the library was growing and bursting at its seams.

This group of dedicated citizens and groups reflect dedication and loyalty to their community that has endured down to today. The scrapbooks kept by the librarians over the years are filled with the fundraising projects, trials, and successes which many civic organizations, businesses, and individuals were involved in.

Organizations include: American Legion Auxiliary, American Association of University Women (AAUW,) Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW,) Jaycees and Jay-Ceetes (more about them later!) Kiwanians, Friends of the Library, CMPL Library Friends.

Family names which have stood up and out for the library include:

First Board of Trustees and members: Emory and Nancy Noble, Agnes and Dinty Oud, Nancy Oud, Nina Mae Jewell, Wallace Webster, Warren (J.B.) Gardner, Sam and Zoe Swayne.

Book Donators and Board Members: Bud Van Allen, labor; donators: Mrs. kachelmier, Stella Weeks.

Board Members: Helen Conard, Barbara Fridley, Frank Gaffney, Charles Johnson, Carroll and Lois Brock, Jerry Smith, R.J. Hayes, B.T. Wilson, Carol Ross, Molly Chase, Nancy Oud, Ruth Pearce (the first librarian!) and Eunice Merrill.

Volunteers who helped catalogue donated books included: Mrs. R. D. Werner, Mrs. T. M. Walrath , Mrs. Ruth Gilmore, Mrs. Edwin Oppliger, Farrol Joan Walrath, Carol LeeRoss, and Carol Amsbaugh.

Board and members from the 1960’s and 70’s included: Bill Crutcher (Chairman of the Board) Carroll Brock, Mrs. John Kunz, Vance Dobson, Mrs. June (Charles) Collister, Mrs. Aretha (Lee) Chilton, Mrs. Alice (Frank) Frost, Mrs. Betty Kitchen, Shirley Marsh, Casey Beghtol, Darlene Newland, Marvin Riley, Nancy McNichols, Joe Brown, Elizabeth Kouffer, Leonard Hawking, Jane Luebeck, and Everett Hollibaugh.

Supporters with donations and time: Jerry and Phyllis McArthur, Lee Simmons, Bernie Glaus, Jack Fagen, John Crockett, N.W. Pruitt, Arthur Una, Mrs. Lloyd Richardson, Robert Beal, Peter Swantek, Mrs. A. B. Pappenhagen, Mrs. Bertha Johnson, Mrs. Frank Randall, Mrs. Ket Hanson, Rod Newland.

Members of Jaycees: Darold Harris, Earl Pickett, Alex Irby, Chris Waldrip, Jim Burnham, Frank Howde, Ron Doucette, Bill Petsak, Mike Reeb, Bud Lias, Bud Lias, Jerry Franc, John Leasure.

Trustees from the 1980’s and private donations:

Moe Paré, Suzanne Calhoun, Librarian, Joe Lientz, Bertha Lough, Larry Sharrai, Dory Lee Engle, Jack Fleming, Charring Barton, Jane Luebeck Smith, Jim Hawking, Gail Crockett, Chloe Bachorech, Cecil Aldrich, Diana Colgan, Kitty Geidl, Connie Walters, Harriet Reece, Diana Hull, Mary Lou Cummings, Robert Spencer, John Swayne, Carol Dugger, Peggy Flowers, and Joan Knowles.

And the list goes on. How many names are familiar or family to you? Many of these names appeared over and over through the years, and I’m sure that there are many stories that could be told about the work done together and the good times they had. There’s more history to come, we’ve just covered up to the 1980’s!

Next week I hope to trace back to the now defunct Jaycees who were very instrumental in accomplishing the expansion of 50 years ago. Perhaps we can re-create some of their spirit!

Clearwater Memorial Public Library: A 50-year history begins

This letter to the editor appeared in the Clearwater Tribune, November 4, 2015.

Dear Editor:

orofinolibraryThis week we embark on a series of articles, stories, anecdotes, and tales, tracing the roots of an institution which had a minuscule beginning well over 50 years ago, thanks to a few determined citizens with a love of reading.

You can imagine, though probably not be able to appreciate, what home life was like in the early post-WWII years, in a small but growing community, before the advent of television, computers, I phones, internet, etc., to not even have a library from which to select a good book to read!

A small semblance of a library had been established in the courthouse in the late 1930’s by the American Legion Auxiliary, with a small collection of donated books which were moved several times before landing in the high school library.

It wasn’t until the year 1949 that the county established a formal library as a living memorial to the serviceman of Clearwater County. That is when the real work began, and with a small group of volunteers and a fund drive which netted $2500, the Clearwater Memorial Library was born.

In the weeks to come, we hope to trace the roots of the growth of this literary treasure of our community, naming those who had a dream of the future, the desire to see a mission accomplished, and most noteworthy, who passed this dream onto the next generation to keep it going and growing.

You will see family names mentioned from the germination of the tiny seeds of a collection of mostly donated books, men and women who kept on working through decades, to establish those roots and send out many branches to extend learning in Clearwater County.

What we now know as the Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL) began with six hundred donated books, housed in the front half of a storeroom in the IOOF building.  Thanks to the dedication of the people whose names many will recognize, the collection of books (plus DVDs, CDs, magazines, audio books and newspapers) now number about 39,000!

The dream is not finished yet, it is just beginning to come into full blossom! With the help and support of so many in our community who realize what a fine place this can become to raise future generations, and who wish to offer the best in education, medical facilities, jobs, and recreation, all located in one of God’s most beautiful spots in the country, a plan is being formed to accomplish so much more with CMPL.

Watch this space in the weeks to come, and see how many family names pop up over and over who have kept this dream alive, as we relive and recognize their efforts as we forge ahead to further expansion!

Jo Moore, The High Country Inn