New main library worth checking out

Regional lending system expands offerings, hours

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Fort Vancouver Regional Library Branches

http://www.fvrl.org

Clark County

Battle Ground: 1207 S.E. Eighth Way, Battle Ground; 360-687-2322

Cascade Park: 600 N.E. 136th Ave., Vancouver; 360-256-7782

La Center: 1411 N.E. Lockwood Creek Road, La Center; 360-619-1800

Ridgefield: 210 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield; 360-887-8281

Three Creeks: 800-C N.E. Tenney Road, Vancouver; 360-571-9696

Vancouver Community Library (main library): 901 C St., Vancouver; 360-906-5106

Westfield Vancouver mall: 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive, Suite 285, Vancouver; 360-892-8256

Washougal: 1661 C St., Washougal; 360-835-5393

Woodland: 770 Park St., Woodland; 360-225-2115

Klickitat and Skamania counties

Goldendale: 131 W. Burgen St., Goldendale; 509-773-4487

North Bonneville: 214 CBD Mall, (in City Hall) North Bonneville; 509-427-4439

Stevenson: 120 N.W. Vancouver Ave., Stevenson; 509-427-5471

White Salmon Valley: 77 N.E. Wauna Ave., White Salmon; 509-493-1132

• Other (not part of the FVRL system)

Camas Public Library: 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas; 360-834-4692, http://www.ci.camas.wa.us/index.php/camaspubliclibrary

Portrait

For more information on life in Clark County, visit www.columbian.com/portrait.

The long-awaited Vancouver Community Library opened in July and was welcomed by an estimated 5,000 people who wanted to tour the spacious and elegant five-story building in downtown Vancouver.

The $38 million downtown structure at Evergreen Boulevard and C Street is the main library in the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District that stretches from Woodland to Goldendale.

“It’s for you. You’re going to like it,” said Bruce Ziegman, who not long after the grand opening retired as executive director of the library district.

Ziegman reminded guests that voters by a 63 percent margin approved a measure to build the new library in 2006.

But he said without a $5 million gift from Steve and Jan Oliva, the building would have been “much more austere.” The Olivas (Hi-School Pharmacy stores) are well-known in the worlds of business and philanthropy. Ziegman also thanked developers George and Lance Killian for donating the land.

In addition to the opening of the new main library, all FVRL users — including some 240,000 cardholders — saw noteworthy changes last year.

Thanks to districtwide approval of a 2010 levy measure, six of the system’s 13 libraries restored one day of operation that had been trimmed in February 2009 when officials ordered budget cuts.

At the popular Vancouver Mall branch that kept its seven-day schedule, customers are enjoying 10 additional weekly hours.

The enhanced funding also allowed the district to substantially enhance its selection of titles — including adding more high-demand titles — and to introduce downloadable music files.

A new “Lucky Day” approach now helps walk-in customers snare the latest hot read.

Typically, FVRL lets patrons place an item on hold, either online or in person, on a first-reserved, first-served basis. Now the “Lucky Day” collection keeps non-reservable hot items on hand for regular walk-ins hoping to “get lucky” and find that title they’ve been seeking.

Most new items will not stay at one branch, but will circulate freely. As usual, all items may be returned at any branch.

Cardholders also have access to more digital research databases.

Web-based subscription databases include Chilton’s Auto Repair, the Reference USA business database, Heritage Quest genealogy database, Morningstar Investment Research Center, Powerspeak, Byki languages, and two online versions of the Britannica encyclopedia.

The district plans to introduce downloadable e-books in 2012, so patrons can read entire texts on personal computers and portable devices.