Library district looks ahead

Agency aims to keep services ‘robust’ amid belt-tightening

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter



Fort Vancouver Regional Library

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

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

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

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

Ridgefield: 210 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield; 360-887-8281. Closed Sunday and Monday

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

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

Vancouver: 901 C St., Vancouver; 360-906-5106. Open daily

Vancouver Mall: 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive, in Westfield Vancouver Mall, Vancouver; 360-892-8256. Branch reopens in March or April 2013

Washougal: 1661 C St., Washougal; 360-835-5393. Closed Sunday and Monday

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

Woodland: 770 Park St., Woodland; 360-225-2115. Closed Saturday and Sunday

Express libraries

Yacolt: Old Yacolt Town Hall, 105 E. Yacolt Road, Yacolt. Self-service: Daily; Staffed: Tuesday and Thursday

Yale: Yale Elementary School, 11842 Lewis River Road, Ariel; Open Wednesdays

Green Mountain: Green Mountain School, 13105 N.E. Grinnell Road, Woodland. Open on school days

North Bonneville: 214 CBD Mall inside City Hall, North Bonneville; 509-427-4439. Open Tuesday through Thursday

Camas Public Library

625 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas; 360-834-4692. Closed Sunday

The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District stretches from Woodland to Goldendale and represents the community’s long-standing dedication to literacy.

The district offers 16 locations and 740,000 volumes. Its main branch, Vancouver Community Library, opened in July 2011 and is hard to miss in its shiny glass facade and 83,000 square feet of space at 901 C St. in downtown Vancouver. The library was one of 87 structures worldwide honored in August 2012 by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design as one of “the best, new significant buildings and landscape and planning projects designed in and/or built in the United States,” joining the company of the National September 11 Memorial in New York City and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Adapting to society’s shift toward digital life, the district began offering e-books in 2012. The district’s 260,113 cardholders now can download fiction and nonfiction to an e-reader, smartphone, tablet or computer using free Blio software.

Another sign of bygone days was the closure of Clark County’s 71-year-old bookmobile in June. A century-old former jail and town hall in Yacolt was converted in September into the new 400-square-foot Yacolt Library Express to fill the bookmobile’s void in north county.

Changes in store for 2013 include a remodeled but smaller Vancouver Mall Community Library at the Westfield Vancouver mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive. The new space, set to open in March or April, offers more technology, including iPads and laptops, and innovative layout.

Executive Director Nancy Tessman said library district leadership also will seek feedback in 2013 from the community on the future direction of the district.

“We will be talking to patrons about what our priorities are,” Tessman said. Library district revenue was down more than $800,000 in 2012, she said.

“That’s challenging for anyone in the business of libraries, which tend to be busier when times are tougher,” she said. “We are trying to make services robust while at the same time being conscious of tightening our belt.”