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Mon, Sept. 23

Colorado City gets set for possible new library



KINGMAN - With more than 7,000 books donated, Colorado City looks one step closer to opening a new library.

The Mohave County Library District, along with volunteers, will go before the Mohave County Board of Supervisors at their meeting at 9:30 a.m. on May 19 at the Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.

The Board can approve or disapprove the establishment of a community library in Colorado City during the 2008-09 fiscal year.

Stefanie Colgrove has a positive outlook for the approval of the library. Colgrove initiated the efforts of establishing a library in the community influenced by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

"This community has been without a library for a while, and this community needs to open up," Colgrove said.

With grandparents who were teachers, Colgrove said they installed an importance of learning with her.

"That's how you gain knowledge," Colgrove said, "is to read."

At a Safety Net Committee meeting between Arizona and Nevada officials, Colgrove said she casually mentioned using a room in her residence as a lending library. The response has been incredible since then, Colgrove added.

"It's gone from me just having a lending library to a county library that the whole community can use," Colgrove said.

Individuals from California, Salt Lake City, Flagstaff, Phoenix and Chandler have donated more than 7,000 books - more than can fit in Colgrove's room.

With assistance, an old schoolhouse that had been empty for approximately seven years was obtained to use as the library.

At the April 28 meeting, the MCLD Citizens Advisory Committee voted to send the proposed library to the Board to approve. If approved, the library would have to abide by the terms presented to and approved by the committee.

"The Colorado City Friends (of the Library) have signed a statement acknowledging that any county library in that area will abide by all MCLD policies, including no censorship," said Kathy McGehee, marketing specialist for the MCLD.

The MCLD attempted to open a library more than a decade ago in Colorado City, McGehee said. Members of the FLDS would censor out words in the books, sometimes leaving only two to three words a page, she added.

"As Mohave County taxpayers, the communities in the Colorado City area are entitled to county services including library services, however, not necessarily a library," McGehee said.

Employees with the MCLD often would go with a bookmobile to the areas of Littlefield and Beaver Dam, though not the additional one to two hours to Colorado City, McGehee said.

The only available option for residents of the area was to order books by mail. The mailing program hasn't been widely used by residents in the area, though McGehee admitted they haven't marketed the program there.

"If the local citizens provide the physical library, volunteers and many books and shelves, the cost to the county could actually be less than providing rural area services," McGehee said.

The MCLD would provide one part-time coordinator and pay for utilities, while the local community would be responsible for everything else, McGehee added.

Beyond the books, the library would feature computers and other reference-related technology.

With a community college and other schools, the demand is there, Colgrove said. McGehee agrees. "The public school - regular public schools, not FLDS - really want a library," McGehee said. Schools and students aren't the only ones requesting a physical location in the area. "So many of the residents are not FLDS members, and there are more people moving into the area now that there are fewer FLDS members in residence," McGehee said.

If approved by the Board, the Colorado City location would join current locations serving Bullhead City, Chloride, Dolan Springs, Golden Shores, Topock, Golden Valley, Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Meadview, South Mohave Valley and Valle Vista.

To donate books or to get more information, contact the MCLD at (928) 692-2665.

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