Thursday, November 12, 2015

Provology 101 - Provo Library

Provology 101, a series of classes that give a behind-the-scenes look at how Provo City runs, has given City departments the chance to show and tell about what they do for Provo. One of the participants, Anona Sobczak, has been sharing her experiences on Facebook and gave us permission to share them with you.

"Are you getting your money's worth?" We all drove to the Provo Library, where Joella Peterson asked us this question several times. HUGE BIAS ALERT I am on the library board, so I naturally thought it was a great class session. Did you know that a portion of your property tax goes to the library, and that income from late books/materials is less than 1/18th of the library's total funding? The librarians don't have to be nice to you, because they get your money whether you come to the library or not. But you may as well come, because they are nice and you should get your money's worth. I should mention here that Gene Nelson, the Library Director, prides himself on watching the budget closely. Actually I've been surprised at how many departments in the city make a point of being very careful with the taxpayer's money. I guess I hear about wasteful government so much that I had this stereotype in my mind.
How do I love thee, library? Let me count the ways...
I can go get books, I can go check out a Chromebook for a week, I can take my kids to Coding Club or Minecraft Club, I can go any Monday night for an easy family togetherness night, I can use the Smartroom for group projects and toggle between up to 6 separate devices, I can go to the quarterly book sale and buy books to hoard at my house, I can try to downsize by donating books in the box right by the DVD collection, I can check out book sets for my hypothetical book club, I can look at old yearbooks in Special collections, and I can someday host my daughters' wedding receptions in the beautiful historic ballroom. If I run out of things to do at my library I can go to the Orem library and browse their huge movie collection or check out books there using my Provo card.

If, by chance, I'm feeling like I don't want to leave the house, I can go online with my card and access databases that are very expensive usually. I can pick stocks with the Morningstar Investment Research Center, brush up on my Spanish with Powerspeak, or read popular magazines. Did I mention it's all free? I can download audiobooks, get ebooks, stream some movies, pay library fines, download the BookMyne app to browse the Provo Library catalog and renew books easily, or even fill out a questionnaire to get personalized book recommendations!

If I don't want to go the library or stay at home, I could go to the park in the summer and listen to a story time there and check out books for my kids. A traveling librarian would gladly come to me and present to my Girl Scout troop or church group or book club. Or if I'm homebound, a librarian will bring me books so I don't have to suffer without them! Wow!

We ended the night at the beautiful art gallery on the 4th floor. The library's tech for the presentation was the coolest, the snacks were the tastiest, the venue was the most beautiful building in town...did I mention that I might be a little biased? Go visit! Join the 63,791 other patrons!

Please ask me if you have any questions about the library, I'll probably be able to answer them. If I can't, I'll go to and ask a librarian via live chat!

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