In a show of pomp and celebration, officials of the Las Vegas Clark County Library District came to town to open the newly remodeled Mesquite library on Monday. Amidst the gala fanfare, a crowd of local residents filed in to see the changes to one of the most popular locations in town. With refreshments generously provided by the Eureka Casino, guests wandered through the new wing of the library to see what modifications had been made.
“The Library District recognized the previous 2,800 square foot library was getting too small for growing Mesquite,” said Pat Marvel, Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “In 2003, the Library District proposed a bond issue that would provide funding to build a new 15,000 square foot branch. The bond issue failed in all precincts except in Mesquite.”
Due to the downturn in the economy, only a 2,644 square foot modular addition was possible with new carpeting, flooring, furniture and shelving plus increasing the collection of library materials from 38,000 to 50,000 items bringing the library to approximately 5,500 square feet. The design was completed by local architect and Mesquite resident R.P. Heim.
To emulate the services of Las Vegas libraries, ten new computer stations were added to provide internet access to patrons. Visitors can access the internet for one hour at a time or longer if no one else is waiting. Prior to the remodel only four computers were available and the waiting list was usually full. Wi-fi access is also still available at the library. Modern technology was emphasized in the remodel.
One of the most popular offerings of the library is computer access for children. The former library had two computers for kids to use to do research or to play computer games. The new children's computer room has five computers and immediately filled up with kids trying out the new equipment.
The area that had previously been the entire library was now completely dedicated to the new enhanced children and young adults section. “I love it (this new library),” said six year old Jody Travers. “It has a lot more room and a lot of new stuff. Now I can even get on the computers.”
The old children's library room was converted to a community meeting room and children's story room while the new modular addition housed the adult section of the library furnished with the latest technology including automated checkout machines and copy and fax capabilities.
“This is at least as good as any library in Vegas,” said Eunice Jensen. “The old library was good but it was truly crowded and out of date. The Mesquite library is now fantastic.”
Additional funding of $50,000 was provided to expand the Mesquite libraries collection by the Nevada State Library and Archive and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The building and construction costs for the Mesquite library were considered a temporary solution until funding permits the construction of a much larger building but the unprecedented downturn of the economy make that reality in the far distant future.
Throughout the morning, crowds of Mesquite residents continued to pour into the library to explore the new facility and the new technologies available to patrons.