Exploring The Community Library | Sun Valley Voices & Views

Stephanie Reed: Hi, this is Stephanie Reed
with The Voices and Views, where we celebrate the people and places that make our area amazing. And today I am at the Ketchum Community Library
with Jenny Emery Davidson. She is the Executive Director of the library. Hi. Jenny E.D.: Hi Stephanie. Thanks for coming in. Stephanie Reed: Thank you for having us. It’s pretty amazing. I haven’t been in here since the remodel and
everything has been done and after growing up in this community and coming here since
we were little, it’s just beautiful. Stephanie Reed: So a couple of things that
I found to be interesting is we’re standing here at the entry of the library and it’s
kind of loud. Jenny E.D.: Yeah. Stephanie Reed: I mean people are talking,
I can remember walking in and everybody like, “Shh.” So you’d mentioned, you don’t shh people anymore. Jenny E.D.: Yeah, we don’t shush people in
the library. You know, people come to the library for all
different reasons. Sometimes what they need is a place to cocoon
and be quiet, and we certainly have those spaces. But also we think that the library, what we
see is that, this is where people find a sense of community. Stephanie Reed: So it’s a connection. Jenny E.D.: And that happens by talking to
others and engaging with others. And so we want those conversations to happen. We want to facilitate it. And I think Stephanie, that’s what I get really
passionate about is not only do we have a spectacular scenery, a spectacular environment
to offer people, but this is a place that can cultivate intellectual and creative thought
as well. And the library, I think, is instrumental
in that. Stephanie Reed: There’s a big wall over here
that has a lot of messages on it, but the main one is your mission. So what is the mission of the library? Jenny E.D.: The library aims to bring information,
ideas and individuals together to enhance the cultural life of the community. Stephanie Reed: That’s so great, and that’s
probably a lot of what you’re doing in the remodel for the library. Jenny E.D.: Yes, it is an exhilarating time
for the community library. We have about 500 people come through our
doors every day. So it was time for us to really dig in and
not only shore up the facility for the next generation, but also to reimagine the spaces
for the kinds of programming and resources that we offer now. Stephanie Reed: So maybe we can talk a little
bit about the different areas that you guys have expanded on. Jenny E.D.: Right, right. So of course we have a very robust collection
of books, but also now digital resources. So that’s a growing part of our collection. And then we have an archive as part of our
Jeanne Roger Lane Center for Regional History. So a significant part of the renovation was
to expand the capacity of our archive and to professionalize it. Jenny E.D.: So we know we have important history
here, that we think is really so important to this area, having the distinctive character
that it has- Stephanie Reed: So it makes it unique. It’s a unique library in a way. Jenny E.D.: Yeah, and it shows the uniqueness
of our community. Jenny E.D.: One of the very unique things
about this library is that unlike almost every other library in the nation, this library
is not funded by the city or county or state government. It is funded by the community itself. Stephanie Reed: But that’s what’s great because
they’re free. Jenny E.D.: They’re free. Anybody can get a library card here for free. So you can live between Ketchum and Hailey. You can live over in Stanley, you can live
in Mackay, you can live in Boise, you can live in South Africa. We truly have, we have library card holders
from all over the country because they may be here for just a couple months of the year,
but they feel the library is part of what makes them feel connected to this place. Jenny E.D.: We hear testimonials from many
people that, part of the reason they chose to make this their home is because of the
community library because they wanted to continue to have an interesting intellectual life,
and they see the library as being instrumental to facilitating that. Stephanie Reed: Thank you so much. Jenny E.D.: Thank you Stephanie. Stephanie Reed: I can’t wait to just go around
and look at everything that’s been added. It seems amazing. Jenny E.D.: Thank you. Well, and thank you for recognizing how important
the library is to the resilience of the community and to people feeling a sense of community
here. We need places where people can feel a sense
of belonging, and we hope and we see that the library provides that. Stephanie Reed: Well, I think there’s no question
it does. I mean, to be able to do this expansion means
that people are coming here and they want to be here more, and they want you to have
more to experience. So I think it’s really important. Jenny E.D.: People love their library. Stephanie Reed: I know, it’s so great. I love it. Stephanie Reed: Thank you so much for watching
The Voices and Views. I’m Stephanie Reed and we’ll see you next

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