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Thank you

January 25, 2002

I would like to say “thank you” to library staff and library users for their good humor and patience over the holidays as we slowly migrated from one library software system to another.

Most people simply wish to get their books and go, and so they may not have noticed. We might have delayed them a bit as we negotiated two different programs for a while. Most troublesome were incorrect overdue notices, but everyone who suffered those showed patience. Thank you.

But I most appreciate the readiness of the staff to embrace the changes and endure the frustrations of trying to track things through the different workflows of two very different programs, all while learning the intricacies of the new one.

And it is more intricate. It’s smarter, has more options, and is extremely flexible. We have a lot to learn yet, but I don’t think any of us would go back.

The new system offers some immediate benefits, such as making our library catalog available on the Internet (www.salidalibrary.org), but I also consider it one of our forward-looking decisions that invests in the future.

I know … what else can you invest in? The past? Well, in fact, you can, in a way. But back to the future: I expect the library to grow as the county grows.

The library’s collection has matured enough already to justify using good software that makes full use of the industry standards (such as full MARC records for cataloging), but now is also the time to consider how we will manage the collection of the future.

The timing is excellent for this project. This move will let us participate in statewide cooperative projects that will link our library with the Colorado Virtual Library and with a new statewide interlibrary loan program.

It will also help us with a local project that is, curiously enough, about the past even as it is about the future. This is the library’s local history archive. This will be a part of the collection that will only grow and get more valuable as decades pass. I consider it an investment for future generations.

Right now, Kathy Berg and Abby Quillen are preparing for the archive. And as luck would have it, they discovered that the Amon Carter Museum in Texas, which owned the Fred Mazzulla collection of photos and papers, recently donated them to the Colorado Historical Society. Among the collection are photographs of, and transcripts of interviews with, Salida’s last Madam, Laura Evans, who remains a popular figure in local folklore.

The collection is not yet cataloged at the Colorado Historical Society, but Kathy and Abby have arranged to get copies of some photographs and transcripts for the Salida archive. It will be a good way to begin our program. Stay tuned.

Another kind of investment for future generations will be the library’s endowment fund. The Board of Trustees is considering the resolution that will create the endowment, but it has already agreed to fund an initial balance with gifts received in the last few years from the estates of several longtime library users: Brick Chisholm, Dorothy Koster, and Betty Arper; as well as a gift from retired Salida teacher Dean Rouse.

The endowment fund will be a separate fund maintained by the board with the purpose of protecting the principal and using the earnings for library funding in addition to, and not in place of, regular taxpayer support.

The possibilities for the future are boundless (within limits, of course).

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