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Check It Out – Libraries A Central Gathering Place

In these trying times, it may seem difficult to find ways to entertain or educate yourself and your children on a limited budget.

Look no further! The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library and the East Flagstaff Community Library both have tons of free stuff to check out and plenty of activities designed to educate, inform and entertain.

The City of Flagstaff collaborates with Coconino County to maximize limited resources into one library system. This partnership gives our residents the best value for their money in the form of services, programs and materials.

From 2009 to 2010, your Flagstaff libraries experienced a 29 percent increase in attendance and a 35 percent increase in circulated materials. Our libraries are seeing increases in demands on facilities, resources, and staff. More people are using libraries than ever before for borrowing materials, computer usage, wireless Internet connection, youth, adult and family library programs, accessing periodicals and online databases, computer help and social networking. Our library personnel are working harder than ever to try to keep up with the rising demands.

There are times it seems challenging, but I can assure you our libraries and their staff are proud that they can be here as a resource for our residents, students and visitors. Here is just a sample of what libraries offer….for free!

Books, magazines, CDs, videos, DVDs, and newspapers are all available at the library to either enjoy in-house or to take home.

The Energy Meter Lending Program at your library allows you to check out an energy meter to help you identify large energy users in your home and come up with a plan to start saving energy and money.

Activities for adults offered by libraries include free computer sessions for those looking to improve their computer skills, book discussion groups, and Stories To Life – a partnership of “Read-Aloud and Musical Storytelling” presented by Flagstaff Public Library, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, and Flagstaff Cultural Partners.

Our library also has a new collaboration with the Flagstaff Unified School District that will provide Stories to Life programming in the local high school.

Activities designed for children include story times for a variety of ages, book clubs, crafts, games and movies! For teens, the libraries have a book club, after-school crafts, movies and even a Wii.

In addition to these resources and activities, the libraries are still a great place to read and browse collections. You can always check your email or go on the Internet on one of the many library computers – or bring your own laptop, because your library has Wi-Fi.

I hope you are a part of this great community resource and have the opportunity to enjoy everything your Flagstaff libraries have to offer! FBN

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