Patrons check out new library digs

EIGHT-YEAR-OLD BRIANA RYAN of Orchard Mesa picks out books at the new Orchard Mesa Library, 230 Lynwood St. Briana was with her mom and little sister to check out the new library.

With a “Shhhhh,” Eve Tallman, director of the Mesa County Public Library District, silenced the crowd of noisy library patrons Saturday morning at the open house of the new Orchard Mesa Library.

“This is the first official library hush,” she said.

All eyes were on her, and only a faint giggle from the children’s book section could be heard.

“All right, let’s party,” Tallman said, a smile spread across her face.

And the opening day of the new 3,000-square-foot library at 230 Lynwood St., next to the Domino’s Pizza, was off to a good start.

Teenagers took to the computers like fish to water. Senior citizens browsed the new books and books on tape. Others signed up for library cards or thumbed through the DVDs. There is even a cubby for teens to stash their skateboards.

The new library houses 25,000 to 30,000 books, double the amount in the old library that shared space with the Orchard Mesa Middle School. The old location was open to the general public in the evenings only, and it was closed on the weekends.

The new library’s daytime hours are something Rosemary Webb of Orchard Mesa will take advantage of. She brought her two young daughters to the opening.

Her 8-year-old daughter, Briana Ryan, thumbed through a bin of children’s books, her blonde hair pinned back with a green clip so as not to get in her eyes.

“I bet you’re a good reader,” she was told.

Ryan nodded her head yes.

“Do you like books about animals?”

She nodded her head yes.

Then it was back to business. Finally she turned to her mother with a short stack of books. A SpongeBob SquarePants book topped the pile.

Also in the children’s section was Chris Ryan from Orchard Mesa. He brought with him a 6-year-old boy whom he mentors.

“He’s loving the pop-up books” Ryan said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love them, too.”

Ryan said he brought his little friend to the library to “get him out and start exposing him to community resources at a young age.”

Orchard Mesa resident Rhonnie Herrick, plucked Stephen King’s novel “Hearts in Atlantis” from the fiction shelves.

“Might as well have a thriller for my first book here,” she said. “It’ll be a good winter read.”


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