LIBRARY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Darby Community Public Library is a vital community gathering place in the town of Darby. We offer special programs for kids, teens and adults; public access computers and wi-fi, ebooks, audio books, a Montana collection and much more. We’re currently looking for volunteers; library experience appreciated, but not necessary — just a love of libraries and a desire to help the library continue to serve Darby and the surrounding community with books, knowledge, events and more. Pick up a volunteer application at the library today.L
Courtesy of the Western Montana Astronomical Association, the Library has a telescope for check-out to patrons starting August 30th. You can make reservations to check out the telescope any time and you may check it out for up to a week at a time.
Energy efficiency and innovative building techniques were integrated into the design and construction of our Library back in 2004. The design called for a ground source heat pump, good insulation and energy efficient windows, along with utilization of locally available materials such as small diameter roundwood for beams and trusses.
The latest innovation for our building is installation of 62 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the building’s south-facing roof this past February, which began producing our electricity a month later.
Former Library board member Veryl Kosteczko, also a leader of the building project, said the board’s intent was to include solar PV during Library construction, but funds weren’t available at the time.
The board was awarded a grant from Northwestern Energy through the statewide Universal System Benefits Program whereby electric utility customers pay a monthly charge that supports energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The system was designed by Dan Brandborg of SBS Solar, a Hamilton company with 30 years of solar experience. Private donations, including time donated by the engineers, architects, and installers involved with the project also helped. Library Director Wendy Campbell said the electricity bill savings will allow the library to utilize tax-payer dollars more efficiently. “We outlined the costs of the installation versus the annual savings, and it was an easy decision for the Board,” she stated
The $58,000 system includes sixty-two 325-Watt panels, totaling more than 20kW of installed capacity. SBS estimated it will save the library over $3,000 per year in electrical costs. Because the system is net metered, any extra power it generates flows back to the Northwestern Energy grid and is credited to the Library, to be used during times of low power production.
For educational and monitoring purposes, SBS also installed equipment that tracks, reports and displays the system’s current and cumulative energy production; the data can be viewed by SBS as well as by Library staff and patrons via a computer monitor.
Stop by the Library to view the consumption monitor and get more information on the system’s technical specifications.
The community is invited to join the Library for a Darby Trail Walk on Tuesday, June 27th, from 2 to 3:30 PM. The walk starts at the Library entrance and totals 3.3 miles.
Every time you read or attend a library event, get your reading card punched. Turn in every completed punch card for a chance to win prizes at your library. Summer Reading Program Sponsors this year are Ford’s Department Store, Evans Ace Hardware, and the Friends of the Darby Library.
Also during June, there will be two Summer Reading Events: Kindness Rocks, the Summer Reading Children’s Event, will be on Tuesday, June 13th at 2 PM. Ages 8 through adult are welcome. On Tuesday, June 27th, from 2 to 3:30 PM, the community is invited to the Darby Trail Walk, a Summer Reading Family Event. It starts at the Library entrance and totals 3.3 miles.
Library Director Wendy Campbell received the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom award at the American Libraries Association mid-winter conference on January 21st. Thanks to the financial support of the Friends of the Darby Library,
According to the award letter, Campbell was chosen for her determination in providing the cultural program, “Perspectives on Islam,” against community objections.
Sandy Burner, president of the Friends of the Darby Library, praised Campbell for presenting informative programs to the community.
“The library brought in special speakers and there was quite a bit of backlash from the community,” Burner said. “Wendy was so steady in seeing to it that we could present any information that was pertinent whether or not people agreed with it.”
James LaRue, Executive Director, Freedom to Read Foundation, American Library Association, nominated Campbell.
“Campbell’s library hosted a series of Lifelong Learning cultural programs for her community of 4,000 people,” he said. “One of these programs, “Perspectives on Islam,” sparked strong protest by several community members. Campbell spoke with the patrons, met with them and various community leaders, and eventually decided to proceed with the program.”
LaRue detailed the steps Campbell took to continue with the event. She contacted a neighboring library director, the county sheriff, the state librarian, the school superintendent, school board and the Office for Intellectual Freedom. He added that the event was peaceful and successful.
“At a time when libraries are seeking greater civic engagement, at a time when many of us are looking for more meaningful and dignified discourse, Campbell’s approach proved to be definitive: the speaker was welcomed warmly, listened to attentively, and questioned respectfully,” LaRue said. “By the conclusion of the event, the patrons gratefully applauded speaker and librarian alike. The library, meanwhile, secured its position in the community as a force for education that neither promoted nor condemned various ideas, but provided a safe and courteous forum for their consideration.”
Larue said the community was “inspired by the example of an extremely thoughtful and dedicated librarian.”
“We are so proud of Wendy, our librarian, so thrilled for the community and so delighted our Darby library has received this award,” said Darby Library Board member Marie Myers.