The year was 1944. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office, World War II was raging around the world, Smokey the Bear was introduced by the United States Forest Service, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet radio show debuted, and Henderson Libraries was formed after a petition to create the Henderson School Public Library was introduced. It’s amazing to look back and see how intertwined this organization has become in the Valley and that it is has been providing quality library services to the Southern Nevada community for 75 years. Throughout 2019, Henderson Libraries is commemorating this extraordinary milestone with a variety of special events open to the public.
“This is such an exciting time as we look back over the past 75 years and position ourselves for growth into the future,” says Henderson Libraries Executive Director Marcie Smedley. “Our libraries truly exist for our community, and we’d love to invite all of our community members to come celebrate their library with us!”
The year’s festivities kicked off with a carnival-themed block party on Feb. 2 and continued with Henderson Libraries participating in the City of Henderson’s Recalling Industrial Days celebration in April. May offered a fun night of Dancing Through the Decades with Henderson Libraries hosting its first prom dance. June’s fun was in the form of musician Joey Leone, who presented The History of Blues in America. This program led by music historian and acclaimed guitarist Joey Leone covered history, influence and impact of American blues through songs, stories and historical facts.
Don’t miss the Future Fair on Oct. 12 at the Gibson Library, where you’ll join local vendors and Henderson Libraries staff for demonstration booths showcasing various forms of technology to all ages.
Technology has already changed so much at Henderson Libraries.
“While we originally offered mainly books and reference materials, today’s libraries offer electronic and digital resources, virtual reality experiences, 3D printing and more,” Marcie says. “As new trends emerge, Henderson Libraries adapts to provide new services and resources that benefit the community and enrich learning opportunities.”
In fact, Henderson Libraries recently launched its own user-friendly app to make library services even more accessible.
Another way Henderson Libraries has adapted over the years is by becoming more of a community-centered space. In addition to resources for entertainment and learning, the libraries also offer programs and services through partnerships with other community organizations. For example, One-Stop Career Centers, complete with career coaches and employment training, are available at two of the libraries through a partnership with Workforce Connections. Henderson Libraries also partners with Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth to identify all of the libraries as SAFE Place locations, offering services to youth in need. In partnership with the City of Henderson and Clark County School District, Henderson Libraries also works to actively engage children in reading through the APPLE (All People Promoting Literacy Efforts) Partnership.
The summer reading program, first recorded by Henderson Libraries in 1950, is something the community looks forward to annually. From its humble start with 157 children participating to more than 2,800 kids reading more than 4.3 million minutes in 2018, it’s continued to grow. Henderson Libraries also partners with local businesses to provide incentives, allowing children to collect prizes like cookie coupons from Great Harvest Bread Company and passes to Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef. There’s still time to participate in this year’s program by visiting HendersonLibraries.com to register and track your reading minutes. The program ends July 31.
Think about joining the tremendous group of volunteers! There are many opportunities for teens and adults. From processing books to fundraising galas, volunteers help make the libraries even better.