BY JOSH CHESLER | APRIL 16, 2014
Desert Foothills Library offers educational opportunities for everyone
Now expanding children's and language programs
After 60 years of providing a center for the community to learn and develop, the Desert Foothills Library currently boasts its strongest collection of programs ever, according to executive director David Court.
The privately funded library's current catalog features programs ranging from Spanish and Tai Chi classes to children's tutoring, Native American concerts and tax preparation workshops. Court believes that the key to having a wide range of successful programs comes down to the funding.
"We work extremely hard to encourage users to donate, and we've had record amounts of donations the last three years," said Court. "The independence in our funding gives us the ability to offer users more. Sometimes people don't get it, but many do. The increase in our programming in the last two years has been enormous."
Desert Foothills Library shoots to maintain a steady schedule of four to six public program offerings over the course of each day during the week as well as one or two late morning and early afternoon programs on Saturdays and Sundays. The programs are intended to provide interesting and educational opportunities for people of all interests and ages, from toddlers to senior citizens.
"We're open 355 days out of the year, and during the summer, people still come here for the programs, particularly children," said Court. "We want to provide a secondary learning environment to school, so we're expanding the children's and language programs."
Aside from providing free programs for the community, the library also offers an expansive used book store, Chapter 2 Books, within its walls. The store is run by the volunteer group Friends of the Desert Foothills Library and contains well over 15,000 books as well as an assortment of DVDs, CDs and collectibles. While a portion of the books were formerly in circulation at the library, the majority of the items in the shop were donated by users and fans of the library.
Between Chapter 2's in-person sales and Amazon.com account, Court believes that the store offers great deals for shoppers while bringing in approximately $100,000 in annual revenue for the library. "Most readers can find a book that they want for under $7 here, it's really been a great success for us and for the people who shop here," said Court.
Another community service that Desert Foothills Library can boast is that it contains one of the only passport offices in the area to be open on all seven days of the week, whereas most passport offices are closed on Sundays.
Desert Foothills Library is located at 38442 N. Schoolhouse Rd., just north of Cave Creek Road. Library staff can be reached by phone at 480-488-2286 or online at www.dfla.org.