Changes are under way at the Oro Valley Public Library, which was fully taken over Jan. 1 by the Pima County Public Library, becoming a branch of the system rather than an affiliate.
The transition involves an intergovernmental agreement between Oro Valley and the county. The transition is largely technical, with Pima County Public Library assuming administrative tasks and facility management. As an affiliate, Oro Valley split the library's $1.2 million operating costs with the county, but the county took over all the expenses July 1. The administrative transition was completed Jan. 1.
As part of the agreement, no jobs at the library were lost.
And the library has a new manager to lead the way.
Ruth Grant, who has worked in the county library system for 15 years and been branch manager at the Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library in Marana since 2010, has taken over as the library's manager, replacing the retired Jane Peterson.
This fiscal year, the Pima County Public Library will pump significant funds into Oro Valley library, spending $250,000 on new books and materials. That follows an October overhaul in which the county replaced 37 desktop computers at the 25,000-square-foot facility, and repainted the children's room, installing new carpeting as well.
Grant, 54, who has also managed the Miller-Golf Links Library and worked at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library and the Dusenberry-River Library, talked to the Star about the library's potential and direction, as well as her vision for its future.
What changes will library patrons notice?
Actually, from the customers' point of view, very little will change. The staff is already doing such an excellent job. Hopefully, the only change they will notice is that we hope to institute, within a month, expanded hours. We're adding nine hours, including (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Sunday afternoons. The library was closed on Sundays before. We're going to bring them in line with the other libraries in the county by having Sunday hours. We also hope to add five additional hours during the week by February.
What are your impressions of the library?
The library is only 10 years old and still looks gorgeous. They've done an excellent job of maintaining it. I'm very impressed with the current staff.
How has the transition to branch status gone?
The library has worked very closely with Pima County Public Library, with 10 years as an affiliate. It's really not that big of a jump to change it to a regular branch. Mostly internal structures, like payroll, accounting and all the internal workings.
What will the increased hours mean to library-goers?
They'll have more access to the library. More access to the computers. More access to the collection. Increasing that access is beneficial to the community.
What does the library have going for it?
It's already succeeding. It's well-established and well-beloved. It's a well-used library. But one of the best benefits of the library is its excellent Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library program. They fund a lot of the excellent programming and materials that are in place.
Will any services change?
All of the wonderful services the community has grown used to, and all of the programming, will continue … I have no plans to decrease that in any way. If anything, we'll build on the excellent programming we already have.
If you go
• What: Oro Valley Public Library.
• Where: 1305 W. Naranja Drive.
• Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday. Hours are expected to change by the end of February.
• Phone: 229-5300.
Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org