New Taylorsville Library branch manager keeping young readers busy this summer
Jul 27, 2017 03:11PM
● By Carl Fauver
Agustin Zavala with W.W. Clyde Construction provided heavy equipment during the “Build It” party. (Eleanor Nave)
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Less than a year ago, Eleanor Nave called Indiana home. But now the new Salt Lake County Library Taylorsville branch manager is headlong into the library system’s many summer activities and said they are proving to be a big hit.
“I’ve been a librarian about 10 years, and in library management for five,” Nave said. “Last October, we moved here when my husband accepted a position with Western Governors University. Soon after arriving, I applied for a position with the library system, and here I am.”
After three months as an assistant library manager at the Sandy branch, Nave took her current Taylorsville post in March—just in time to start coordinating its annual summer activities.
“Lots of research has shown kids do much better in school if they keep practicing their reading over the summer,” Nave added. “The trick is to get them to want to read.”
What better way to do that than with toothpicks, gumdrops and front-end loaders?
The Taylorsville Library launched its summer reading program with a pair of events and has been keeping young readers busy ever since.
“Our theme for this year’s summer reading program is ‘Build a Better World,’” Nave said. “We kicked things off with a ‘Built It’ party, complete with lots of heavy equipment provided by W.W. Clyde Construction. The kids got to look at the machinery and build their own crafts to take home.”
That same week, youngsters visiting the Taylorsville Library also constructed towers made of gumdrops and toothpicks. University of Utah engineering students assisted and reminded the youngsters of the importance of reading and working hard in school.
“The Salt Lake County Library system understands and supports the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education,” Nave said. “So it’s natural to emphasize that through our summer events.”
The Taylorsville Library branch normally has about 3,000 summer reading program participants. Now—as those activities are beginning to wind down—library employees are turning their attention to the stars, or at least one of them.
“We are hosting a solar eclipse viewing program on Aug. 21,” Nave said. “It’s for all ages, and we will provide protective eyewear.”
The so-called “Great American Eclipse” will last from about 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on that day. At its peak (11:33 a.m.) the moon will block 91 percent of the sun over Utah. People in a narrow band across Idaho and Wyoming will see a total eclipse.
The Taylorsville location (4870 South 2700 West) is one of 18 branches operated by Salt Lake County Library Services. Its average circulation of items is just under 45,000 per month.
“About 64 percent of our circulation is books,” Nave said. “That’s followed by DVDs (24 percent), CDs (5 percent) and books on CD (4 percent). The rest of our circulation includes various learning materials.”
The county library system’s overall annual budget is just under $40 million. The Taylorsville branch budget is just over $1 million.
“We have 19 employees, most of them part time,” Nave said. “That includes three librarians and two librarian assistants.”
And a 2008 Indiana University graduate as manager.
“My dad was originally from Logan, and I have aunts and uncles in the Salt Lake valley and Orem,” Nave added. “I had visited Utah several times before we moved here. It’s been a nice change, and I’m excited there was an opening in the county library system that turned out to be a good fit.”
The list of summer education activities has also included a “Harry Potter” camp, free movies, scavenger hunts and craft construction activities.
“We have about 14,000 visitors (at the Taylorsville library branch) each month,” Nave said. “We work hard to make it a fun learning experience—particularly for young people—so they will want to return. I love to serve a variety of people, including some who may never have used a computer before. The excitement you see when people learn something new is great.”