It’s happening at Clark Memorial Library!


October 19, CML’s Grand Reopening date, may seem like eons ago, but it’s truly amazing how much has been accomplished in the last 4 ½ months.

The transition from a historic Clarkdale Town Library to a historic Yavapai County Free Library District Branch Library went without a hitch. Three cheers for Third District Supervisor Randy Garrison, YCFLD Director Corey Christians, Assistant Library Director & County Librarian Susan Lapis, the District’s staff, Clarkdale Town Manager Gayle Mabery, and all the Town staff who aided in the seamless transfer!

Jeff King—who emerged from retirement to become CML’s new Library Coordinator—hit the ground reins in hand. An inspired choice on the part of YCFLD! In addition to puzzling out CML’s existing assets and getting to know regular patrons, Jeff has already introduced special features patrons have requested:

  1. Newspapers and magazines to peruse in-library

    Magazine rack
    The magazine rack is back. As of this writing, the rack is now filled with magazines and newspapers. Grab a coffee at Violette’s (in the caboose) and relax in an easy chair with your favorite reads.

    Jeff and the Town even tracked down and retrieved CML’s antique, solid oak magazine rack to hold them. Here you’ll find current issues of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Arizona Republic, and The Verde Independent, as well as National Geographic’s History magazine, The Atlantic, AARP, Smithsonian, Mother Jones, and WebMD (these all on subscriptions funded by FCML or donated by patrons). Plus, various issues of magazines donors thought might be of interest, such as Arizona Highways, Country Gardens, The New Yorker, and Sunset Magazine.

    Come take a look. Back issues will be held for at least a month, then either discarded or returned to the donor. And be sure to tell Jeff if there’s a publication you’re dying to read in the comfort of CML’s easy chairs.

  2. Seed bank and crafts materials dispensary

    Jeff with magazine rack
    Seed-bank-to-be and vinyl-to-CD copier

    Early on, the Clarkdale Historical Society offered to return the beautiful, antique card catalog to CML, where it belongs. Jeff’s now looking for the right volunteer to stock it with seeds patrons can check out, plant, harvest, and share back—and with craft supplies for use in the library. Again, let him know if this is a project you’d like to see happen—especially if you’d like to be the one to facilitate it.

  3. 33-1/3rd transfer to CD Rom

    CML patrons can now back-up their irreplaceable vinyl record collection in the library free of charge. Ask Jeff for details.

  4. Notary Public

    This just implemented. Patrons can now have documents notarized without charge at Clark Memorial Library…or any branch of the Yavapai County Free Library District.

  5. New print and DVDs on the shelves

    Especially DVDs. Right now, while Jeff is getting acquainted with the community and purchasing procedures are being worked out, new titles come mostly from donors. The library has first choice of all book and AV donations. One day, Supervisor Garrison brought in a trove of DVD titles, many of which weren’t available in the entire Yavapai Library Network.

    Come see what’s new. And spend a while chatting about what you, personally, would like to have added next.

  6. More people in the library

    The first couple of months were a shadow of former figures. Closure took a bite out of library usage, especially kids whose parents had to make other arrangements and adults who needed computers NOW. However, CML’s circulation numbers bounced back as on-line browsers discovered they could again pick-up and drop-off at their favorite library. And wonder of wonders, more and more patrons dropped in, saying, “Gee, I thought the library closed.” And they stayed. And they came back. By the end of February, walk-in visits were significantly over any monthly average in recent memory.

  7. Planning for CML’s first-in-a-long-time Summer Reading Program (featuring Paleontology and Archaeology, we hear) is well under way. If you have K-3 or older children and would like to help out, come by and see Jeff King. For that matter, you’re welcome even if your kids are raising your grandkids in another state—or if you never had any. This is where serious consideration of all in-library programs and services right for Clarkdale begins.

Art at the Clark (new program name, long-standing CML community offering) came back the month after CML reopened, thanks to Mary Liggit, one of FCML’s Founding Friends. Working directly with “Our Librarian,” she arranged for MUHS Photography Instructor Oouida Dorr to mount an exhibition of her Mingus Union High School Photography Students’ outstanding work throughout December 2017 and most of January. This didn’t get the attention it deserved because T & D were recuperating from two book sales and trying to get the bookstore completed.

However, Mary then compiled a whole season showcasing superb local artists of all ages.

  • Mary relaxes next to the foyer display
    yarn bomb and other displays
    Top, then left to right: Mary relaxes after setting up displays, yarn bomb, displays throughout the library

    If you hurry, you can still enjoy the exciting Verde Valley Weavers & Spinners Guild “We love fiber” exhibit, now through March 30, during library hours: Monday through Thursday from 1:00 to 5:30 pm, and Friday mornings from 8:00 am to noon. The show features the amazing craft of Rainbow Acres artists and Shirley Eichten Albrecht, Mary Flaisig, Betty Gaudy, Lillian Hildebrand, Mary Liggit, Cass Schorsch, Char Soverns, Jill Suydam, and Carolyn Van Sant, plus the Guild’s take on “yarn bombing.”

    And if you do catch the show, your frazzled library volunteers would greatly appreciate a quick comment to the Verde Independent February 17 article at Or better yet, a short note to about your favorite pieces and thanking Mary for arranging to bring them to CML.

  • Coming up, the talented students of C-J Art Teacher Erika Bergamini will exhibit Clarkdale-Jerome School Artistry beginning April 2 and running through April 30.

  • Then you’ll have an up close and personal view of The Art of Basketry from May 1 through June 29.

  • Just in time for Clarkdale’s Independence Day festivities, an exhibition of paintings by Sallie Parke Cross, Eclectic Painter from July 2 through August 31.

  • And helping celebrate Clark Memorial Library’s 91st birthday, Michael Bolen, Ceramic Artist from September 4 through October 31.

Bookstore and book sale
Carol & Therese shelve books
From top, then left to right: bookstore, gala grand opening book sale, Frank inspects the finished shelves and buys books, Therese hands books to Carol for shelving.

The Friends Bookstore now resides and operates in what used to be Joni Westcott’s office, just as you enter the library from the foyer. Here are the highlights of what it took to get here:

  • The District allocated this space for a bookstore after the entire Verde Valley so generously donated 6,500 to 7,000 books for the Grand Reopening Celebration.

  • Library Volunteers Frank Lombardo and David Perrell constructed the shelving to make the most of every available inch, and managed to accomplish this for a whopping $278.16 in materials—not counting the lumber donated by Home Depot.

  • And Library Volunteers Carol Cain and Therese Hearn washed & painted walls and then deliberated, sorted, & shelved the some 1000 books currently on display.

Open during all library hours (M – Th 1:00 to 5:30 pm and Fri. 8:00 am to noon), the Bookstore is managed by Library Volunteers and sponsored by FCML. All sales go to expanding CML’s print and AV collection and funding in-library programs.

Currently, books are sorted into 36 categories, with each category representing only a fraction of books held in storage. And the flow of donated books hasn’t stopped.

Patrons not finding a desired title in a specific genre can make an appointment to have more cartons brought in. Books sold are replaced daily, and to assure the widest possible selection of titles by favorite authors, the most popular genres are rotated frequently.

There’s a special in-library Bag-a-bargain Book Sale leading up to St. Paddy’s Day—March 14, 15, and 16 during library hours and Friday afternoon on the stairs if the weather permits. For just $12 a bag, you can stuff paper bags full of all the Mysteries, Thrillers, and Cookbooks you can stagger away with. Please! The storage unit’s nearly full. Friends don’t want to turn books away like everyone else. For details, see the next post.

For more Bookstore information, call Jeff King at (928) 634-5423. He’ll connect you with the Friends Bookstore attendant. Or you can email

Friends of Clark Memorial Library, Inc., an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3), Arizona non-profit corporation dedicated to funding CML’s print & AV collection and in-library programs, has been collecting the annual $12,000 it pledged to reopen Clark Memorial Library on October 19, 2017—and doing a fine job, both of managing income and minimizing organizational expenses.

  • From zilch, FCML has banked over $11,000 in general donations and book sales. And this is without hitting up Clarkdale’s usual deep-pocket donors. The Clarkdale-Jerome Lion’s Club donated their closeout fund—$3,500—to further the salvation of CML. FCML Board Members put up over $2,000, and several individuals donated $100 or more. But the balance came from smaller donations and sales of books generally priced at $1 to $5, proving far beyond doubt that the Clarkdale community at large truly wants and needs its library.

  • In addition to income intended to augment its $12,000-or-bust drive, FCML has received donations honoring long-time Clarkdale activist Winnie Bohall, whose unflagging support of CML extended over a decade. These donations go into a memorial fund for acquisition of a long-term item—something solid that the library really needs and that Winnie would have approved.

  • So far, FCML has funded the CML newspaper subscriptions that give the library an opportunity to test patrons’ interest over a six-month period and has provided Jeff with a debit account to facilitate urgent materials purchases. YCFLD examination of best procedure for major print and AV purchases has concluded, and substantial collection upgrades should begin this month—although they may not appear on the shelves until next month, due to the District’s processing time requirements.

  • Su Casa
    From left to right: John Sherman, Bill Scales, Mary Liggit, Therese Hearn, Jimmy Salmon, Sybil Melody, Richard Dehnert, Krysta Dehnert, Zana Dirksen, and Phil Dirksen. (David Perrell is hiding behind the camera.)

    And thanks to the time donated by Sybil Malinowski Melody, former corporate lawyer and FCML’s reluctant Recording & Correspondence Secretary; David Perrell, virtually retired graphic & computer-program designer and reluctant book manager; and Therese Hearn, former arts promotion specialist and not-so-reluctant Bookstore attendant…plus the willingness of FCML Treasurer Bill Scales, FCML VP Fundraising “Dr. Phil” Dirksen, FCML VP Operations John Sherman, and FCML President and Clarkdale Postmaster Jimmy Salmon to cover incidental items out of their own pockets…corporate, operational, and promotional expenses have been limited to State and Federal filing fees, renting the Clark Memorial Auditorium for the Grand Reopening Celebration and Book Sale, helping Made In Clarkdale feed the multitude attending the recombined annual Artist’s Showcase and Book Sale, minor fees for booth space in the Clarkdale Town Park, some liability insurance, some shelving materials for the Friends Bookstore, a wee bit for in-library holiday decorations, and $50 a month for book-storage space. And negotiations to receive the same Clarkdale Civic NPC annual rate for use of Town facilities as MIC & Clarkdale Historical Society are well underway.

Organizational matters that had to wait until after our Library Coordinator arrived and took charge of CML operations have been resolved. The corporation recently voted on a new set of by-laws that prioritizes fund-raising and retains the non-member NPC designation for the time being, with a clause that allows filing new articles of incorporation without revising the by-laws. (For those of you who checked interest in FCML membership on the Befriending CML cards, this means there won’t be a formal membership drive in the near future. It does not mean the current FCML Board of Directors doesn’t want to invite you to join the Board and assume functions for which no volunteer currently exists—such as Chairman of the Board, VP Membership, or someone who truly wants to serve as Recording or Corresponding Secretary. It’s very difficult to recruit and appoint committees such as hospitality or events when you don’t have a single Director who is good at coordinating officers and planning overall activities. Please, today, email if such organizational leadership positions appeal to you.)

This settled, it became obvious that everyone contributing time to CML’s success is a Library Volunteer. Those helping FCML raise & manage funds and stay organized are friends of the FCML Board of Directors, as well. Those helping out with library tasks or overseeing the Bookstore should look to the Library Coordinator for direction as needed. (For those of you who checked interest in in-library volunteering, don’t worry about formal applications yet. This relates to county, state, and federal regulations—mainly, those involving insurance and programs that entail interaction with minors. At this point, just talk with Jeff about how your specific interests and strengths could be used. If there’s a formal path that must be followed, he’ll explain it on an individual basis; if other volunteers are already working along the same lines, he’ll introduce you.)

Now that FCML’s structure aligns with CML’s current needs and human resources, work on community outreach and communications can go forward.

  • The FCML website originally created to promote the Grand Reopening will be developed into a general public resource for FCML, Friends Bookstore, and Clark Memorial Library information (augmenting, not supplanting the YCFLD official website at

  • On-line donation to CML through FCML is currently available at, but it’s down below the Grand Reopening promotion. This will be corrected as the website is developed.

  • The somewhat haphazard existing “Saving Clark Memorial Library” Facebook page will be developed into an expanding Social Media network as soon a true social media maven has been recruited. ‘Til then, frazzled Library Volunteers will soldier on as time permits.

  • Meanwhile, specific event and program promotion will concentrate on tried-and-true methods of reaching the Clarkdale community. The Clarkdale Town news organ, “Small Talk,” has already begun running CML items from Jeff and featuring library events on the Town website. The Bag-a-bargain Book Sale offered a hook for papering Upper Town with CML posters. The VVW&S Guild exhibition garnered a nice article in the VI. The Summer Reading Program both warrants and requires a concerted media and door-to-door effort to fully involve this community in one season.

This increased awareness, in turn, supports FCML plans to approach corporate donors for specific program costs and acquisitions, attract annuities, and ultimately, prospect for library grant funding.

That’s all as of today. Quite a bit for four months into a major transition period for CML and relatively uncharted waters for FCML.

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