Letter: Clarkdale Library is highly performing and its future is bright


I hope the editorialist who wrote “Community needs to make most of second chance for Clarkdale Library” was at the Clarkdale Town Park on July 4. He or she would have seen the community “stepping up to the plate” at the Friends of Clark Memorial Library’s kick-off booth.

Hundreds of people visited with us during the four-hour celebration. Right then and there, over 50 concerned citizens pledged their time and funds to help reopen their library. Most hadn’t read the good news: The Yavapai County Free Library District has a plan to take over management of CML and provide a librarian. Our library could reopen as early as October this year!

That’s the difference between passive and active surveillance, i.e. data collection. The editorialist must have known that passive surveys, while less time consuming and less work intensive, include the risk of under reporting, as in the passive surveys re: CML usage.

Your June 24 editorial again referenced the “under usage” of the library based on the passive methodology of these “various reports.” Please put this inaccurate phrase to rest. The reports referenced have been debunked. Both by door-to-door canvassing -- in which, of 473 households surveyed, less than 50 percent knew CML was being closed and 83 percent emphatically said CML should NOT be closed -- and by Yavapai County Library Network figures, which show CML was highly performing, with a 44-percent increase in circulation. The only known area of need was the absence of in-library programs.

With the YC Free Library District moving to rescue Clarkdale’s highly performing library, the real job now is getting word of this to the community that has supported Clark Memorial Library for 90 years.

Dr. Phil Dirksen



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ItsyBitsySpider 1 year, 7 months ago

That's telling them, Dr. Dirksen. However, if library patrons hadn't suffered in silence for so long, Clark Memorial Library would not have come to hanging by a thread. For many years, library advocates on the Council held the fort seemingly alone. And that's generally true of the downturn in Clarkdale's fortunes. I hope many more individuals follow your lead and see this near loss as an opportunity to speak for values that can't be quantified by numbers divorced from context.


Therese 1 year, 7 months ago

To Dr. Dirksen: Thanks for seconding my contention the people of Clarkdale didn't fail their library.

To ItsyBitsy Spider: Before one can speak out, one must know whereof one speaks. And library patrons are more justified in assuming a complaint to the library staff was heard than Council Members were in assuming their concern would be found by patrons combing Town Council minutes.


ItsyBitsySpider 1 year, 7 months ago

What? You doubt everyone spends every moment of every day combing official records, Ms Therese? What rural American backwater are you from?