The historic Jerome Library just announced that it has a record-breaking number of library users at 409, just as the Town of Clarkdale prepares to close its library down June 30.
“I think our overall numbers will continue to increase,” explained Kathleen Jarvis, Jerome town librarian. She expected some of the Clarkdale patrons to come and use the Jerome Library.
Jarvis, who has been the town’s librarian for 15 years, said the Jerome Library has been in existence for almost 100 years and is located in the town’s municipal building. Before 2004, it was in the basement of the Mine Museum and in many other locations over the years.
The library in a small town the size of Jerome has several functions and this may contribute to its popularity, explained Jarvis.
First, the library has many books available to patrons, she said. Then upstairs, it has a unique “Old Book Room” that houses some of the 4,000 first-edition books the library has accumulated since it opened 100 years ago.
The books in the “Old Book Room,” unlike the books downstairs in the regular library, are not allowed to be checked out and a volunteer oversees visitors who want to view or read the books in the Old Book Room, she added. The books are “too valuable.”
Also popular at the library are the computers and high-speed internet access, Jarvis said, along with the DVD section.
People come to the Jerome Library because it’s a center of information about the town and its history, and a social gathering place, she added.
There are a lot of young people that pass though Jerome because it’s so popular, and for some reason they all come to the library and get a library card, she pointed out.
“I have been in meetings with Clarkdale Friends of the Library to discuss ways the Jerome Library can help provide service to Clarkdale residents although the majority of Clarkdale library users will likely use the Cottonwood library,” explained Jarvis in a letter to the Jerome Council.
“The increase in circulation and computer use at the Jerome Library will be tracked and reported to the Yavapai County Library district in our annual report,” she added.
Jarvis explained that many Clarkdale Library patrons were surveyed and asked: Which libraries would they go to, Jerome, Cottonwood or the college?
Some responders said they would go up to Jerome, where the Clarkdale Library cards will be valid and the members would be “welcomed,” she said. “I do expect them” Jarvis said.