Garry Wilmeth, president of the library’s board of directors, joined Mayor Kelly Anderson and City Manager Rick Buss for the official signing of the papers completing the donation of the Maricopa Community Library and its assets to the City on Tuesday, August 24th.
City Manager Rick Buss (left) awaits his chance to ink the deal being signed by Mayor Kelly Anderson (center) and Garry Wilmeth, president of the Library’s board of directors (right).
The management of the library is now assumed by Martin McDonald, director of the City’s Parks, Recreation and Library department. At the ceremony, Mr. McDonald said “This is the culmination of four and a half months of hard work and planning.” Mayor Anderson said the timing of the acquisition was impeccable and is “good for everyone in the City.”
This was certainly a momentous occasion considering all the challenges the library faced through the years and the enormous support the community provided to maintain it. Often running the operation with just $300 in the bank, Mr. Wilmeth recalled that “there were times we did not know if we were going to be able to pay the electric bill.” Longtime volunteer and Board member Mary Lou Smith added that the Maricopa Cultural Activities Center and Library “always had a home if meager at times… we were in the jail at one time!”
Mr. Buss indicated the City is making a very good investment by acquiring the library. “The library is very important for raising the quality of life and attracting economic activity.” To that end, Mr. McDonald announced that two paid (part time) and several volunteer positions would be added in the immediate future. These positions will be posted on the City’s web site in the coming days.
Mayor Anderson, Linda Wilmeth and Martin McDonald reflect on old times viewing a scrapbook documenting the library’s long history.
According to library director Linda Wilmeth, the library sees 3-5 new patrons each day. With the addition of the City’s resources and more regular hours, the library is expected to surpass the 100% growth it has enjoyed the last two years.
Members of the Library Board and Library Advisory Committee on hand at the ceremony include (left to right): Cynthia Matthes, Linda Wilmeth (front), Lee Pierce (back), Shelly Gillespie (front), Pat Lacey (back), Mary Lou Smith, Jane Henig, Hermina Anderson, Garry Wilmeth (not pictured: Kathy Lacey and Marisa McDonald)
The library’s first day in Maricopa in June 1987. The building originally was a barracks building moved from Williams Air Force.
The library’s volunteer corp in 1987 included some familiar faces (left to right): Unknown, Mary Lou Smith, Billie Choate, Marie Drake, Camille Snow, Arlene Snow, Gladdys Story, Jum Sarvary, Hermina Anderson.
The library 17 years later.