Thursday, March 26, 2009 | midnight
During the 12-year tenure of Henderson’s Mayor James B. Gibson, Nevada’s second-largest city has grown at an unprecedented rate, with Henderson’s population currently at more than 270,000 residents. With that growth, the Henderson District Public Libraries has kept up with meeting the demand of residents.
While many people are reading online, public libraries are more relevant now, because they provide several innovative programs and services. Currently, Henderson Libraries maintains five locations, as well as a book mobile. It also has plans for future expansion.
One plan includes replacing the existing James I. Gibson Library with a fresh, new library to be located in the Lake Mead Crossing shopping center at Lake Mead and Water Street. This will occur in 2010.
“Henderson is known throughout the country for its high quality of life, and Henderson Libraries has played a significant role in creating that quality of life for our residents,” Gibson said. “By promoting literacy and a love of learning through the many programs, services and resources they provide, Henderson Libraries has truly made the city of Henderson a better place to live.”
In 1999, the Friends of Henderson Libraries was founded to expand and enrich informational, educational, cultural and recreational opportunities in the Henderson community. The nonprofit organization has made it its mission to advocate and communicate on behalf of, as well as support, Henderson Libraries.
In 2003, Henderson Libraries opened the Paseo Verde Library, the district’s largest library.
In 2004, the mayor and Henderson city council pledged community support to help educators and families assist children in learning to read. Soon thereafter, Gibson and Dr. Lauren Kohut-Rost, former Southeast Region superintendent for the Clark County School District, assembled a group of parents, teachers, principals and city representatives to meet and create what has become known as the APPLE (All People Promoting Literacy Efforts) Partnership. Henderson Libraries has been a proud supporter and partner of this reading effort since its inception.
In 2005, Henderson Libraries’ Lydia Malcolm Library relocated to a larger building, and there are plans to expand into the rest of the building.
The district’s most recent addition is the Galleria Library at the Galleria at Sunset, which celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 28. A relatively rare concept, the Galleria Library is Southern Nevada’s only library within a mall setting. The 1,300-square-foot space is used for checking out popular best-sellers and high-interest books and also has space for family literacy programming that focuses on prekindergarten literacy skills.
Henderson Libraries also officially acquired the Green Valley Library from the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District in January after successfully resolving boundary issues in 2005. The building is currently undergoing a four-month renovation, which includes new service desks, redesigned seating areas, a Friends of Henderson Libraries bookstore and a new computer center.
Recently, Henderson Libraries also has partnered with the city of Henderson’s Parks and Recreation Department to open a branch in the Heritage Park senior facility, which will be among Nevada’s largest senior centers, in late summer.
For library locations, hours of operation, directions and more information logon to mypubliclibrary.com