CNCC representatives want extended library hours

As a 10-year member of the Colorado Northwestern Community College Found-ation, Lois Wymore is an advocate for its students.

Her latest endeavor is seeking grants to extend hours at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries and rehire an administrative assistant for the nursing program.

Wymore attended Philan--thropy Days earlier this month in Granby to connect with granting agencies throughout the state.

"When I went, I specifically asked about things we need at this campus," she said. "The big thing is (students) have no place to study. They have no library on this campus."

She has heard from students and instructors that it's frustrating to not have somewhere to do their work.

"A lot of it is just getting someplace quiet where you can study," she said. "(The college) is just so full, and there's just so many classes."

Many students use the community library as their study zone. However, the hours make it difficult for the students to get much work done.

Many of CNCC's students are non-traditional, Wymore said. They work full-time and then take classes at night.

The library's current hours are 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. On Saturday, the library is closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. and is closed all day Sunday.

Wymore aims to win grant money that will allow the library to be open late, at least until 10 p.m., one night a week, and available at least five hours on Sundays. She wants to keep the library open over lunch on Saturdays as well.

She presented this idea to the Moffat County Libraries Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 19, and the board permitted her to go ahead with research into grants.

"I have always wanted the library open seven days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day," Executive Director Donna Watkins said. "But financial concerns have prevented that."

So Wymore is looking into grants from agencies she learned about at Philanthropy Days, such as the Gay and Lesbian Fund, El Pomar Foundation, Caring for Colorado Foundation and the Daniels Fund. The Daniels Fund has given as much as $25,000 to libraries in the past.

Becky Dubbert, CNCC's coordinator of marketing and grants, will be working with Wymore on the applications. Wymore has no dollar amount in mind.

"I'm going to go for as much as I can get," she said.

Watkins said keeping the library open requires hiring another full-time employee, which also includes benefits.

"That's quite a commitment," she said.

She does not want to let someone go after only a year, either.

Changing the hours back and forth would confuse the public too.

"You're better off to do something well, than to do it short-term and have it end," Watkins said.

Wymore shares her concern. "I'd like to do this so we have enough funding for at least two years," she said.

She's hoping she gets the support she needs to continue with the grant application process, because students are not the only ones who would benefit from a more-accessible library.

"This is really important," Wymore said. "It could be a win-win thing for the whole community."

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or mperry@craigdailypress.com

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