When retiring Library Director Carol Lloyd came to Fallon in 2012, she was drawn to the opportunity to put all her experience in libraries and book selling to use for the good of the community.
“I could say yes to suggestions and ideas without having to ask permission and was pretty much responsible for what did or didn’t happen,” Lloyd said. “It was exciting to have the latitude to try what I thought would be best for the community. I think we have been successful because my staff and I are passionate about what we do for the community.”
She is quick to credit her staff with bringing new projects and ideas to interest library patrons. “The staff is enthusiastic and get things done and I have every confidence the projects will be done well,” Carol said.
When she first stepped into the library, Lloyd saw a world of opportunity to make things more accessible for the community. After learning the county had been putting aside resources for a new building and then getting the approval of the Library Board of Trustees, she offered to repurpose the library with that funding rather than build a new facility because the county had taken very good care of the building over the years. She cites the library’s new roof and parking lot as examples of improvements made prior to her arrival in 2012.
The repurposing project was a refresh of the existing collection and facility. Unused and damaged items were removed, and new materials brought in. “We added downloadable materials, built a new website and rebranded the library,” she said.
“We upgraded the windows and the electrical system, added new lighting, new shelving and new furniture,” she said. Wheels were added to the furniture to allow for more flexibility of the existing space. CC Communications came in and cleaned up the technology and internet issues previously experienced.
A new RFID system, funded by the Churchill Library Association, was brought in to allow patrons to self-checkout and streamline that process to free up staff to help the public in other ways.
“The repurposing happened because the county had set aside funding and we worked well with Facilities and the Comptroller’s Office to get it completed,” Lloyd said.
All this was done while the library remained open in the annex building. The repurposed library was rededicated in spring 2015 with a new focus on programming for the public.
“Our circulation skyrocketed after the repurposing because people can see what we have,” Lloyd said.
Once repurposed, the library became a hub for activities for children and adults. Outreach to schools, the Fallon Youth Club and the CARE program brought new faces into the library. Events sprouted up in partnership with other community organizations. The Churchill County School District, various artists groups, the Fallon Chamber of Commerce, Banner Churchill Community Hospital, Enel North America, and the Churchill County Museum are all examples of community organizations that hold events in conjunction with the library or have had displays on view at the library.
Library programming has grown tremendously in most every measurable category under Lloyd’s leadership:
- Fiscal Year 2013-14: 179 programs offered; attended by 3,991 patrons
- Fiscal Year 2016-17: 345 programs; 10,187 patrons
- Fiscal Year 2018-19: 566 programs; 13,818 patrons
Books for Babies at Banner Churchill Community Hospital, the Summer Reading program, partnering with Enel North America to bring drones into the library, increasing children’s story time from two- to three-times-a-week, children’s crafts, e-books, streaming video services, a carnival, employment workshops, Young Shakes, Taiko drum performances, artists receptions, knitting club, a writing group, Empty Bowls, virtual reality and 3-D printing are just some of the programs and events brought into the library over the past decade, all of which serve to bring people together and form a sense of community.
In 2021, Lloyd launched a strategic planning process to cover the years 2022-2026. The purpose of the strategic planning process was to identify and understand the needs of the community so that the library can plan to meet those needs.
She pulled together a task force to give a voice to a vision for the community focusing on opportunity, engagement, respect and interconnectedness. The goal was to plan a course of action and be responsive to the growing needs of the community by extending the benefits of the library throughout the community.
The strategic plan focused on maximizing opportunity for the community through expansion, outreach and access and identified specific tactics for accomplishing each of those goals in the coming years.
Praise for leadership
Kelli Kelly, who sits on the Library Board of Trustees, sees Lloyd as being very inspirational for the library staff. “Carol lets staff take the reins of the projects they care about without micromanaging them. She recognizes her team and gives them opportunities to pursue the projects they are passionate about while giving them what they need for success,” Kelly said.
She credits Lloyd as the embodiment of a library which is connected to the community and the threads that help hold that community together. “The library has been connected and involved with other organizations and is a relevant community partner by hosting events, contributing assets and co-sponsoring programs. Libraries are important to the community and Carol is a strong advocate for the library in this community. She makes sure it is accessible to all.”
County Commission Chair Bus Scharmann praised Lloyd’s ability to effectively deal with pressures that have unexpectedly risen and said she has done a great job in her role.
For her part, Lloyd is quick to give praise to others, including county staff, who have helped her during her time at the Churchill County Library:
“Geof Stark is fantastic as human resources director and is the best I’ve ever worked with. Former Comptroller Alan Kalt really looked out for the library by putting away resources for our repurposing effort and helped me learn how the county works. Facilities was instrumental in the repurposing and remain so to this day. My board is strong and very involved.”
“I’m very grateful to be in a community that appreciates its library and the open access to information it provides,” Lloyd said. “The county has been generous with the resources to do what needed to be done with the repurposing in conjunction with the Churchill Library Association.”
She went on to say that being library director at the Churchill County Library has been the pinnacle of her career because it coalesced all she had previously learned.
Anyone wanting to acknowledge her work and contribution to the community can do so by making a donation to the Churchill County Library Association. This organization is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions are tax deductible. They can be mailed or dropped off at the library.