Page Public Library, Community Heartbeat | Best Small Library In America, 2023
Libraries are many things to their communities—and sometimes, they’re everything. The Page Public Library, on the northern Arizona border, is considered not just a library but the essential core of the community. “No matter what people need, they call the library,” says Lynn Cormier, director of several departments for the City of Page, including the library. “If I say, ‘You should call City Hall,’ they say, ‘No, I’m going to call the library.’”
Plenty of what the Page Library does looks, on the surface, like traditional work: book and media checkouts, expanded children’s and teen services, programming and outreach for the local senior center. But other needs have been systematically addressed, as needed, in recent years. The library has helped Canyonlands Urgent Care get out the word about a Naloxone vending machine set up at the city’s community center, and stocked items for checkout like bicycles, camping and pickleball equipment, and baking pans. Coconino Community College asks the library to help with customer service classes or to give instruction on APA or MLA formats. The library, college, and local Marriott partner on a job fair most recently attended by 45 businesses and more than 400 job seekers. And that’s just the beginning.
“The only way to describe the Page Public Library is to call it the heartbeat of our city!” says Cormier. “It is the essential organ which continually pumps life-sustaining oxygen into all facets of our city and surrounding areas, including businesses, community organizations, and our municipal departments.” The metaphor is apt; the library, with its staff of nine, has become a lifeline, serving adults, students, and businesses in creative and critical ways. For its sustaining work, Page Library is the recipient of LJ’s 2023 Best Small Library in America Award, sponsored by Ingram Content Group.