It has been 10 years since the North Las Vegas Library District opened the Alexander Library to create a central location for residents.
The opening was the beginning of an innovative change, according to Forrest Lewis, director of the Library District. He was the manager when it opened and witnessed the library survive the city’s recession after library hours were reduced and half of the library staff was cut around 2011.
On Aug. 1, a crowd of residents, library personnel and city officials joined to celebrate the library’s 10th year.
“Before we opened up here, the closest library we had around was the West Las Vegas Library,” Lewis said. “This particular library is important to us because it’s central in comparison to the greater North Las Vegas area. Because of that we can offer different programs — programs specific to the demographic we serve. Today was about celebrating how far we’ve come.”
Garett Dacay of Summerlin began working at the library in 2015 as a children’s librarian. He has been the branch manager for two years. He started his career in the library by accident, he said, but has since developed a passion for helping people who come in.
“It’s one of the most exciting experiences I ever had,” said Dacay, 45. “I started from the bottom as a circulation assistant and worked my way to associate librarian at City Hall. This library has a diverse socioeconomic culture, so we get a little bit of all cultures. I feel at home. I think the biggest thing for me is the satisfaction of seeing the kids in story time and they’re learning their alphabet, learning their numbers and colors. That hits home because I have three kids.”
Cindy Garcia of North Las Vegas said she has visited the library since it opened.
“I was born and raised here,” said Garcia, 34. “I’ve been coming to this library for the past 10 years. I love that they have classes for the kids and people of all ages. Having this library here is important. Kids have so much free time when they’re not in school, and this allows them to keep learning — practicing their reading.”
Lewis said the branch is set to extend its hours at the end of October — allowing the library to stay open six days a week instead of three.
“This just really shows how far the city has come,” Lewis said. “We have support from city officials, our community. We just want to continue extending services that help them. We have classes for children, teens and adults — virtual reality, 3D printing, our one stop career center and CSN does a few classes for us. We want to continue to be of service to the community.”
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