June's Coachella Valley Spotlight of $25,000 goes to Friends of the Desert Hot Springs Library. The organization strives to go beyond the pages.
The Friends of the Library give people in the community, like library volunteers Charles Edmondson and his wife Pamela, a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
“This has become really the de facto community center for the city of Desert Hot Springs," said Charles. “Just the big thing is that we can now get out and do things and it's kind of fun seeing all the community.”
The Edmonson's volunteer in the DHS Library bookstore weekly.
“I have very little eyesight, and I expected them to say, 'Well, there's nothing you can really do for us.' But they still said, 'Hey, we want you and we need you,'" said Pamela.
The new 15,000-square-foot DHS library has only been open a year. Providing space for the community to gather and grow.
“There's been a decline in people visiting libraries and so we're doing everything in our power to change that and bring people in," said children services coordinator Mari Harris.
Harris wants to especially encourage local youth. There is a youth Summer Reading Program at the DHS library. You can sign up for it here.
DHS Library June Events and Programs:
“All of these prizes, and incentives, and programming really helps encourage [kids] to keep reading and to not go down that slope and they stay upping their literacy skills," said Harris.
The program is made possible with the $25,000 grant from the Berger Foundation. The grant will also help buy new tech like 3D printers, virtual reality headsets, and robotic lego sets for the library’s stem program.
“We're hoping to buy different equipment that at the schools probably wouldn't have access to that the children can come here can do a lot of hands-on learning," said the president of Friends of the DHS Library Linda Crowson. “We want to let the community know what's here, what's available, free to the public.”
The organization working to make the DHS library a place of lifelong learning for all in the community.
“I've always felt like the library is a reflection of our community and right now, we look pretty good," said Crowson.