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Bisbee library named best small library in nation

BISBEE, Ariz. — An Arizona library took home a top national honor. Library Journal named The Copper Queen Library in Bisbee as the best small library in the country.

“This award really recognizes the hard work of all small and rural libraries across the country,” said the library’s Manager, Jason Macoviak. “It really brings recognition to everyone’s hard work.”

Copper Queen is the oldest continuously-run library in the entire state.

“We began in 1882,” said Macoviak. “That’s before Arizona even achieved statehood. It was still a territory at that time.”

The space is home to 40,000 books. But to the Bisbee community, it’s so much more than a library.

“We have movies, we have music CDs, we have a library of things, and a seed library,” said the library’s Program Coordinator, Alison Williams. “We have 45 hotspots that we check out to patrons. There’s always a waitlist, and we are bringing internet into their homes.”

The library also has an annex in the San Jose neighborhood to provide resources to adults and kids.

The institution honors its deep history with the support of volunteers and community partners. But they are also looking toward the future.

“Communities who might have fewer resources in a small and rural town- how do we provide the resources that the community needs,” said Williams. “That has always been the role of a library. But finding new ways to incorporate that, being able to provide resources to this community, is a really important thing.”


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