Working in a satellite
Dec 01, 2010 | 4500 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
by Marcia Hadenfeldt
Bluff Satellite Librarian

One of the more intriguing pastimes I’ve adopted since moving to the desert southwest is watching for satellites in the night sky. While I spent many nights in a sleeping bag on camping trips tracing the routes of satellites as they arc silently across the pitch black back-country sky, now, I can do that just sitting on my front porch in Bluff because we have such a dark night-sky here in rural Utah.

Imagine my joy, then, when I was hired to work in a satellite! I thought it was going to be a wondrous experience soaring through the sky in a satellite that others would be tracking amidst the stars.

Then reality: I would be working in a satellite right here on earth – The BLUFF LIBRARY! And yet, just as intriguing…

I track books as they leave for and return from the homes of my friends and neighbors in Bluff. I am spellbound by the stories I find in the children’s books, fascinated by the non-fiction I encounter as reference, embroiled in the drama of the mystery I choose to read, enlightened as the world is brought to Bluff through cyberspace and cheered by my interaction with old friends and new acquaintances each time I open the library doors.

At the end of 2009, the San Juan County Library System discontinued the Book Mobile, whose routes had provided library services for the small out-lying towns in the county.

The Library Board determined that the budget was better served by installing small satellite libraries in those towns. Now, in La Sal, Monument Valley, Montezuma Creek and Bluff, the libraries are providing patrons of all ages with thousands of choices of fiction and non-fiction books, audio books, movies and computer and internet services.

Just prove that you’ve got a local county address and you’ve got the world at your fingertips! And if we don’t have what you need in one of our county libraries, we just go on-line and order it through the interlibrary loan service.

Montezuma Creek’s Satellite Library is in the UNDC House #22, next to San Juan Counseling. It is run by Stephanie Whipple from 2 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

Stephanie says, “I love my job! I’ve always been of in awe of the book-lined shelves in the library and now I get to work in one. What could be better?

“Come visit us at the library,” says Karry Deeter, who runs the La Sal satellite located in the Community Center on Hwy 46, right next to the school.

She is there from 2 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. Karry suggests perusing the local bulletin boards and the library’s Facebook page for upcoming events and reminds moms to bring the kids in for Story Hour on Thursdays at 1 p.m.

The southern end of the county is covered by the library in Monument Valley High School. Sara Gosney is there from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

Coming in 2011, the farthest reaching satellite will be at Navajo Mountain, where it will open in the high school library.

And then there’s my satellite. While you won’t spy it cruising through the sky, you can find it easily enough right in front of the Bluff Fire Station. The library is located in the old “jail” building which, curiously enough, was once the Bluff Library.

Now acting as the office and meeting space for the Bluff Service Area, it has taken on a custom-made new look, lined with jam-packed bookshelves.

The Bluff Library is open Monday and Wednesday from 2 to 7 p.m. (except we close at 6 p.m. on the nights when the service area has a meeting).

So, if you, too, are intrigued by satellites, we hope you visit your nearest one and bring home a touch of wonder.
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