Clarkdale’sPublic Library

Friends of Clark Memorial Library

Friends at Caboose
Tenacious advocates at Violette’s, from left: Jimmy Salmon, Sybil Malinowski Melody, John Sherman, Bill Scales, Mary Liggit, Dr. Phil Dirksen, Zana Dirksen, Therese Hearn, and David Perrell.

On May 23, 2017, the Clarkdale Town Council voted to defund the town’s historic library.

Outspoken advocates for retaining the library were disappointed but not deterred. Although library services for Clarkdale residents would end June 30, those services would one day be restored…


  • funds purchase of books, videos, newspaper & magazine subscriptions, and other material to educate, enlighten, and entertain.
  • funds programs and activities of interest to the local community.
  • promotes usage of library facilities, resources, and services.
  • promotes local artists through Art at The Clark exhibitions.

On June 1, ten tenacious advocates met outside Violette’s Bakery Café to discuss a way forward. They expeditiously selected a board of directors for a non-profit library friends group to be incorporated as “Friends of Clark Memorial Library” with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Incorporation was effective June 16, and planning began for a book drive and donation booths at town events.

Meanwhile, Yavapai County Free Library District Director Corey Christians, impressed with the outpouring of community support prior to closure, was working with Clarkdale Town Manager Gayle Mabery on a proposal to have YCFLD take over operation of Clark Memorial Library. YCFLD would fund a library manager plus basic operational expenses. Clarkdale would maintain the building. FCML would be expected to raise $12,000 annually for materials and programs. The proposal was announced June 22 in the Verde Independent newspaper.

Library lovers thoughout the Verde Valley responded generously with books and cash. And with Supervisor Randy Garrison’s support, an InterGovernmental Agreement was approved by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors and the Clarkdale Town Council in time for YCFLD to facilitate a Grand Reopening Celebration and Book Sale on October 19, CML’s 90th Anniversary. (The book sale raised more than $3,000. An additional $3,500 donation presented by Dave Andrews on behalf of the Clarkdale-Jerome Lions Club put FCML well on the way to its fundraising goal.)

…and here we are, with CML operating smoothly and FCML’s first-year funding goal surpassed. But, to achieve its mission, FCML needs community involvement as well as support.

FCML will always need monetary donations to fulfill its obligation. But FCML also needs capable people able to take necessary roles in the organization. Can YOU help maintain CML as a community resource?

What can FCML do to attract more involvement from Clarkdale residents? What could CML be offering that would increase patronage? What might make this website more attractive for regular visits?

To offer your time and/or suggestions, please connect with FCML.

To make a financial contribution, please click the DONATE button below to access a secure PayPal page. Or, if you prefer, send a check or money order via USPS to: FCML, PO Box 301, Clarkdale, AZ 86324.

(This and other FRIENDS pages are subject to evolution. Check back occasionally.)