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Paddleboard rentals are going swimmingly for North Logan Library

By Valentino Warren

The North Logan City Library has added paddleboards to its inventory as part of an effort to attract more of a vital demographic.

The popular outdoor adventure rentals join Kindles, talk-like-a-pirate training software, Nerf swords, movies and, of course, books as items available for borrowers.

The effort to diversify the library’s collections began four years back, when library director Adam Winger was reviewing the organization’s annual report and realized the library was not serving a key group.

"We barely had services for users between the ages 10 and 19, which is North Logan's most populous group," Winger said. "The paddleboards have generated 15 calls a day — without advertising."

The library is the first in Utah to rent paddleboards.

Paddleboarders are propelled by a swimming motion using their arms or paddles while lying, kneeling, or standing on a board in a large body of water.

By reforming and catering to such an important part of the public, Winger said, the library has been able to re-connect with a younger demographic.

“A library is not just about books; it is a place of learning and bringing more people to the library is the ultimate goal,” said Winona Perry, the president of Friends of the North Logan Library, a group that works to help the library meet its financial needs.

Circulation desk supervisor Judi Poorte, who coordinates children events, described Winger as the perfect complement in the library’s plan to focus on youth, saying he was an outside-the-box thinker.

Along those lines, the library will be hosting a Marvel Comics-themed party in the spring with 75 youth who have completed 20 to 30 hours of community service.

Library patron Ashley Smith said she appreciates the effort.

"The library is fun now," the 8-year-old said.