Name changes to NCW Libraries next year
The local library system will be known as North Central Washington Libraries (NCW Libraries) starting next year, to make it easier to remember by simplifying the name but still keep the geographic identity.
The North Central Regional Library (NCRL) board approved the name change last month after evaluating the existing name.
The board agreed that “North Central” helps describe the location and identify the service area. But the committee that dissected the current name concluded that “Regional” “does not add to the name in a positive way … Every word in a name should have a strong purpose — the more words in a name, the harder it is for people to remember.”
Not surprisingly, the committee agreed that “Library” is a “crucial identifier,” but decided to make it plural because the system encompasses many libraries. The plural should help people make the connection between the overall library system and their local library, the committee said.
“NCW Libraries” is “clear and requires no explanation of who we are or where we are located” and would be “more memorable,” since most people in the service area already understand what NCW stands for,” according to the committee.
NCW Libraries also provides the potential “to connect with people on an emotional level,” since many have a deep reverence for North Central Washington and take pride in the area, according to the evaluation.
Because the library needs to develop a new logo and wants to do so in a fiscally responsible way, the new name won’t be fully launched until early next year, according to Communications Manager Michelle McNeil. The library was already planning to update signs, materials and digital spaces.
The library system was established in 1960. It now has 30 branches, serving more than 250,000 people in Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry and Grant counties. Covering 14,497 square miles, it is geographically the largest library in Washington.
NCRL was the first in the nation to offer books by mail order, and that service is one of the few still in existence. The organization still operates a bookmobile. Today the library also offers a variety of digital services, including the ability to download audio books and do extensive research online.