Garfield County Libraries celebrates 75 years of service |

Garfield County Libraries celebrates 75 years of service

Kelsy Been
Garfield County Libraries
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Contributed photoThe new Silt Branch Library opened in October 2012. New libraries in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs will open later this year, completing Garfield County Libraries' capital campaign.

Garfield County Libraries is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013. This momentous milestone provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our past, look to the future, and celebrate 75 years of providing library services and resources to our communities.

With the scheduled opening of new libraries in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs later this year, Garfield County Libraries has a lot to celebrate.

When we look at where Garfield County Libraries has been, we can really appreciate where we are today, as well as be excited about where we are headed in the future.

Garfield County Libraries got its start in 1938 when the Garfield County Public Library was established as a Works Progress Administration project in New Castle. This single library served all of Garfield County, and enthusiastic patrons from all over the county used the full resources of the library and were always ready to say a good word for it.

Prior to this, several communities had small town libraries, including Rifle and Glenwood Springs.

In 1964, the Carbondale City Library became the first branch of the county library system, followed by the Glenwood Springs City Library in 1969, the Rifle Library in 1976, the Silt Library in 1980, and finally, the Parachute Library in 1982.

County voters approved a 0.5 percent sales tax in 1982, which funded the construction of four new library facilities in Silt, Rifle, Parachute and Carbondale. Up to this point, the libraries were housed in schools, offices, and even in a mobile home.

By the time Garfield County Libraries celebrated its 50th anniversary, it had opened six new libraries that were better able to serve our communities.

In 2008, voters approved a 1 mill levy of property tax to support the construction and operation of six new library buildings. Since beginning our capital campaign in 2008, Garfield County Libraries has constructed a new facility to house the Rifle Branch Library and district administration, completed expanded remodels of the Parachute and New Castle branches, and opened a new Silt Branch Library that is three times the size of the previous facility.

In our 75th year, Garfield County Libraries will finish this capital campaign by opening a new Carbondale Branch Library mid-summer, and the new Glenwood Springs Branch Library by early fall. With these six new libraries, we have expanded access to library materials, programming, computers and other resources to our communities. That’s something to celebrate!

To celebrate our 75th anniversary, Garfield County Libraries is highlighting 75 things that are great about public libraries every month. For January, we’ve created a list for parents of the 75 best books for kids to have read to them by age 5, as well as a list of 75 Colorado books and authors for older readers.

February is Library Lovers Month and Garfield County Libraries is celebrating by offering our members a chance to eliminate overdue fines by donating food to LIFT-UP.

Don’t forget to stop by your library or go online to check out the latest program offerings at your local branch!

Learn the science and skills needed for homebrewing beer at the Silt Branch Library from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. This Big Read event will be taught by a local award-winning homebrewer and president of the High Altitude Mashers homebrewing club.

The demonstration will cover the creation of a popular beer style from start to finish sampling of a pre-made homebrew.

All participants must be 21 years of age, or older. There is a limit of 30 individuals.

To register, contact the Silt Branch Library at 876-5500.

Practice reading to a friendly dog at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library from 4-5 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month. Children in kindergarten through fifth grade can sign up ahead of time to read to a dog.

This pressure-free audience is great for children to practice their reading-aloud skills. The program is free and will feature dogs and handlers from Heeling Partners of the Roaring Fork Valley.

This event requires advance registration and parent permission. Sign up for a 15-minute session by calling 945-5958 or stopping by the front desk at the library.

Children are invited to come to the New Castle, Silt and Rifle branch libraries on Friday afternoons for engaging art classes taught by Re-2 teachers. Classes for kindergartners through second-graders will be held at each library from noon to 2 p.m., and classes for third- and fourth-graders will be held at each library from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Each class will be limited to 25 students, on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents are encouraged to call the library or go online at to pre-register.

Go to for a complete description of each Friday’s activities.

This program was funded in part with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services and Technology Act.

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