Eighty years is a long time. It’s a monumental milestone for any institution or business, and we at the Garfield County Libraries are thrilled to be able to celebrate our 80th anniversary this year. We have grown with our communities during that time in efforts to bring books, knowledge, and enjoyment to people throughout Garfield County.
Looking back, the Garfield County Public Library was first established in the New Castle school building in 1938. That single library served the entire county as well as all of the school districts, and had a collection of roughly 14,000 books. Between 1964 and 1982, five additional locations were added to make the library branches you know and love today.
Then in 2006, the voters overwhelmingly approved a 20 year, one mill property tax for construction and expansion of all six library buildings. The voters also approved the creation of the Garfield County Public Library District, which is separate from Garfield County. Both ballot measures transformed the landscape of our libraries, and allowed us to better serve the needs of each of our communities.
There have been many changes over the last 80 years. Unlike 1938, the libraries now provide a website with a plethora of tools, and each Garfield County Library provides public computers and wifi. Today there are over 190,000 books, movies, downloadable ebooks, magazines, and music CDs available locally - with millions more available through a national lending system. These are among the many additions that have made the Garfield County Libraries unique and valuable resources within the community.
To celebrate our 80 years, we are hosting a Birthday Party and Ice Cream Social at each of our locations. On Tuesday, July 3, the parties begin at 12 p.m. in Carbondale, 1 p.m. in New Castle and Silt, and at 2:30 p.m. in Glenwood Springs. Then on Thursday, July 5, the parties will begin at 11:30 a.m. in Rifle and 2:30 p.m. in Parachute. Everyone is invited, and you can attend whichever party is most convenient.
We are also hosting an 80th Anniversary Book Bash during the entire month of July at all six libraries. Take advantage of an incredible Book Bash deal at our Friends Bookstores and get any book, audiobook, CD, or movie for adults for just $.80 apiece. Or, you can get 8 children’s items for $1. Book Bucks earned during the Summer Reading Program are welcome, but no change will be given.
So, celebrate our 80th anniversary with a little ice cream, Book Bash deal, or just by visiting your local library. From all of us at the Garfield County Libraries, thank you for 80 years of support!