Nestled snug in the town of Evergreen, one of Jefferson County Public Library’s mountain locations, the Evergreen Library, celebrates 25 years in its current building. Library staff and community members commemorated this date with a special Holiday Open House on Dec. 3. Celebrants expressed their favorite memories on a memory board, viewed old photos and shared a special cake for the occasion.
"I first came [to the Library] for Story Time when I was little. As I grew older, the Library has become like a second home as well as a fount of joy and knowledge," writes Madeline.
Another anonymous patron writes, "[It's] so peaceful - a place I can go when I'm lonely. Thank you."
Evergreen Library continues celebrating its 25th anniversary in the current building throughout the month and into the start of 2019. Swing by to contribute your own or view more community memories on our memory board.
Previously located on the property adjacent to the current building in what is now the town sheriff’s office, the new building was dedicated on Dec. 16, 1993 in a cocktail-dress-required reception that featured desserts, coffee, and even champagne. It opened to the public just two days later on Dec. 18. The building, designed by architect Cabell Childress, saw a “visitor increase of 34 percent in the first two months of operation,” as originally reported by Curt Olson in the May 25, 1993 edition of the Canyon Courier.*
The friendly staff, robust materials and collections, breathtaking views and famous "fireplace-room" make our Evergreen Library worthy of a visit at any time. But in 1993, the new Library stood out in the community for such features like an “air conditioning system [that was] operational,” a children’s area with Story Tower, its unique landscaping, reading den, and a "book return to use when the library is closed." The newly-designed Evergreen Library boasted a meeting room with seating for 45 attendees and access to all of the Jefferson County Public Library materials, which at the time amounted to 700,000 items.
Today, the Evergreen Library remains central to the community. In 2017, the Library reported 186,453 visitors, 386,295 items in circulation, and 957 programs, with a total of 16,422 in attendance.
“It’s quite the community [in Evergreen]. Being a child-services librarian, I’ve been able to watch families and patrons grow up through Story Times,” Carol Burdick, kids and family librarian, shares of her experience working at Evergreen over the last 25 years.
Carol is one of three staff members at the Library who were there 25 years ago for the opening of the new building. She, along with Polly Tagg, adult services librarian, and Michelle Godden, patron experience associate, have even kept the hard hats they were given during the reconstruction.
While the Evergreen Library still remains the quiet and quaint, community-centered destination it was in 1993, like the rest of our JCPL system, the Evergreen Library has experienced immense growth and change.
“My job and tasks vary so much from what they were back then, which is why working in the Library has been very rewarding. It’s always changing; always innovating,” Michelle said..
This winter is the perfect time to visit Evergreen Library to check out some of these changes, get to know our thoughtful staff and continue the celebrations. “Have you sat in the fireplace room, yet?” Polly may ask you as you arrive. She's right when she asserts, “You’ll never want to leave.”
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*Evergreen Library houses old copies of the Canyon Courier relevant to the Library as well as old Library information, which is available upon request.