cover Feb 2007
The Grand County Public Library was awarded “The Best
Small Library in America” designation for 2007 by Library
Journal and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This
highly competitive award is bestowed on an outstanding organization
serving populations under 25,000 people. More than 50 libraries
applied for the prize this year, and runners-up included
public libraries from Hanover, New Hampshire, Oneida, New
York, and Austin, Texas. The library is featured on the February
1 cover of Library Journal. A cash prize of $15,000 accompanies
the honor, as well as a trip to Minneapolis next year for
a gala reception to receive the award.
After being notified of the award, Library Director Eve Tallman
was asked by the Utah State Librarian, Donna Morris, to present
testimony for the Utah Joint Appropriations Subcommittee
at the capitol. Says Tallman, “It was an honor to present
testimony on behalf of the state library. I spoke about how
important the support of the state library is to our essential
services, including the Library Enhancement Program which
provides a grant directly to our library ($6,834 in 2006).
Committee co-chair Senator Hickman (R-Washington County)
asked many questions about our library and all were impressed
that, even with 50 computers, our library is so busy patrons
sometimes have to wait for turns, especially in the after-school
hours when the library attracts dozens of school kids. I
spoke about classes the library offers on how to use email
and how to write grants. Judging by the interest of the Sub-committee
members, I think my short presentation spoke well of the
state library and their wonderful services such as the PIONEER
magazine & newspaper databases and the Interlibrary Loan
The Utah Masonry Council also cited the library with a 2006
Merit Award for the use of sandstone tiles on the exterior
of the building and in the lobby.
The library is very fortunate to have the help of many skilled
and wonderful volunteers who help with shelving, repairing
books, ensuring the collections are in the right order on
shelves, and assisting with children’s programs. The
busiest and most committed volunteers at the library are
the members of the Library Board of Directors.
Russ von Koch, the Chair of the Library Board through several
momentous seasons, has recently turned over the gavel to
incoming board chair Al McLeod.
Under the chairmanship of von Koch, the library completed
the library building project, including acquisition of property
for the new library site, preparation of a loan application
to the Utah Community Permanent Impact Board, and cooperation
with the architects on the design of the building. He attended
regular meetings with the contractor during the construction
phase, and has been an advocate for library funding and responsible
fiscal management of library operations. He will continue
as a regular member of the library board. The slate of board
members for 2007 is as follows: Al McLeod, Chair; Katie Stephens,
Vice-chair; Kathy Wilson, Russ von Koch, Elizabeth Clark,
Belinda Ledbetter, and Audrey Graham, Council Representative.
Longtime board members Lisa Roman and Eleanor Bliss recently
retired from the board.
Part of the attraction to the “Best Small Library in
America” jury for the award, is our library’s
focus on children. Services to children have become a shining
star of the new library facility. Summer reading programs,
after school activities, toddler story time and Saturday
story times keep the staff very busy.
Charlotte Hurley and Tracy Renn are expanding their skills
with storytelling and puppetry projects. The Young Adult
area sees a lot of action daily after school, as teens show
up to use the computers and “hang out.” The
Delicate Stitchers Quilting Guild as created a beautiful “story
time tree” in the library meeting room that is decorated
seasonally with quilted leaves for summer & fall, snowflakes
for winter, and this month the snowflakes are augmented with
valentine hearts. Stop by and see what all the fuss is about!