One Small Idaho Town Pitches In To Build Library

Sep 24, 2012

When you live in a small town it’s important to have places for people to come together to create a community identity. That’s what Jane Summerville says the library is for the mountain town of Stanley.

“It provides story time for preschoolers, the only preschool activities available in Stanley. We have great book discussions,” she says. “I think more it’s a community center than anything, a gathering place.”

The Stanley Community Library has been around for more than 30 years. Summerville has been its part time librarian for the last 14. But in all that time the books and computers have never had a permanent home. That’s about to change. This town of a little more than 60 permanent residents has raised $400,000 in donations for a new library. It took six years to raise the money but construction is now underway. Summerville says the new library will be 2,000 square feet.

“It’s going to be much more energy efficient than this building we are renting now,” she says. “We’re going to have a high tech multipurpose room that will be available after hours to community groups.”

And of course more room for the library's nearly 6,000 books along with its computers. The new library is expected to open before the end of the year. Stanley still has fundraising to do. The final price tag will be close to $600,000.