Vail Public Library celebrates 40 years of providing services and resources to the Vail community and beyond!
Vail Public Library’s current location opened on July 4, 1983. We are celebrating 40 years in this building by looking back at some of the highlights in the library’s history since the 1960s.
Stan Olin of the Colorado State Library works with locals – Betty Seibert and Fran Moretti to set up a ‘library demonstration’ in the new ski town on Vail.
Vail’s first library opens
- Located in the Plaza Building on Bridge Street in the shop “Vali-Hi Books ‘n Things”
- Staffed by volunteers and the shopkeeper, Fran Moretti
- Children’s Story Hour is held in Pepi’sBar on Saturday mornings
- Vail Library moves from the Vail Firehouse to the basement of the Municipal Building.
- 600 square foot space grows to 18,000 titles.
- $6500 of the County Library budget ($60,000) goes to staff for Vail Library.
1978 / 1979
Plans begin for building a library in Vail.
- Locals present a petition to Town officials asking for a library.
- Librarian Charlyn Canada and Town officials work to fund and build a library.
1980 / 1983
- Construction starts in 1980.
- Vail Public Library officially opens July 4, 1983.
- First Lady Betty Ford is the keynote speaker at the dedication.
- Etched Glass Doors for the Children’s Room are completed, by Don Young Glass Studio.
- The doors are a gift to Vail Public Library from Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Foundation.
Following a 9 month renovation, Vail Public Library celebrated its Grand Reopening on March 8, 2013
- Interior remodel
- Book stacks
- Interior lighting
- Service Desk
- Social technology center
- Audio-visual equipment for the Community Room
- Lower Level: Staff offices and a classroom
COVID-19 and a Global Pandemic
When the world went into lockdown in early 2020, Vail Public Library responded with new services and expanded formats to keep the community connected. Curbside pick-up replaced library visits, Storytime and Yoga went digital, and the virtual library offered streaming options along with its other book, audiobook, and music selections.
As an essential service, Vail Public Library positioned itself to support, connect, and provide for its community of users during the long months of uncertainty and illness. The library re-opened in the Summer of 2021, with its full complement of staff and services, programs, and performances.
The library became part of the history of its ski-town founders during the pandemic, holding to their vision of what this valley could be, and would be again. Like those men and women of the 10th Mountain Division, before there would ever be a skier’s paradise again… first, we had a war to win.
Bighorn Park, East Vail
In response to the Covid pandemic, Vail Public Library opened the StoryWalk® in 2021, at Bighorn Park in East Vail. An interactive experience, the Storywalk® features a new children’s title each season, in a year-round display that allows the reader to enjoy a book page by page while strolling through the outdoors.
In just 2 years, the Storywalk® has become a new favorite for locals and visitors alike. Visit the Storywalk® and enjoy the latest title, “Whoever You Are” by Mem Fox, on display this summer. Make a day of it and picnic by the beaver pond then swing and slide at the playground, all in one setting at Bighorn Park in East Vail. To visit the Storywalk® drive or take the East Vail bus to Bighorn Park in East Vail. Parking is free.
Funding for the project was provided by the LSTA Cares Act Grant and administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Colorado State Library.
This year Vail Public Library celebrates 40 years of providing services and resources to the Vail community and beyond!
Programs & Performances for every age
Storytime (3x/week, including bi-lingual on Saturdays)
Crafts for kids
Concerts and Performances (including Little Listeners with Bravo! Vail)
Over 57,000 titles are available in print and digital formats. Read it here or take it with you via 24/7 digital access. Around the state and around the world, Vail Public Library has you covered with books, periodicals, research and databases, music, videos, and streaming … all with your free library card.
Need to get online? Come by the library and use a computer or WiFi access. Print from your device or one of the library’s computers. Hold a Zoom meeting in the study room or attend a non-profit gathering in the Community Room – with its new, large-screen TV and Bluetooth technology.
Friends of Vail Public Library
Become a Friend of Vail Public Library and share your time, treasure, and talent on behalf of the best of public service in the valley. Volunteer, donate, and connect with your community of locals and resort guests. Join us! for the annual Champagne Celebration this summer and say Happy Birthday to Vail Public Library.