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Shout it out: New library opens on July 20

Locations: News Published

By Lynn Burton

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

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In one of the most eagerly awaited
dates in recent history, the new Carbondale Branch Library opens at
10 a.m. on July 20.

The new library covers 13,000 square
feet compared to the old library’s 3,600 square feet. The $5.2
million library was funded by a property tax that was levied after
residents voted to form the Garfield County Public Library District
in 2006. The district also retains a 1/4-cent sales tax for part of
its operating budget, according to GCPLD Director Amelia Shelley.
Other libraries have been built, expanded or are planned for the five
other towns in the district.

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Carbondale’s reputation as an art
town is reflected inside and outside the new library.

Shannon Muse’s “Pillars of
Light/Pillares de Luz” was selected through a competition and paid
for by private funds. Muse, who lives across the street from the new
library and has a studio in her backyard, designed seven tempered
glass mosaic art pieces to wrap around the columns of the new
library’s front entrance. Working with the community and seven
donors, she incorporated quotes, ideas, pictures and numbers into the
columns that represent thoughts on community, literacy, libraries and
free thought. “A map that explains the underlying significance of
each statement will be available at the library and there are
elements that will appeal to both kids and adults,” Shelley said.

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Other artists and their pieces include:

• John Hoffmann, who created
several pieces for the new library including a fanciful security gate
and coat rack, and bike racks in the form of dancing paper clips;

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• Mark Cezark created a piece that
will adorn the staff desk;

• Travis Fulton created a light
sculpture that will hang above the desk;

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• James Surls is loaning the
library some of his sculptures on a rotating basis that will hang
over the adult non-fiction area;

• The Colorado Yule marble company
donated two slabs of marble that Robert Stone of Grand Junction used
to create cube-shaped coffee tables inside the building, and a picnic
table at the northeast corner of the library property;

• John Ackerman and his staff
worked with spruce trees that were removed from the property to craft
three long benches at the entrance to the building;

• Dave Struempler crafted a bench
from left-over beetle kill pine, and also used beetle kill pine in
the ceiling and some shelving;

• The children’s area features an
early literacy installation by the Burgeon Group of Phoenix, Arizona
that incorporates pocket treasures collected from the community;

• The Mt. Sopris Historical Society
is placing a rotating selection of artifacts in a special display

Speaking of history, Carbondale’s
original library was located on Main Street and opened on Jan. 26,

“Prior to that there was a traveling
wooden box that went from home to home with books,” Shelley said.

A Great Books discussion group hatched
the idea of a Carbondale library, and it was initially stocked with
500 books the group collected in a book drive. In 1964, the Garfield
County Commissioners voted to assume financial responsibility for the
library’s annual budget of $4,000 and it became the second branch
of the Garfield County Library System.

Next steps

The new Carbondale Branch Library hosts
a grand opening celebration starting at 10 a.m. on July 20. There’ll
be a ribbon cutting, refreshments, live music and giveaways. Books
and other materials will also be available for checkout.

Library music July

Steve Standiford lined up some music
for the Carbondale Branch Library opening. Here it is:

11:00 a.m. – The Honey Dewdrops;

Noon – Songwriters/singers/guitarists
Josh Rogan, Jackson Emmer and Marc Bruell;

1:30 p.m. – Men with Guitars: Steve
Standiford, Pat Winger and John Ramo;

2:00 p.m. – Band music with The
Nanograms (Kendall Spyker and friends) and Gear Exchange;

2:30 p.m. – Students from the Academy
of Music and Performance;

3:00 p.m. – Kids music with Sue
Schnitzer, Mateo Sandate and Marc Bruell;

4:00 p.m. – Ukulele and acoustic jam;

4:30 p.m. – Drum Circle with library
staffer Alejandra Rico.

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