PICTURED ABOVE: Garland Public Library Director Tate Atkin, Tonya Woodruff; GFWC Local President, Elise Butler; GFWC member, Kathy Bessinger; GFWC State President, Trisha Butler; GFWC member and Garland City Councilman Donnie Howell. Courtesy Photo
GARLAND - June 30, 2022
The Garland Public Library is a historic old building that was built in 1914 with a majority of the costs coming from a grant received from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. Although it is over 100 years old, the library continues to thrive and offers many valuable resources to the community.
As expected with one of the oldest buildings in the Bear River Valley community, the Garland Public Library has needed several updates and repairs to keep the building maintain a historic and appealing look but also to keep library patrons safe. Safety and accessibility are two important elements to any historic building and are both at the top of the priority list with the library's newest scheduled improvements.
When the Tremonton GFWC Women's League heard about the library's plans to replace the existing staircase, it was a cause they decided to get behind. The local civic organization first contacted the Garland Public Library to make a donation and on Wednesday, June 22, four members of the Tremonton GFWC Women's League visited the library and presented them with a check for $500. Not only that, but the organization will also continue raise money for the library's renovations by contacting local businesses and spreading the word about the fundraising efforts.
"The GFWC Women's Civic League was excited to donate $500 to the Garland Public Library to replace the dilapidated front stairs. General Federation of Women’s Clubs International have been involved for many years in the development of libraries and supporting them nationwide. In 1908, Garland City residents started exchanging books among each other which led to the first Garland Library Board. The library was dedicated on December 12, 1914. The Garland Public Library is registered on the National Registry of Historic Places and is registered as a Utah Historic Site by the Utah Division of State History. Our organization encourages others to reach out and offer support in building a ramp so everyone may enjoy this unique public building," stated the GFWC Women's Civic League.
Garland City Mayor Linda Bourne and Garland City Councilman Donnie Howell are leading the efforts in replacing the front staircase into the library, something that has been needed for a very long time as the cement is crumbling and blowing out in places. The stair overhaul will also include an ADA accessible ramp that will be installed next to the staircase.
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The lack of accessibility has been a major concern for the library and Garland City for years as many patrons have been unable to visit the library and enjoy the library's resources because there are currently no ramps leading into the building. The new ramp and staircase will provide the city and the library with a safe and accessible way for the entire community to benefit from having a public library.
"We are excited for new stairs and an ADA accessible ramp at the library. It is something I have been looking into since I became the library director. I am excited to see it finally become a reality," said Tate Atkin, Garland Public Library Director.
A project of this proportion will require significant funds to complete. Councilmember Howell has successfully secured a grant to help cover the overall cost of the build. With this matching grant, every dollar spent by either the city or through donations, will be matched 100%. This makes donations such as the Tremonton GFWC Women's League's even more impactful.
This year during Garland City Days (formerly called Wheat and Beet Days), the library board will be hosting two fundraisers to help raise the necessary funds to complete this project. On Friday, July 8, starting at 5 p.m., the Garland Public Library board will be serving Navajo tacos and dessert scones at the Garland City Park. On Saturday, July 9, at 7 a.m. the annual library fun run will be held. All proceeds from both events will go directly to help fund the new stairs and ADA accessible ramp. More information can be found below.
The library board has also been visiting local businesses seeking prizes for the fun run as well as donations for the dinner. Those donations are considered monetary donations and will cut down on the overall costs for these events while helping the library raise even more money. Local donations are what help these fundraising efforts succeed.
"The library board has been working so hard to get these fundraisers planned and ready for next month. They have met often and sacrificed a lot of their own time to make these events successful. We are lucky to have such great people working on the library board to help support the library," Atkin said.