Timeline of Library History 1884 to Present
1884 - The first public meeting room ~ Union Church ~ was built on Pine Street between 7th and 8th Streets (current site of the Human Service Building).
1887 - Union Church became the William Denison Memorial Library (Library Hall). William Denison came west seeking relief and a cure from tuberculosis, which had stricken him while a medical student at Harvard. Upon his death, the family donated his collection of 1,000 volumes to the settlers, who, "shut out in a great measure from the world, would appreciate good books." ~Steamboat Pilot.
1899 - Due to an acute need for schoolrooms, the library collection was moved to a frame schoolhouse to the east. A devastating fire in 1910 destroyed all but 400 volumes of the book collection. For next several years, the community was without a place to house the library.
1907-1910 - Town officials lobbied the Carnegie Foundation to build a public library in Steamboat Springs. The request was denied since the population size could not satisfactorily be determined to justify the request.
1915 - The Civic League established a reading room in the back of the Pupke Building on Lincoln Ave. World War I forced it to close as many people were too busy to staff or to use it.
1924 - At a mass meeting held at the High School Auditorium, the "Free Public Library of Steamboat Springs" was formed. Space was rented at the Legion Room.
1925 - The library moved into the Campbell Building at Sixth and Lincoln (currently the Old Town Pub). It remained in this location until 1961 when all of the books were moved to the city's Community Hall at the corner of Fifth and Lincoln.
1964 - Local Olympic skier Wallace "Bud" Werner was tragically killed in a Swiss avalanche. A fund drive, headed by Gates Gooding, was initiated to raise monies for the Bud Werner Memorial Building. Town Trustees voted to place title to a Bud Werner Memorial Building in the Town name and to assume responsibility for summer maintenance (June 30, 1964).
1965 - "The [Bud Werner Memorial] building, designed by Tor Westgaard, will display pictures of Bud Werner and a selection of his trophies ..The Steamboat Chamber of Commerce and Winter Sports Club will be custodians and the building will be used as a ski patrol headquarters and with its space available to community meetings." ~Steamboat Pilot, January 21, 1965.
Members of the Town Board approve the change in use of the Bud Werner Memorial Building to a library (May 14, 1965).
The Town applied for and received Federal funds from the Colorado Department of Education to build a library. Monies from the Bud Werner Memorial Fund were used as matching funds.
1967 - The newly built, 3,445 square foot Bud Werner Memorial Library opens.
1970 - Steamboat Springs Regional Library District is created by act of the Routt County Board of Commissioners and the RE-2 School Board.
1980 - Three separate library districts are formed in Routt County: West Routt, East Routt and South Routt.
1986 - Voters approve a $575,000 bond issue to expand the Bud Werner Memorial Library from 3,448 square feet to 9,770 square feet.
1997 - Library is remodeled to accommodate growth. The 1,000 square foot lower level community meeting room is converted to the children's library.
2000 - 1986 debt service retired/bonds paid in full.
2005 - Steamboat area voters approve a multi-million dollar tax to pay for an expansion for the library. The expansion will triple library building space.
2007 - July 7th was the official groundbreaking for construction on the library expansion project.
2008 - September 12th, the newly expanded Bud Werner Memorial Library opened its doors to the public. Triple the size, the 28,000 square foot building, contains 28 computers for public use, over 80,000 materials for check-out, a Children’s story-time room, a Teen space, and several meeting rooms for community use.