The Sweetwater County Library System is celebrating a big milestone this year. Thirty years ago, library services in the county expanded significantly with the opening of White Mountain Library in Rock Springs. The building opened on Feb. 28, 1987.
To celebrate its big 3-0, the library will be hosting an open house on Feb. 28. Stop by anytime between 4 and 6 p.m. The open house will feature refreshments, music from local musicians, and library trivia.
A five-year process, the library was built because the library on C Street had already expanded as much as possible. Its size, however, made it difficult to meet the increasing needs of the patrons. The library board, city library board and county commissioners worked together to fund and build the new 26,000-square-foot. The total cost of the building was $2.1 million.
Built near White Mountain Mall, the new building brought library services to an area of Rock Springs that was expanding. Over the years, new homes have been constructed around the building, putting the library in walking distance of families.
The new building was also built with the intention of centralizing some of the library’s processes. The cataloging and processing department was housed in the building, and still is today. All library materials purchased for the library system are shipped to White Mountain Library where they are entered into the computer system and prepared for the shelves. They are then sent to libraries throughout the county.
Over the past three decades, the library has remained a mainstay in the county, serving thousands of patrons a month, and providing thousands of materials for checkout. Services at the library have also evolved. White Mountain Library has computers available to the public and provides free Wi-Fi. DVDs and CDs have replaced other audio visual items, and digital items such as eBooks, digital audiobooks, streaming movies and music, and digital magazines are all available for checkout from anywhere with a library card.