The Friends of the Valley of the Tetons Library is a nonprofit entity formed to support and enrich the resources and facilities of the library to benefit our community. Our goal is to provide funding for equipment, renovations, activities, and various projects above and beyond the library budget provided by county tax dollars. We are a volunteer group of citizens whose shared mission is to promote, advocate for, support, and enhance the work of our local library.
We also assist the Library by providing organizational/project management support, as needed, to bring large efforts to a successful conclusion.
We have all heard the benefits of libraries and it’s true, they inspire lifelong learning, encourage exploration & creativity and enrich our community. The offerings allow patrons to expand their minds, experiences and interests. Solving that murder mystery, reading poetry, laughing at a funny story, understanding another perspective, learning a new skill or how to cope with a new situation all serve to enhance our entire community one person at a time. In addition, libraries now also serve as community centers, business service centers, free Internet access points, computer labs and even test proctoring sites.
As a rural library, Valley of the Tetons Library has several rather unique offerings such as the Tool Library, Seed Library and an expanded Makerspace (Makerspace also collaborates with the local schools to provide enhanced, hands-on STEM education opportunities to students)! On top of that the library offers so many other options like “Take and Make” kits for adults & kids! One kit included everything needed for adults to make Pot stickers; other kits had materials for kids to make a Baby Yoda or a Christmas ornament.
Due to the flexibility and determination of the Librarians during COVID, the library was able to provide many of their recurring programs either online (storytime, book clubs, writing series, etc) or via slightly modified processes (Summer Reading program & Kindergarten Literacy Outreach). For those unable to come into the library or use curbside services, the Library offered home delivery which will continue post-COVID.
The pandemic also brought a public need to the surface…a need to provide patrons access to mobile technology. In answer, the library has created a Loaner Laptop program that will be implemented mid-May at both branches. Patrons will be able to borrow a laptop to either take home overnight or use within the library (or outside of the library buildings in order to access free WI-FI). An award from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley’s Competitive Grant program funded by Tin Cup Challenger donations, makes this program possible.
The library made the most of the COVID restrictions by moving several projects from the “discussion” phase to the “implemented” phase. One project was redesigning the Driggs Branch. Moving the Makerspace next door freed up space to meet several requests from the community. The Driggs branch has created a new Tween/Teen space, two new conference rooms, “Dog-Eared Den” (donated books available for sale), and a library staff space where they can work on projects “off the desk”. The Friends provided funds to purchase the furniture and also coordinated the volunteer labor to paint the interior space of the library. Due to COVID concerns, we limited volunteers to members and families of the Friends Board & Board of Trustees.
The Friends also helped the Library staff prepare for the first phase of implementing RFID tags (Radio Frequency ID) to enhance the speed and accuracy of checking items out/in which will ultimately allow self-check options for patrons and coordinated funding for the Digital Media Room in the Makerspace where patrons can convert old photos/movies to a digital medium and record a podcast or video.
Libraries are a place where everyone is welcomed, accepted and safe. We are lucky to have such a great resource in our community! Come see what you can discover!
Thank you for supporting the Friends of the Valley of the Tetons Library through your Tin Cup donation. We are most grateful for the generosity of our community to all of the nonprofits that provide the needed services that make our Valley a great place to thrive!