Join our monthly book club and be part of book discussions, like minded people and some monthly fun!
Tetonia Library runs 100% on Volunteers. If you have so time to donate we would love to have you! Contact us or look at our monthly sign up page!
Our community is full of people who want to help. We work to help the people providing services with the people who need them. Do you have an idea of a special interest event the Library could hold? Send us an email!
The Tetonia Library Board consists of 5 members.
Carol Lenz- Chair
Jacque Beard- Secretary
Mandy Rasmussen- Treasurer
Julie Schindler- Member
A monthly calendar is posted on the board outside of the Library. The Facebook page and website will also be updated as able. Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter as well!
We love donations!
However, please check before dropping off donations. We may be full at the time.
Checks made out to the Tetonia Library are best. But we also have a GoFundMe account set up. See "Contribute" Tab on top of page.
The Tetonia Library Committee is working on opening a lending library in Tetonia. So how did we get here?
Late in 2017, Mayor Hoopes and the City Council sent out a survey to residents for ideas on how to improve Tetonia. Seventy-three percent of respondents stated that they would like to see a library in Tetonia.
The stars aligned in the spring of 2018 when the Friends of the Valley of the Tetons Library (VTL) put out a call for artists and builders to create Little Free Libraries to be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the VTL. The Little Free Library (LFL) program was started in 2009 by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin who built a model one-room schoolhouse in honor of his mom; she was a teacher who loved to read. Bol put his little schoolhouse on a post in his front yard and filled it with books for his friends and neighbors to “take a book, leave a book”. In 2019 there are over 90,000 registered Little Free Libraries in over 90 countries worldwide.
The Greater Tetonia Legacy Fund, on behalf of the City of Tetonia, bid on and won the LFL crafted by Lenny Cattabriga and painted by Tetonia artist Sue Tyler. Tetonia’s Little Free Library was placed in the City’s pocket park off of Highway 33 just south of the Grand View gas station in the summer of 2018. Have you taken a book and left a book?
With the success of the Little Free Library, Mayor Hoopes and City Clerk Beard wondered, “What more can we do to get library service in Tetonia?”
Brainstorming with the staff at the VTL-Driggs branch resulted in the idea of offering a Tetonia book drop for residents to return books to the Driggs branch. Residents would have to travel to Driggs or Victor to check out new books but they could save a return trip by using the book drop in Tetonia. When the cost of the book drop was determined, Hoopes and Beard thought they could do better.
And better they did with the help of the CHC Foundation. The CHC Foundation was formed in September 1984 from the proceeds after the sale and deconsolidation of the Community Hospital in Idaho Falls to the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) which owns and operates EIRMC, the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. CHC’s mission is to provide grants to publicly supported, tax-exempt, non-profit organizations in the greater Eastern Idaho region. Grant requests that serve the public interest and well-being and significantly improve the quality of life of the region are given priority when awards are granted.
Beard and Hoopes were notified in May of 2019 that their CHC grant application for a small, free-standing building to house a lending library in Tetonia was approved. The building was delivered in July — have you noticed it on the south, east section of Ruby Carson Memorial Park? Electricity and interior shelves were put up in August and September respectively. Before we can open there are a lot of projects that need to be done. Projects include having a final inspection to receive the building’s Certificate of Occupancy, determining occupancy load, cataloging books, and obtaining additional funding.
This is the first in a six week series from the leadership of the new Tetonia Library. Next week – Our Funding Reality
PO Box 434
Tetonia ID 83452
If you read Julie Tellman’s August 14, 2019 article, “Tetonia library to become a reality”, in the Teton Valley News you know that a building is in place at the southeast corner of Ruby Carson Memorial Park. You also know that the library will not receive financial support from the City of Tetonia or from the Valley of the Tetons Library (VTL) District.
Idaho Code 33-2603 allows a city to establish a public library and to levy a tax to pay for the library. However, for us, there is a snag. In 1976 the existing 1965 Valley of the Tetons Library District, which included Victor, Cedron, and Chapin, was expanded to include all of Teton County Idaho. With a county-wide library district every non-tax exempt property owner in the county is levied a tax in support of the existing district libraries in Victor and Driggs. For fiscal year 2020 the VTL District has budgeted Property & State tax revenue in the amount of $536,653; 85% of its $632,000 total budget.
Even though Idaho Code allows a city to establish a library and pay for it through levying a tax, the City of Tetonia cannot because property is already taxed by the VTL District. According to Patrick Bodily, Library Consultant with the Idaho Commission for Libraries, for the City of Tetonia to be able to levy a tax for a city library, voters in Teton County would have to vote to dissolve the exiting library district and voters within Tetonia city limits would then have to vote to establish a Tetonia city library with its associated tax levy.
Asking voters to dissolve the VTL District is a non-issue. The District, through its two branches in Victor and Driggs, does a remarkable and fiscally responsible job of enriching the live of the residents and visitors in Teton Valley. Rather than work against the District, we on the Tetonia Library Committee will work with the District Board toward the goal of incorporating our small lending library into the larger VTL District. It will take time. Until incorporation does happen, and we do believe it will, we will need your help in operating a library in Tetonia. We won’t ask for much, but funding for operations is necessary before we can open. Please consider making a cash donation in support of the Tetonia Library.
Next week – Donation Request
This week we are asking for cash donations in support of our small lending library within Tetonia city limits. Previous articles have explained how a library building came to be in Tetonia and how a snag in Idaho law prevents the City of Tetonia from supporting the library as originally planned. Donations totaling $3,000 will literally keep the electricity on. Donations above keeping the lights on will be used for circulation & cleaning supplies, new books, and, if possible, a telephone with a hotspot. In the table below, we have summarized how donations will be used.
Electricity for lights & heat, circulation supplies
Electricity, circulation & cleaning supplies, some new book
Electricity, supplies, new books, education classes
Electricity, supplies, new books, classes, telephone with hotspot
With the holidays approaching we know that money is tight and that there are other demands for your dollars. If you would like to help please complete the donation information below and mail it along with your check to: Tetonia Library PO Box 434 Tetonia ID 83452. At this time we cannot accept credit/debit card or electronic bank payments.
If you itemize deductions and need a charitable contribution receipt for income taxes, please make your check payable to the Greater Tetonia Legacy Fund PO Box 57 Tetonia ID 83452 noting TETONIA LIBRARY on the memo line of your check. The Greater Tetonia Legacy Fund was founded in 2013 as an independent fund under the 501 (C) 3 Idaho Community Foundation with the stated purpose of “giving back” to the residents of Tetonia by leveraging donated funds for community improvement projects.
Tetonia Library donation levels are:
FIRST EDITION- $200
NEW RELEASE- $100
BOOKENDS- $ 50
Donors at the $300+ level will be listed on the Library’s permanent donor wall. All donations will be recognized on our Facebook page and in the TVN. Bookend donations can be in any amount. Every contribution will help.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
Next week: Committee Members
Much like the original Valley of the Tetons Library, which was started by six women who were members of the Chambermaids, a subunit of the Chamber of Commerce, the Tetonia Library Committee is composed of six women who are working to offer library services in the City of Tetonia.
Our proposed library will be small, a lending library, which will provide a convenient access point for City residents, and residents of the northern reaches of Teton County, to check out books and perhaps attend a class or two.
So who are the members of the Tetonia Library Committee?
Jacque wrote the CHC Grant that started us down the path of offering library services in the City. Mother to five and the full-time City Clerk in Tetonia Jacque is one very busy woman who takes the time to read for her own enjoyment and encourages her kids to read to expand their world.
Nanci has taken the lead in cataloging the books donated for our library. She is a member of the Tetonia City Council whose term will end in January 2020. Once the library is open and her responsibilities as a councilmember ends, Nanci will be loading her standard poodles into the Nissan and traveling, visiting friends and family while exploring the country revealed through reading.
Juli is our representative for the northern residents of Teton County who live in Felt and beyond. A second grade teacher at Tetonia Elementary, Juli loves working with kids, especially her grandkids, who enjoy curling up on her lap while being read to.
Carol became a part-time resident of Tetonia last year after commuting between Ashton and Driggs for ten years. A lifelong reader, she is excited to be a part of this incredible opportunity.
If you do not know Lynda personally, you probably know of her from seeing her in the early morning hours walking her puppies around Tetonia. She also took on the role of Elementary School crossing guard at Highway 33 until the Idaho Transportation Department installed crossing signs. A true advocate for Tetonia, Lynda believes a library will be a wonderful addition.
Julie returned to Tetonia after a career in Michigan. Not one to remain idle, she currently teaches orchestra for School District 401. A granddaughter of Senator Richard Egbert, Julie is following in her granddad’s footsteps, giving back to the residents of Tetonia by serving on the Library Committee.
Next week: Why a library in Tetonia?
Some may be questioning why anyone would want a library in Tetonia; especially a small, lending library. It is a good question, and to be frank, the short answer is that a building sort of fell into our laps. As you know from reading these articles, a library in Tetonia was the request of 73% of the respondents to a survey sent out by the City of Tetonia to its residents. That response sparked an idea for two passionate, pro-active readers, Mayor Gloria Hoopes and City Clerk Jacque Beard, to see what services could be brought to the City.
Not satisfied with only offering a book drop, these two readers researched options and funding sources, obtained and completed an application, solicited and received matching donations, and were subsequently notified that their funding request was granted. The CHC Foundation agreed that library services in Tetonia would be a great idea. Then the real work began.
A building was ordered; contractors were notified, and a spot was readied for delivery. Potential committee members were sought – you were introduced to our six members in last week’s article – and a whole new level of learning started. That is one of the most interesting aspects of libraries; their ability to spark interest and to assist patrons in the learning process.
As a committee we asked for book donations – word spread quickly and we were inundated – a very good thing. Currently we have put a stop on donations until we can catch up and catalog the books already received. Thank you everyone!
We reviewed Idaho law and uncovered the snag that will prevent the City of Tetonia from funding the library as anticipated. Because we will not be receiving any tax revenue from the City or from the Valley of the Tetons Library District, plus the fact that we will not have any paid staff, we are prevented from calling our building a “public library” according to the American Library Association (ALA) definition. We can call our building a library, which the ALA defines as, “a collection or group of collections of books and/or other print or nonprint materials organized and maintained for use (reading, consultation, study, research, etc.).” [https://libguides.ala.org]
Which brings us back to the question of why a library in Tetonia? As Mayor Hoopes and Clerk Beard wrote in their CHC application, “We are constantly working to make sure Tetonia is the best it can be, particularly as a family community. We believe a library offering free, convenient access to books is an important component of providing educational quality” through the following objectives:
With your help and support we will achieve these objectives at the Tetonia Library.
Next week: How to Register
With the holiday season upon us, we know that your days are busy. Whether you are in or attending one of the choir programs, shopping the Holiday Markets, or booing Scrooge at Pierre’s Playhouse there is a lot to keep you scrambling. Why don’t you take a minute to relax, pour a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and complete registration for a card at the Tetonia Library?
Registration is necessary, since we are not currently a part of the Valley of the Tetons system, and could not be simpler. The form is available on the Library’s Facebook page @TetoniaLibrary, on the City of Tetonia’s website https://tetoniaidaho.org/library, and at Tetonia City Hall. Completed forms can be dropped off at Tetonia City Hall or mailed to Tetonia Library PO Box 434 Tetonia ID 83452.
The form is very simple and asks for your contact information, including a daytime phone number and email address. Children younger than eighteen (18) can be registered under the name of the person applying for a card.
We do not have a computer at the Library so our processes will all be manual. By submitting an application now, your library card will be ready for use the day the Library opens. Of course, once the Library is open, you can stop by and complete an application on-site.
All residents and even visitors to Teton Valley are welcomed and encouraged to register and use the Tetonia Library. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Next week: Thank You
It is Christmas – a time for us to count our blessings and acknowledge the wonderful people of Teton Valley and beyond who have helped us so far in our goal of providing library service in the City of Tetonia.
THANK YOU to Mayor Gloria Hoopes and City Clerk Jacque Beard who started us down this journey.
THANK YOU to the CHC Foundation for seeing the benefit of a library in Tetonia and providing the funding for a building.
THANK YOU to the members of the Tetonia City Council who donated the site and offered to fund the library for its first year although the existing library district prevents them from doing so.
THANK YOU to the Greater Tetonia Legacy Fund for serving as the library’s 501 (C) 3.
THANK YOU to Jay Beard and Mitch Beard who have done so much behind the scene to establish the library.
THANK YOU to our contractors: 98 Electric, Fall River Electric, and Rex’s Sheds.
THANK YOU to Jason Letham [building] and Anthony Parker [electrical] who inspected the building to ensure it is safe for public use.
THANK YOU to the Valley of the Tetons Library Board and staff who have offered advice and encouragement.
THANK YOU to Patrick Bodily from the Idaho Commission for Libraries for his willingness to guide us.
THANK YOU to all those who have provided books.
THANK YOU to our book cataloguers; especially Nanci and Beth who have taken the lead.
THANK YOU to everyone who has offered to volunteer to work at the library.
THANK YOU to our donors who have provided furniture, supplies, and much needed cash.
THANK YOU to Jeannette Boner and the Teton Valley News (TVN) staff for granting us article space.
Chris Johnson, Director of the Valley of the Tetons Library, noted in his 9/11/19 letter to the editor in the TVN that it takes time to open a library. We have found that to be true. Although we are not ready to open yet, we will let you know when. With your continued support we will meet our goal of providing library service in the City of Tetonia. Thank You Teton Valley!