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Postcard image of the library
An image of the library from an early postcard
Trinidad Carnegie Public Library

      The public library in Trinidad has a long and rich history. The first mention of a Trinidad library appears in an August, 1882 issue of the Trinidad Daily News. Three prominent citizens established a library, presumably from their own collections. An editorial from early 1883 bemoaned the fact that people were frequenting the many saloons rather than the library.
      In May 1892, Mr. T. T. Woodruff of Boston said that he would donate 1000 volumes and pay all library expenses for five years, provided the library was made public to all citizens and visitors. Exactly three years later, the library was “thrown open to the public,” and moved to a new location on the ground floor of the First National Bank building, just south of the elevator entrance.
Picture of child playing on grass
Young library patron having a blast during opening day of the 2016 Summer Program
Picture of three spelling bee winners
Winners of the 2017 Adult Spelling Bee. From left, Jean Crisler, Pat Fletcher and Les Downs

      During this time, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was donating money for the establishment of public libraries throughout the country. In early 1903, Trinidad officials began writing to him pleading their cause for creating a permanent home for the city’s library. By March of the same year, Carnegie had promised $20,000 for the building. In August an architect was chosen—J. G. Haskell of Topeka. The structure would be sixty feet square, and would be built on an abandoned foundation originally constructed for a proposed city hall. It was finished in 1904 and there it stands today.
      The Carnegie Library of the twenty-first century is much more than a collection of books. If she had to sum up the library’s roll, Director Mallory Pillard would probably say, “service to the community.” And that service comes in many forms:
Picture of book arangement
Carnegie Public Library is for everyone!
  • Service to children: Since 1923 the library has devoted space to children. Former teacher Phyllis Kilgroe provides a rich collection of current books and movies, and designs programs that educate and entertain children in a safe, nurturing environment. In addition to running the Summer Program for kids, Phyllis also hosts Tuesday’s Tots for the 1 to 3 year olds, and RAGtime and a book club for older kids.
  • Service to teens and adults: Tom Potter designs events and workshops targeted at teenage and adult patrons. These have included science-related workshops for teens, Nostalgic Movie Night, Oratory Night, the Adult Spelling Bee, to name a few.
  • The collection: More than 25,000 items, including books, audio books and movies on DVD. In early 2015, the library joined a consortium of small Colorado libraries who pool their resources to form the AspenCat catalog, offering over a million items that patrons can borrow easily.
  • History Room: Thanks to an extensive collection donated by the Trinidad Historical Society and other friends and patrons of the library, and to a nearly complete set of local newspapers on microfilm, the History Room provides an important resource for the public. Anyone can reserve time in the room to study local history or their family’s genealogy.
Picture of Mrs. Pat Fletcher
Councilperson Pat Fletcher during Oratory Night
  • The Art Wall, providing a free space for artists to exhibit their work in one-month periods. Any artist is welcome to exhibit their two-dimensional work.
  • Computers, copy, scan and FAX service: Very popular services used by many patrons.

For more information you can stop by the library at 202 North Animas, or call 719-846-6841.