JACKSON, Wyo. — It’s been 85 years since Helen Benson, Edith Mercill, and Stella Weston first convinced Teton County Commissioners to establish a county library in accordance with state library laws.

The three women became inaugural members of the Library Board, which solicited donations of money, books and furniture to open the library in one room of the American Legion Hall in 1938. Two years later, the Huff Memorial Library on South King Street was built, and it housed the collection until the current building opened in September 1997.

The Alta Branch opened in 2009. 

In celebration of its 85th anniversary as a public library on Sunday, Jan. 8, Teton County Library will extend its hours to open on a Sunday for the first time since March 2020.

“Birthday” cupcakes will be available for the first 85 visitors, with the library open that day from 1-5 p.m. 

The Library Board recently voted to expand open hours at the Main Jackson Library, adding seven total additional hours per week, four of which will be on Sunday. The new hours take effect Tuesday, Jan.3, 2023.

Library Director Kip Roberson said he’s pleased that staff is able to respond to community needs identified during the strategic planning process.

“Through analyzing community survey and community retreat data, we learned that the community would like to see the Library open later on weeknights and on Sundays,” Roberson said. “And because we have reached a staffing level at which we can make that without hiring additional full-time employees, we brought the proposal to the Library Board for approval.”  

The new schedule will add an hour in the evening Monday through Thursday and trim an hour from Friday evening. Sunday hours will be seasonal, and the library will close on Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.  

The new schedule, which goes into effect on Jan. 3, 2023 will be:

Mon- Thurs  9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fri & Sat:  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sun: 1- 5p.m.
Total Hours of Operation per Week:  64 (current schedule = 57 hours) 

Alta Branch Library, which is not staffed to offer additional hours, remains open Tuesday & Thursday, 12-6 p.m.; Wednesday, 12- 7p.m.; and Friday& Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and is closed Sunday and Monday

The public can find Teton County Library at www.tclib.org, at 307-733-2164 or at 125 Virginian Lane, Jackson, WY and 50 Alta School Road, Alta, WY. 

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.