MONTE VISTA— The Monte Vista Carnegie Library is usually quiet, but was full of lively noise last Wednesday, Aug. 28 as people gathered to celebrate its 100th anniversary. A portrait of Andrew Carnegie looked down on those commemorating the library’s huge milestone.
The library, which was finished in June of 1919, has been a resource and fixture in the Monte Vista community for a century. Thanks to the generous help of donors they were able to recently install new doors and a camera system. To show their appreciation, the library has a plaque for its 100th anniversary with the names the donors who made the improvements possible.
Library Director Carol Lee Dugan thanked everyone who donated to the library’s new doors and camera system. They’re very grateful for these new updates that help keep the library safe. As Dugan talked about the library and its 100 years, she couldn’t help but get a little emotional. She’s faithfully served the library for 26 years and has seen a lot of change in that time. “I just love this library so much. It’s my home,” Dugan said.
The library, along with the El Pomar Foundation, has also hung a memorial plaque in memory of Robert Hilbert. Hilbert passed away after 79 years dedicated to his faith. In addition to the many things he did during his lifetime, he worked as part of the San Luis Valley Regional Council. Hilbert did a lot to help libraries. “He was passionate about libraries and their role to provide resources and opportunities that can impact lives,” a spokesperson for the El Pomar Foundation said during the celebration.
Hilbert’s daughter, Meg Shaver, came forward to say a few words in honor of her father. “My dad loved the San Luis Valley. He would say that the people here are the salt of the earth. I believe that 100 percent,” Shaver said. She went on to describe what that phrase “salt of the earth,” really means. “Salt is a very simple, organically occurring substance. If you add it to something it adds flavor and so does the Valley. Salt is also a preservative. People who are salt of the earth preserve a community.”
She spoke about how libraries were important to her father and how he felt that libraries help preserve communities too.
The Carnegie Library has certainly been there to serve and help preserve the community of Monte Vista. For a 100 years now it has been there for every school homework assignment, every research project and every book lover. Through the years it has seen a few changes. The building itself has gotten bigger and seen some modern updates. Through the changes the Carnegie Library remains a wonderful resource for all its community’s book needs and will be for years to come.