7. Naturita Community Library
Alexandra (Alex) Butera(202) 414-0798
Web Site: http://www.montroselibrary.org/
|Naturita Community Library building
Naturita Community Library serves the 546 citizens of Naturita, Colorado, an isolated uranium mining community which has experienced significant economic booms and busts. The library—a hub for the town—offers programs that focus on early literacy and parenting; continuing education; computer skills; and workforce development. It is the nation’s largest strawbale library, and utility savings from the eco-friendly construction are used to promote lifelong learning and access to the world beyond.
"Libraries are the anchors of communities across Colorado," U.S. Senator Mark Udall (CO) said. "This prestigious award underlines what the residents of Naturita already know: Their library is an exceptional resource that strengthens the community through its focus on early literacy, parenting, continuing education, computer literacy and workforce development. Beyond its contributions to the community, it also is a statewide leader in energy conservation and a model for libraries everywhere."
"The Naturita Community Library is a focal point in the community that provides a safe and friendly place for local residents," U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (CO) said. "The library staff works hard to provide programs for children that help them learn to read and socialize with one another. It also provides important resources to help residents search for jobs and take online classes. The Naturita Community Library is a well-deserving recipient of the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service."
"The Montrose Library District staff and trustees should be proud of the hard work and dedication that they have put into making the Naturita Public Library one of the best in the nation. This is truly a remarkable accomplishment. Residents are fortunate to have such an asset in the community and access to a staff comprised of people dedicated to lifelong learning, childhood reading and community enrichment," said Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03).
Community Member: Jaimy Fulbright
The Naturita Community Library has played an important role in the life of community member Jaimy Fulbright, who has been through some hard times in the remote uranium mining community. As the mother of four young boys, Jaimy has plenty of parenting challenges, but the library’s family programming helps keep the boys out of trouble. "The programs are so fun, I don’t think my kids realize they’re learning!" she exclaimed. The library’s computer stations are especially important to Jaimy and other residents. "Because we live in a rural area, we are constantly having to use the Internet." Jaimy has recently been hired by the library and now helps other residents use its resources to connect to the world beyond.
Next Winner: Pacific Science Center