Over 100 years of service provided by Moffat County’s Maybell Library
Craig — For more than 100 years, since 1911, the Maybell Library has provided service to patrons.
Now, for three days a week patrons are able to borrow from about 15,000 items as well as access to services they might otherwise go without and about 30 new items are added to the collection in Maybell each month.
“The library is a focal point for that community,” said Director of Moffat County Libraries Sherry Sampson. “A place to visit with each other, use the Internet, check out fiction and non-fiction books and videos or hold a meeting.”
Katy Buffham recorded a short history of the Maybell library in an unpublished letter dated Feb. 22, 1992 provided to the newspaper by the library.
In the letter she recounts how Dolly Wyatt started the library in 1911 in her Maybell home.
“Three or four shelves about four feet long were built through the outside wall of her kitchen,” Buffham wrote.
The Maybell Good Will Club, a precursor to the Maybell Women’s Club, helped the library to grow, as did Buffham. She was responsible for obtaining, in 1983, the modular buildings that currently house the library.
“Since I heard there were two available, I asked for both of them, as the school district wanted to get rid of the second also,” wrote Buffham. “The board said I was ‘piggish,’ but hooray! I got it!”
The buildings were renovated in 2009 and 2010 with new carpets, remodeled bathrooms and new shelves, Sampson said.
This time of year, “hunters visit for free paperback books and to use the internet,” Stephenson said.
Mysteries and romance are popular with regular patrons as are Westerns, however that was not always the case. As Buffham tells it, around 1959 “a teacher who was here at the time by the name of Lambertson, volunteered to help. She did not approve of Western books, and discarded most of Zane Grey’s (many were first editions!).”
Buffham replaced many of the lost Zane Grey books and in her 1992 report the collection had grown from three to four shelves of books in Wyatt’s kitchen to 13,800 books in two spacious modulars.
In 1978 when Maybell Library was incorporated into the Moffat County Libraries system, library card holders started to have access to the entire county collection.
The county collection numbers over 60,000 items as well as downloadable e-books.
“They like that they can check out in Craig if they are grocery shopping and return in Maybell,” Stephenson said.
The Maybell branch of Moffat County Libraries is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday each week and is located at 202 Collom Street in Maybell.
Buffham’s report still rings true 24 years after she wrote, “the community of Maybell can be proud of our library.”
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On a summer morning in southern Idaho, the day breaks early, before 6 a.m. The air is stale, never fully cooled from the heat of the day before.