Rawlins Library Renovation in the Works



Architect's rendering of the new entrance to the Rawlins Library.

Architect’s rendering of the new entrance to the Rawlins Library.

The Rawlins Library is looking forward to some renovations, thanks to the recent passage of a 6th penny specific purpose tax.

The Rawlins Library is the central library for Carbon County Library System (CCLS). Since 1981, the library has occupied the second floor of the Carbon Building, a county administrative building. The 6th penny tax will generate funds for projects all over Carbon County, and the library’s share will come out of the $27.5 million designated for remodeling the Carbon Building and the Courthouse.

The library will be moved from its current home on the second story down to the ground floor of the building. “The steep staircase that’s now our main entrance will no longer be necessary,” said Jacob Mickelsen, Executive Director of CCLS, “nor will the world’s slowest elevator.”

Instead, patrons will enter through an outdoor plaza area directly into their new, much more accessible library.  New floor plans include designated, organically separated spaces for children, teens, and adults. Major technology infrastructure improvements should future-proof the facility for decades to come. Other planned improvements include a Wyoming history room, a dedicated computer lab, all new spaces for children and teens, and a creation station/makerspace.

“In short, patrons can expect all the same services they currently enjoy — and some new ones —in a space that’s accessible, modern, and welcoming,” Jacob said.  He added that the Carbon Building is a historic structure, “and this project allows the county to protect and respect the past while embracing the future.”

Jacob and the library board and employees are looking forward to working with the project architects in the coming months to flesh out the remodel plans, and they hope to have a construction timeline soon. The library is phase three of a twelve phase plan, “so we ought to have our project commence sooner rather than later.”

The Carbon County Library System has been a part of daily life in Rawlins since 1925, and has changed immensely since its start as one small room at the local school. The library quickly grew to occupy half the ground floor of the courthouse, and moved to its current location 38 years ago.

“A library must change and grow with its community,” Jacob said. “We’re excited to help usher the CCLS into its next iteration and keep serving the public for another century.”

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