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History of the Taos Public Library

The first Taos Public Library was housed in the Harwood Home, generously donated by the Harwood Family for this purpose. A museum of Taos paintings and artifacts also shared this space. In 1988, it became evident the space was no longer large enough for both functions. Town leaders meet to consider what was needed for a new library and where this might be located. Judith Anderson, a board member of the Friends of the Library at that time, accepted the task of raising community interest and funds for this project in 1992 to 1994. Designs for the building were completed in 1995. 

Construction began in 1996 and the building was dedicated in 1997 by Town Leaders with grateful acknowledgement to Mrs. Anderson and others who lead the initiative. In recognition of the role of the Friends of the Taos Public Library a space was allocated off the lobby for a Friends’ Bookstore.  A plaque acknowledging this relationship is posted within the Bookstore. Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Town and the Friends was written, for ongoing financial support from the Friends to the Library for its needs and programs.  

Since that time, the Friends of the Library continue to receive de-shelved library books and donated books to sell as a means of raising funds for the Taos Public Library. We also seek grants when appropriate. Hundreds of Taos County residents and visitors contribute to this goal via memberships and donations to help fund projects and assist with purchase of books for the library collection. Tiles on the wall within the outer hallway acknowledge many of these donors. The generous support of these members and donors is deeply appreciated. 

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”
— Albert Einstein 
(1879-1955. Theoretical physicist)
“When in doubt go to the library.”
— J.K. Rowling 
(b. 1965. British novelist, screenwriter, and producer, best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series)
“Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities.”
— R. David Lankes 
(Director of the School of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina)
For more Reading:
Top 45 Most Beautiful Quotations About Libraries, Librarians, Cataloging, Classification, Catalogers, and Library and Information Science.

History of the Taos Public Library Garden

Friends of the Taos Public Library put in a garden on the present site as a beautification project. It was a very nice garden but wasn’t maintained by the town and became overgrown and disappeared. What was left was a pile of rocks and weeds and it was an eyesore on the library grounds. 

Prior to 2014, the Taos Garden Club had approached the Friends’ board about restoring the garden but nothing came of it. After Ken Harrold joined the Board he offered to contact the Garden Club and see if we could get the restoration underway. The Friends board unanimously approved the restoration of the garden if we could get financial help from the Garden Club and the approval of the town. 

Members of the Friend’s Board met at the site with the then Library Director, representatives from the Town and Theresa Taggart from the Garden Club. The representatives from the Town said that they were fine with us restoring the garden as long as we did the maintenance as they did not have the funds or the personnel to maintain it. The Friends board had already approved doing the maintenance as we did not want it to fall into disrepair again. The Friends applied for grants from the Garden Club to defrayed half the cost of the Garden and the project began. 

This garden was done as a beautification project for the Library and as a cultural and educational project with educational signs. Many Friends’ organizations have established library gardens as cultural and educational projects. Landscaping and maintenance of the Garden is funded by the Friends of the Taos Public Library. A draft MOU for the Town of Taos states the water for the Library Garden will be provided by the Town; all other costs for maintaining the garden will be the responsibility of the Friends of the Taos Public Library. See our photo galleries of the garden!

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