Our Founders were a group of forward-thinking women.
In 1955, seventeen visionary Ketchum and Sun Valley women founded the Community Library Association (CLA) as a privately funded, privately governed, non-profit cultural organization. By the intention of our founders, the Library is not dependent on any local, state, or federal tax funding. These founders each contributed one dollar to the treasury and opened the Gold Mine Thrift Store in a one-room log cabin to earn funds to build and operate a library.
Just two years later, in 1957, the nascent Community Library opened a new 4,700 square-foot building in downtown Ketchum. In 1977, the Library moved to a new 8,500 square-foot facility on its current site, and the original Library building was converted into the Gold Mine retail outlet. In 1986, the Library doubled its size, and in 1989 a Lecture Room and an Audio-Visual Room were added. The Children’s Library addition was built in 1997, and the Reference Room and Regional History Department were expanded the same year. Today, the landmark Community Library building encompasses 27,635 square feet, covering almost one entire city block. It holds more than 127,000 items in its collection, serves a base of 140,000 individuals, offers nine dynamic program areas, boasts nearly 15,000 library cardholders worldwide, and features a regional history department and museum.
The Community Library’s Mission
Bringing information, ideas, and individuals together to enhance the cultural life of the community.
The library serves the Wood River Valley in ways beyond those of a traditional library by engaging individuals through its library services, contemporary programming, and museum resources. It encourages educational and personal growth through its collections, its reference resources, its technological options, and its personal approach to 21st-century library practices. It engages in meaningful partnerships with other non-profits for the benefit of the entire community
The Community Library is an entirely privately funded public library. We offer free access like government-funded libraries, but we receive no tax support.
- FREE LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP: WE HAVE MORE THAN 15,000 MEMBERS WORLDWIDE!
- FREE COMPUTER USE: MORE THAN 450 PEOPLE USE OUR PUBLIC COMPUTERS WEEKLY!
- FREE PUBLIC WI-FI:WE PROVIDE THE FASTEST INTERNET CONNECTION IN TOWN!