About Your Library

Who are We?

 

Northern Plains Public Library is a full service public library serving the Highland RE-9 area, including the towns of Ault, Pierce, Nunn, Carr and the surrounding rural area. The library is located in a new building erected in 2001 at 216 West 2nd St., Ault, Colorado. Administration of the library is by a Board of Trustees with representatives from Ault, Pierce, Nunn and the rural areas. The library is supported by property tax levied on the service area by Weld County for the Weld Library District. The Library currently has approximately 30,000 items, four public use computers and 2,000 patron visits per month.

History of the Northern Plains Public Library

Ault, Colorado

 

The town of Ault became incorporated in 1903 with water, streets, homes, two churches and stores on Main Street. The town was served by a Post Office, but there was no library. Many of the people who had come into the area had books in their homes and were generous in sharing with neighbors. Sometime after 1908, the Ault Reading Club was organized and members read both books and literary magazines and circulated them among themselves. Some churches had small libraries, usually made up of religious books, but nothing was available to the general public.

The first library service available in Ault was a traveling library furnished by the State Library in Denver. This service began in 1919. A small cabinet of books arrived by train on a weekly basis and was dispensed from the grocery store by Mrs. August Anderson, wife of a pioneer doctor. The cabinet, labeled #203 in Memoriam Romaine Mace October 22, 1915, still rests in the Northern Plains Public Library.

When the traveling service was discontinued there was much discussion of a library in Ault. It wasn’t until September 1926 at a Federated Club meeting that a program was presented on how small towns built a library. A challenge was given to citizens to match words with deeds. Representatives from various organizations of the community met at the home of Mrs. C. A. Brayton to discuss the library. A motion was made: Resolved, that a society be organized for the purpose of building a library in Ault.

The Farmers National Bank offered to house the infant library until a building might be secured. Mrs. Jacob Hasbrouck, Sr., became the first librarian. The first books were donated from home libraries and various fundraising drives were held for books and funds. A building fund was started in December 1927 and two lots were purchased for $500 from Mr. Fred Graefe. With the aid of government funds and gifts from civic-minded residents, a library building was built in 1935. The building contained 1,133 sq. ft. in the upper level to be used as a library and 1,113 sq. ft. in the lower level to be used as a community meeting room with kitchen facilities. The first open house was January 4, 1937.

From the Early traveling library, the Ault Public Library grew to a library of over 4,000 volumes and a circulation of over 6,000. The town of Ault began funding the library from the general fund for operating expenses and a governing board of trustees was formed. The library became a member of the High Plains Regional Library System in 1976; this service from the State Library expanded the types and numbers of materials available to the patrons of the library. Services included 8 mm films, 16 mm films, pictures, records, cassettes, and rotating collections, as well as books and magazines. A pre-school story time and a summer reading program were instituted for children.

In 1985 the commissioners of Weld County, Colorado decided the formation of a library district would better serve the citizens and libraries of Weld County and established funding through a property tax. The Greeley Public Library and the Weld County Library formed the core of the Weld Library District as branch libraries. The towns of Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson and Ft. Lupton joined as a member libraries. A service area was determined for each member library according to school district boundaries; therefore, service area for the Ault Public Library was assigned as the Highland RE-9 School District.

In 1997, the library received donation of internet service from Pawnee Internet, a local business, and became the first library in Weld Library District to offer internet access to patrons. In 1998 a grant was received from Colorado Public Utilities Commission to install a better data line for internet service. To better reflect the change of community that membership in the Weld Library District brought, the name of the Ault Public Library was changed to Northern Plains Public Library in 1998. This change was done through a “Name the Library” campaign and the chosen name was submitted by Robert Fladung.

In 1999, plans were begun to erect a new library building. The library had grown to 20,000+ volumes, the library building was not compliant with the Americans with disabilities Act and the library had run out of space. The town of Ault donated land on West 2nd Street in a newly developed park area. Funding for the new building was a combination of funds saved over the years, a bank loan from Farmers bank, $100,000 received from an Energy Impact Assistance Grant from the State of Colorado and sale of the old library building. Total cost of the new building and furnishings was $540,000. Architect Keith Titus of Loveland and Cottier Construction, Inc. of Ft. Collins were retained and construction began in 2000. Grand opening of the new 6,000 sq. ft. building was held on August 11, 2001. The library now holds over 31,000 volumes, 400+ audio books, 800+ videos/DVDs and four public internet computers.

Questions? Comments?

Please feel free to contact us!

Phone and Fax: (970) 834-1259

Come on in and talk to us in person!

Address: 216 W. 2nd Street, Ault, CO 80610

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