Library History

About the Ephraim Public Library

When Mr. Neilson donated twenty acres of land, the young men transitioned to farming, earning even more money. They used some of that money to buy a thresher and began to travel throughout the area, known as the granary of Utah, threshing wheat. As their financial resources grew, they discussed what they should do with their land. In the end, they decided to sell it and use the proceeds to start a Young Man’s library. They bought some books, and others were donated. The library was a great success, and they soon needed more space. Eventually, the Ephraim City Council took over stewardship of the library, providing room in the old City Hall and funding under the direction of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association.

In 1886, billionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie began donating money for library construction in communities across the United States. The Ephraim City Council applied for Carnegie funding to build a new library to house their growing collection. They managed to secure $10,000 for the construction of Ephraim’s current library building, contingent on the community’s willingness to fund the future operation of the library. In 1913, Ephraim City passed an ordinance for library funding, and the building was completed in 1914.

Fast forward nearly one hundred years, Ephraim’s Carnegie library building was in desperate need of renovation. In 2008, the library staff and volunteers moved the library’s collection across the street while construction workers started a complete makeover of the building, paid for by a grant and donations. As a part of the renovation, the library got an elevator, allowing all patrons to access both floors of the library. While the proposed changes included an addition on the west side of the library for meeting rooms, office space, special collections, and storage, inadequate funding made this extension impossible.

Since 2008, the most important change at the Ephraim Public Library was the 2013 formation of the Central Utah Collaborative ILS Project. Through the dedicated efforts of individuals like Juan Lee and a generous grant, the Ephraim Public Library joined the Manti and Mount Pleasant libraries to form a consortium. The libraries within the consortium purchased an integrated online catalog system, and residents of these communities have free access to the materials at all three libraries. The libraries provide a weekly transfer service so that desired items come to patrons, and patrons can return things to any of the three libraries. Residents of other communities in Sanpete County can access consortium resources for a small annual fee.

Today, the Ephraim Public Library continues to provide quality library resources and services to its patrons. This includes a popular collection of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and magazines. We provide computers and internet connection for the people in our community. Through our affiliation with the Beehive Consortium and Utah’s Online Public Library, our patrons can access additional eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, videos, and high-quality databases. In addition, we strive to provide programming for people of all ages. Though our space is limited, we do our best to provide the resources and services our patrons want and need.