History Timeline of Uintah County Library

1907—A fundraiser, “Queen Esther Opera” at Jake Workman Hall, was held to begin the library.

1908—The first Library Board was announced in March, with Mina Pack as the Librarian in April. The Library was located on South Vernal Avenue and housed 300 books.

1909—Library was housed in the old Rock Tithing House on North Vernal Avenue. It was a City Library at this time.

1909—Bertha Meredith was installed as second librarian 1909-1920.

1915—Library relocated to 54 West Main Street.

1916—Library relocated to 81 West Main Street.

1919—Mill Levy initiated for funding by the Uintah County Commissioners. Vernal City and County Library became Uintah County Library.

1919—Merle Massey was sent to New York to attend a six-week course for librarians. She served as the County Librarian.

1932-1948—Elizabeth Manker was hired as Librarian. Records show 4,690 books were housed in the Library. During this time relics were gathered by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and displayed in the rear of the Library.

1948—Crystal Lewis was hired as Librarian. At this time the library was located next to the Pool Hall and she instituted a move for the library. It was moved to the old Central School Building on Vernal Avenue and 200 South.

1948—Marge Eaton replaced Crystal Lewis as Librarian.

1958—Leora Jacobe was appointed Library Director, and saw the changes as the new library was being built along with the new county building in 1959. She read every book that came into the library to approve of its content.

1974—An addition was added onto the library and completed in 1975. This doubled the size of the current library. Jacobe retired in 1976.

1976—Doris Karren Burton was hired as Library Director. She had been the Assistant Director for several years.

1976—Utah American Bicentennial Committee was established, with Margurite Colton appointed chairman. Later that year the First Lady Doll Collection was donated and housed in the library.

1982—Doris Karren Burton stepped down as Library Director and began the Uintah County Regional History Center.

1982—Evan Baker was appointed as Library Director.

1983—Elizabeth Sowards replaced Doris Karren Burton as County Historian.

1984—Library began automation.

1985—William Jolley was selected as County historian, replacing Elizabeth Sowards. Doris Karren Burton returned to replace William Jolley at an unknown date.

1990-1991—A two-story addition to the Library added 5,600 square feet.

1996—On December 10, the Library was designated as a Community Learning Center, complete with computers and an internet hookup.

2002—20,100 library cards were issues in a population of 26,000 residents.

2005—Frank Bruno was hired as Library Director.

2007—Doris Karren Burton retired as Uintah County Regional History Director.

2007—Sam Passey was hired as Library Director.

2011—Revenue Bond was approved for a new Uintah County Community Resource Center. Ground was broken in May of this year.

2012—Grand Opening of new Community Resource Center on August 6, 2012.

  • Total Patrons—30,663
  • Checkouts—237,037
  • Items—137,429. 2013
  • Dedication of Concert Grand Piano in Large Conference Room.

2014—The new Uintah Basin Library System includes Duchesne, Roosevelt and Uintah Libraries.

2018—City Councilman and local business owner Ted Mumford donated his costume collection to the Library

2024—Sam Passey stepped down as Library Director, with Assistant Director Chrystal Summarell stepping in as the Library's Interim Director.

Prepared by Ellen S. Kiever

Learn more about the early history of Uintah County Library.