Meet ‘the Twig,’ Snowmass’ small library

The Snowmass Village/Pitkin County Library Annex houses a small selection of books inside the Snowmass Town Hall on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

“This is not a meeting room, this is not a lunch room, this ‘IS’ a library!”

That’s the sign that greets visitors to the Snowmass Library, which is nestled above the council chambers in Town Hall.

One a recent day, voices from people conversing on the first floor echoed up into the door-less space, complete with couches, tables, a public computer and a printer. A few shelves of books for children and adults decorated the walls, offering everything from Jane Austen to James Patterson through an on-your-honor checkout system.

“The goal is to provide access so there are no barriers and to connect people with information and ideas,” said Genevieve Smith, a book collection developer and e-content manager for the Pitkin County Library. “A lot of the taxpayers who help fund the county library live in Snowmass, so we don’t want them to feel like they’re not a part of it.”

Known as “the Rwig” of the Pitkin County Library, the Snowmass Library mainly serves as a quiet place for locals to access books and to use the internet. Smith said because the library twig is small and in a more open space, it isn’t host to other Pitkin County Library programming.

It’s also not a centralized location for book pick-up or drop off, as locals are required to return books at a drop box in Snowmass Center and pick up reading materials requested or placed on hold at the Town Recreation Center.

But although it’s not a full-service library, for Smith and John Wilkinson, president of the Pitkin County Library board of trustees, the Snowmass Library is an important local space.

“It’s a little hidden gem,” Wilkinson said. “It’s important for the county library to have a presence in Snowmass Village.”

Wilkinson, who served on Snowmass Town Council for eight years, was one of the major advocates of creating space for the Snowmass Library, which he referred to as a reading room, when the new Town Hall building was completed.

Since then, Wilkinson has heard positive feedback from locals and tourists, and said there is talk of potentially creating a more complete library branch in the future.

“We’re open to expand more in Snowmass at some point,” Wilkinson said.

Clint Kinney, town manager, expressed similar thoughts. He said having the library space is an important community asset and the town would be open to Pitkin County Library expanding its services in the village.

Some of that service expansion is already in the works. According to Smith, Pitkin County Library hosted a story time event for kids on The Rink in Base Village over the summer, and is planning to host its 50-member Books and Brews book club at The Collective starting in January.

Regardless of where the library brings its services, Smith said she feels making reading materials in print and online available to locals in Snowmass Village at “the Twig” provides an important third space where people can cultivate new ideas.

“Even though this is a wealthier community, not everyone has access to information and ideas,” Smith said. “That’s a basic need we can meet … we want everyone to feel welcome at the library and the Twig is no different.”