TURNING BACK THE CLOCK
BY SABRINA LEE
By 1912, the library had amassed 500 books, and by 1920, 1000.
My kids think I’m weird, but there is nothing better than the smell of books, old and new, that hits you like a wall when those electric double doors of the library open. We all remember the story told to us that libraries spread across the nation with the Carnegie free libraries. North Ogden’s Library can be traced back to the 1860s.
Sidney Stevens maintained a library from his store, Stevens Cooperative. He loaned books to the public from 1868 until the building burned down in 1886. In newspaper articles starting in November of 1890, we can see announcements for musical concerts with all proceeds benefiting the North Ogden Public Library.
In 1912, George S. Dean consented to be the chief librarian. As the chief, he was tasked with organizing the library into the same system used in large libraries. George was a local attorney and had gathered a large personal library. He stored his library on the back of the old post office building, and then moved its location to his home. Can you imagine, a house with shelves in the parlor, dining room, and office? All filled with books! An August 19th, 1912, Ogden Standard article stated that the library had amassed 500 books on its shelves. By 1920, a Deseret News article reported that the North Ogden Library had grown to over 1000 books.
Later, the 1-acre land next to the municipal building was purchased and set aside for a future library, but according to an Ogden Standard news article from the late 1970’s there was some contention with the Weber County Library Board as to the best location that would serve Northern Utah as a whole. Other areas considered were the Five Points area in Ogden, and Pleasant View. Eventually the Board of Trustees agreed to the North Ogden Branch.
Richardson Associates, an architecture firm from Salt Lake City, was awarded the contract to design the new building. And on January 15th, 1983, the new library was dedicated. More recently, the library renovations met with some contention between banded northern cities and the Weber County Library Boards Capital Improvement Project to renovate the branch. Parking, as well as location, were all major issues. Eventually the renovations were completed, and today the North Ogden Library is in the same location, still serving the same great community.