In 1987, a group of local residents saw the need for a community library for the small town of Ignacio and the surrounding rural area that it serves. They created an informal group called Friends of the Ignacio Library, and began working to achieve their dream. Progress was slow and intermittent, but in 1990 the group placed a question on the November ballot and received a “Yes” vote to establish a Special Taxation District to fund the library. This district, the Ignacio Community Library District, served a population of about 5,200 and encompasses an area of roughly 240 square miles.
Though the taxing authority provided funds to operate a library, at first there was no building to house its books and operations. With the help of a HUD grant and the town of Ignacio, volunteer workers remodeled a used furniture store and the town leased it to the Library District.
In 1991 the newly formed library moved into a 1800 sq.ft. building and hired a Library Director. Much of the furniture, as well as 6,000 books and videos, were donated by local citizens. With the newly approved mil levy, the Library was able to begin acquiring new materials for its collection.
By 2004, the library had confirmed the vision of its founders. In the spring of that year it had 2,200 registered patrons, a collection of 15,000 books and a substantial video collection. It provided numerous programs addressing literacy and ESL, computer skills, popular programs for children and young adults, including a summer reading program. Free Internet access was offered, and the demand quickly overran the six computers available. Initially the library started with one full-time employee. By early 2004 the staff had grown to a full-time director and three part-time library assistants.