On Sept. 10, 2007, the Coeur d’Alene Public Library continued more than a century of service to the community when it opened its doors to the public at 702 E. Front Ave.
The library and its support organizations want to celebrate 10 years in the “new” building with a party, Sunday Sept. 10, beginning at 12 p.m.
The celebration begins with the ninth annual Mudgy & Millie Birthday Party in the community Room with a reading of “Mudgy & Millie” by author Susan Nipp, video presentations about the creation of character statues by sculptor Terry Lee, a visit from Mudgy and Millie themselves, book signing, birthday cake and more.
A well-known children’s author, who co-created the Wee Sing books and music series, Nipp conceived of the book after seeing the bronze statues of the characters from the book “Make Way for Ducklings” in Boston. Along with illustrator Charles Reasoner, she created the story of a moose and mouse playing hide and seek in downtown Coeur d’Alene and it was published in 2008 accompanied by the five statues created by Lee along the city’s 2.5-mile Mudgy Trail.
After the birthday party the celebration moves outside for an afternoon of entertainment.
Activities will include music by Arvid Lundin and Deep Roots and the Coeur d'Alene Youth Marimbas performing in the pavilion in McEuen Park. There will be three bounce houses from Jump for Joy, a clown with a magic act, book giveaways for children, games coordinated by Kip Sharbono from the Salvation Army Kroc Center, and food and beverage vendors.
Inside the library the staff will offer crafts and show off features in the library such as its new Make-It Lab.
The celebration is sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation with support from Mountain West Bank, the Walsh Law Group, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Murray Group, and Centennial Distributing.
The library was founded in 1905 by the Coeur d’Alene Woman’s Club – an organization that still exists – and was first opened in the E.B. Keller and Co. grocery store on Sherman Ave. The owners donated three shelves and Miss Anna Elderkin was in charge, operating the library 2-4 p.m., Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Later the same year the library moved into two rooms in the Exchange Bank, now the location of The Vault Coffee Shop and in 1909 it moved to the second floor of the newly completed City Hall, which now partially houses Crickets Restaurant and other businesses.
The library moved in 1945 to a building at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Lakeside donated by Ralph S. and Jeanette Nelson. (A Nelson History Room is still a features at the library.) It remained there until 1985 when it moved to the building at 201 E. Harrison Ave. built by the Louisiana Pacific Co. and later used by the GTE telephone exchange. The Harrison Avenue building continues to serve the community as the St. Vincent DePaul HELP Center.
The Front Avenue building was the first facility in Coeur d’Alene actually designed to be a public library. The 38,500 square-foot building was a joint project of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation, the City of Coeur d’Alene, and the Lake City Development Corp. (ignite cda). The main floor includes the adult and young adult libraries, the Make-It Lab (in the former computer lab) and the Nelson Room, a collection of history books and other materials related to North Idaho and the Inland Northwest.
The lower floor houses the Seagraves Children’s Library, the Community Room, two smaller meeting rooms, Technical Services, and administrative offices.
A second branch, the Lake City Public Library, opened in 2016 within the Lake City High School library and offers library services that extend beyond the school day. It is joint project of the Coeur d’Alene Pubic Library Board of Trustees, the Coeur d’Alene School District, and the City of Coeur d’Alene.
Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315.