Library Stairs: A Newly Adorned Celebration Of Reading
Just last month, the Estes Valley Library commissioned local artist Michael Young to add a festive and literary-themed new look to its interior stairway. The result is an inviting new design with the face of each step showcasing the title of a famous book. In perspective, the design gives library visitors the perspective of ascending not only a stairway but an imaginative column of books.
The new enhancement is made possible by a grant from the Estes Valley Library Foundation.
Within the library building’s design, the stairway itself is part of the 1991 facility’s original structure. For a decade, the stairway served solely as a portal for staff access to the second floor, an area dedicated in the 1990s to staff workspace on the building’s east wing. In 2002, the building was expanded and public space grew to include a larger second floor that then encompassed the west wing. As part of that addition, the original staff stairway became a public stairway.
Over the years, much of the library has been updated and renovated to accommodate increased use, technology changes, and library service trends. However, it seemed, the stairway was a non-malleable passageway. Over time, a stanza of poetry was inscribed above the stairway’s highest point, and a rotating display of quilts also came to adorn the area. Still, library staff contemplated ways to enhance the space further. Youth Services Librarian Kerry Aiken led the planning that came to form a new and original idea: book titles adorning the steps themselves.
Michael Young worked with a list of titles selected by library staff—spotlighting literary classics like “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Sun Also Rises” and “Gone with the Wind”, along with local-themed works such as “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” and “The Story of Scotch.” Honoring the book covers themselves, Young’s renderings capture much of the original type designs, colors, and embellishments that appeared on the books’ original spines.
As work neared completion, the project was featured on the library Facebook page. That announcement has generated more positive feedback than any other Estes Valley Library Facebook posting to date.
Estes Valley residents and book-loving visitors alike are encouraged to stop in the library to enjoy this welcoming new addition for those stepping up to the second floor. Visitors headed upstairs will also enjoy a rotating exhibit featuring the works of local and regional artists that changes each month.
For more information about the Estes Valley Library, visit estesvalleylibrary.org or call (970) 586-8116.