Ideally located, near downtown and the Yampa river, the library is a treasured spot by residents and visitors. Our Bud Werner library has a lot to offer including the Mountain Brew run café, a 120-gallon saltwater fish tank and custom artwork inside and outside the building. Named after the local Olympian skier, Wallace “Buddy” Werner, the library memorializes his memory and the highlights of the Yampa Valley. The library succeeded in its goal, when remodeling in 2008, to provide a “center of public happiness”. The building serves as both a place for community gatherings, and a reading and research sanctuary.
The ground floor is open to activity and children, where a learning play center and all the popular collections are located. The librarians routinely offer children’s story-time and are available to offer help finding any one of the 80,000 materials they have available to the public. The doors are mere feet from the Yampa river and provide a nice scene while enjoying a cup of coffee from the café, also located on the ground floor. The second floor offers a reading space with overstuffed armchairs looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows towards the Yampa. There are numerous private study rooms and closed off areas for community members to conduct learning labs and business meetings. The second floor serves as an ideal working space offering wi-fi and large desks spread throughout the floor.
If you are just here for a short visit, the library offers a guest pass to our visitors. We invite you to come participate in learning about some of Steamboat’s rich history and also view the art of our local artists that is literally built into the floors and walls.
The founders of Steamboat Springs, the Crawfords, and settlers who followed them to this remote corner of Northwest Colorado appreciated the value of education. In their wagon, in 1875, along with Maggie’s piano, were books. Maggie Crawford educated her own 3 children and as more settlers arrived and the number of children increased, she started the first school in her home.
A mere 12 years later, in 1887, the first public library was founded in Steamboat Springs in the Union Church on Pine Street between 7th and 8th Streets. The William Denison Memorial Library was populated with 1000 books donated by Denison’s family on his death.
The library then moved several more times, each time increasing in size.
In 1964, local Olympian, Buddy Werner, was killed in a Swiss avalanche. To honor Buddy and his accomplishments, the town fathers agreed to build an unspecified memorial building. Funds were raised, plans drawn up, and an a-frame structure was built at the corner of 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue, across the river from the Steamboat Spring. Citizens had successfully lobbied the town fathers to allow the building to be the new Bud Werner Memorial Library. The new library opened to the public in 1967.
Steamboat Springs continued to grow and by 2005 was bursting at the seams. The community rallied and successfully passed a bond election to expand the library to the building you see today. Construction commenced and the newly expanded library opened to the public in 2008. The new expansion incorporated the old iconic a-frame building which has now become Library Hall. The wonderful community space now offers a full calendar of special programming, hosts public meetings and is available for rent to the public.
- More than 80,000 books, CDs, DVDs and magazines
- 28 public access computers
- Full calendar of special informative events
- Free WiFi
- Research services and databases
- Private meeting rooms by reservation
- Children’s area, story hours and computers
- Teen area
- Comfortable lounge chairs and reading spaces
- Large work tables
- Coffee bar and snack café
9 AM to 8 PM – Monday through Thursday
9 AM to 6 PM – Friday
9 AM to 5 PM – Saturday
10 AM to 5 PM – Sunday
Closed for all major holidays.