Case Study of the Round Mountain Public Library

By Bryant, Lisa | Library Philosophy and Practice, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview
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Case Study of the Round Mountain Public Library

Bryant, Lisa, Library Philosophy and Practice

A Brief Introduction

In choosing my topic I wanted to do something that would serve more than my own interest in getting a grade. I chose this topic in order to put together information that could be shared, information that would serve not just my library but my community as a whole. This paper could not have been done without the cooperation of the community. I would like to thank the Board Members and the Library Director who helped me choose my topic and supplied me with the information I needed; also the residents of Smoky Valley with their fierce independence, who make this frontier community not a place to be taken lightly.

I will do my best not to bore you. I see no reason why term papers cannot be eloquent, readable, and informative.

A Brief History of the Community

I will probably take the greatest pleasure in writing this first section of this paper. This is the only place it will be appropriate for me to use a descriptive voice, rather than simple, unadorned facts. It is the duty of any writer to speak for those who can not speak for themselves, and then to present that information to the reader in a way that will, hopefully, make them see what the writer has seen, feel what the writer feels; to present the information as three dimensional as possible. It is writing that employs all five senses. I feel I can personalize this brief history of this community, and this valley in which it resides, because I myself live here.

First, I will tell you plainly that in many ways this place is difficult to describe, and it is not a matter to be taken lightly. It is one of the most isolated communities in the lower forty-eight states. When people have come out from California for a visit, I notice almost at once a detectable change in them. A peculiar effect the desert has on people is that it immediately gives one the feeling of exposure. It lays bare the mind; and can bring out the best and the worst in an individual. This transformation begins when they have left the city of Fallon behind, going east on Highway 50, and travel into the empty landscape of salt flats and ever higher and higher mountain ranges and the age old ruins of those who have come before. Those who have left behind the foundations of Pony Express stations, and the lonely stone chimneys signifying where a ranch house sheltered a family, a dwelling place no more. And all the while there is the relentless glare of the sun, a most grand inquisitor, smiling on the land.

They pass through Austin with its picturesque old buildings, perhaps not even stopping but following the lonely, winding mountain road over the passes to where it will come out in our valley. The dominant feature in the landscape here is the mountains. We are blessed with two magnificent mountain ranges in Smoky Valley; the first snowfall of the season changes the upturned keel of the mountains to white. Having whole mountain ranges all to themselves will daunt some and the very loneliness of the place embodies the casting off of earthly attachments, which is the essence of any journey. Upon arriving at my house they will usually say one of two things. Either, "how can you stand it here?" Or, "I bet you really love it here." I laugh and say, "If you ever find that you have come to the edge of the world, just look around, my house is close by."

When you have come to the junction of highway 376 and head south down the Big Smoky Valley, you will drive for about sixty miles when you will notice a community. That would be Carver's, and further on is Round Mountain and the subdivision of Hadley, the subject of our profile and the location of the library. If you look to the eastern mountain range you will see the mine. The tailings are very neatly groomed and resemble the Pharaoh's half-finished pyramids, although more rudely formed. In the subdivision on the valley floor the wind is a predominant feature. It blows most days. However, it is not a gentle breeze.

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