The Gila Valley Library has offered quality literature and literacy-related resources to residents of the beautiful Cliff-Gila Valley and its visitors since 2004. Operating initially from what was a storage room in Gila’s community center, it became a fully accredited state public library, in 2008, under the directorship of Certified New Mexico State Librarian Phyllis Reiche. Bursting at the seams in 2012, the library moved to its current location, between Gila’s post office and medical clinic, leasing for a mere dollar a year Hidalgo Medical Services’ vacated space. Under its present director, retired educator Madge Slavec, the library literally transformed the dusty plot, to which it moved, into a green and vital place, thanks to a forestry grant from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. Watch for more magic to happen here!
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. — Marcus Tillius Cicero
24/7 WiFi Access
Three Public Computers
You Will Find
Local Southwest History Section
Book Sale Section
Large DVD Section
Art Gallery and Murals
Community Forest and Interpretive Path
Board of Directors
Merritt Helfferich, Chair and Interim Treasurer
Mary Buonocore, Secretary
Barrett Brewer, Vice Chair
Library Director Emeritus
Madge Slavec, Library Director
Pam Conway, Director’s Assistant
Howard Smith - A special thank you to Howard for donating countless hours to the library since its beginning, being the mastermind for its computer system and all things IT related, providing tutoring in computer-skill-building to seniors, sitting on the board of trustees, procuring and installing the library’s weather station, lending strength and carpentry know-how for both maintenance and remodeling of library facilities, and making many other invaluable contributions!
Art Gallery at GVL
Judy Bowen - Photographs
Look up and north, when you next enter the library, to see local artist Judy Bowen’s latest show: stunning photographs of the white horses of Carmague, an ancient and mysterious breed of horse living in the marshes of southern France. Judy says that she takes pictures “for fun,” but her eye for beauty paired with skills she’s honed since childhood –“my father had a darkroom”– create gorgeous and unforgettable images.
Community Forestry Project
Comparing photos of the library’s present site to those taken when the library first moved here, it is hard to believe it’s the same place!
Thanks to a grant from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and collaboration among the Amma Center, Aldo Leopold High School students, HMS, and numerous library volunteers, the land GVL shares with Hidalgo Medical Services has become an inviting Community Forestry field site for learning about native and naturalized plants and low-water irrigation systems suited to our high-desert valley.
Along the interpretive walkway many plant names and their benefits are noted on engraved markers. Instructional materials on native and naturalized vegetation, gardening, landscaping, water harvesting, and forestry, are now a part of the library’s collection thanks to additional funding from the New Mexico Library Foundation.
After - behind the library
Murals at the Library
Two murals for the library were designed and created through The Youth Mural Project of the Mimbres Region Arts Council, under the direction of Diana Ingalls Leyba. Gila youth of all ages assisted in every aspect of the project — design and development — from beginning to end. Additional financial support came from The National Endowment for the Arts, and New Mexico Arts.
The Riparian Life of the Gila River, adjacent to the front door of the library, completed in 2010, was inspired by the nature and agriculture around the Gila River. Sponsors: Leyba & Ingalls Arts, Prudential Silver City Properties, Syzygy Tileworks, J&J Signs. Site sponsor: The Benwood Foundation and the Gila Valley Library.
Gila Stories (detail), alongside the back door of the library, completed in 2012, was inspired by the stories of community elders. Sponsors: Leyba & Ingalls Arts, Prudential Silver City Properties, Syzygy Tileworks, J&J Signs, Walmart. Site sponsor: The Benwood Foundation and Gila Valley Library Board of Trustees.