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The Gila Valley Library promotes literacy and lifelong learning in keeping with its mission statement to provide excellent interactive children's programming and varied and creative resources for adults that reflect the diversity and interests of this frontier community.

SATURDAY 10 am to 2 pm









GVL Garden Update

The Gila Valley Community Forestry Demonstration Garden was established at the Gila Valley Library in 2016.
Eight Years after the initial planting, the garden now has several mature trees, shrubs, native grasses and wildflowers.  Community volunteers are to be commended for the care and maintenance of this beautiful space.  Over these several years, various techniques are used to conserve water, such as, mulching, swales, water catchment from the roof,  planting under trees, and using drought tolerant plants.  Mulching the entire property with wood chips, straw, biochar, leaves and other plant materials as well as planting cover crops, enhances the soil microbes and helps plants thrive and conserve water.  This garden is the first demonstration site for the application of the New Earth Compost, a microbial soil inoculant, utilizing Johnson-Su Composting Bioreactors filled with food waste and liability biomass (wood chips, and biochar) to create a static, aerobic, biologically diverse and fungal dominant compost that works in partnership with plants to capture carbon in soils, increase soil water holding capacity, fix nitrogen, and improve plant and soil health.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Gila Valley Library, we plan to add more native plants to attract pollinators, bees, butterflies, moths, and other beneficial insects and hummingbirds.  Demonstration gardens will show local homeowners how they can turn their yards into wildlife habitats to attract pollinators.  Signs will help folks learn plant identification.  Ongoing classes will specify how to grow these plants, the value of natives in the landscape, why milkweeds are important, desert gardening techniques, weed management, seed saving, water conservation techniques, composting and more.

GVL Library summer 2023


News Flash!  After ten years of strong leadership from Director Madge Slavec, the Gila Valley Library announces Madge’s retirement this spring and the coming of Esti Gutierrez as the new library director. Esti, who was raised in the Cliff-Gila community, will start next June.

Esti brings over twenty-five years of experience as a classroom teacher and as a director of the STARBASE program, a science-oriented program focusing on fifth graders.  She has worked in the schools in Las Lunas, NM and at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.  She has developed new programs, written successful grant applications, and managed a staff and volunteers. By her own description, Esti has a “people-centric nature” and she wrote, “My qualifications and personal strengths have the potential to continue the great work you all have started.”  The STARBASE program she ran teaches children rocketry, computer coding, robotics and many more science and technology subjects.   Esti noted that the Gila Valley Library did not exist when she grew up in Gila, and “I am impressed with this gem of a library . . . I want to be part of it.”  

The library board of directors is excited by having the new director lined up to start in June and they expect her to expand library programming for children of all ages.   “Esti will bless the library with intelligence, creativity and energy,” said departing director Slavec. 

GVL will hold an open house in June, to introduce Esti to the library and the community, and to welcome her back home.  

Gila Valley Library
411 Hwy 211
PO Box 439
Gila, New Mexico 88038
Phone: 575-535-4343
NEW email: gilavalleylibrary1@gmail.com



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The Gila Valley Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, southwest New Mexico. You can help sustain and grow the library at any time by donating here:

Special THANKS to HMS for sharing their land and building!


[August 10, 1935 – May 2, 2019]

Merritt, demonstrating magnetism to STEAM Camp kids in 2017

The MERRITT R. HELFFERICH ENDOWMENT FUND was established by a generous patron for the library’s long-term financial stability. Merritt's dedication to literacy and lifelong learning live on through your support of this fund. To contribute, you may visit the fund site or send a check to the the Gila Valley Library (PO Box 439, Gila, NM 88038), and note that it is for this fund.