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Laughlin Library celebrates 25 years in current location

April 18, 2019

LAUGHLIN — Turning 25 is a big deal, especially for a library.

Last Wednesday, the Laughlin Library celebrated its 25 years in operation in its current building. Everyone was welcome to come. The event included catered snacks, scrapbooks showing history, a balloon artist, and a Clark County Fire Department truck to explore.

“I am so happy that so many showed up,” said Tanya Brown-Wirth, library branch manager. “I have worked in a lot of branches, and this one is by far the best. The patrons really set the tone, and the staff drives our progress.”

The Laughlin Library first opened in 1987 at its original location in the Laughlin shopping center off Needles Highway. In 1994 the library left that building and moved to its current location with Joyce Pipkin as the first branch manager.

She retired in 2001, and to this day still visits the library regularly.

“It’s really rare in the library world where the original branch manager still comes in,” Brown-Wirth said.

Pipkin said she was amazed at how well the building still looks after 25 years of hard use.

Jennifer Ursini was one of the first children to use the new library, and has the handprints to prove it. One of the columns near the youth center has a bunch of handprints on it and a pair is hers.

When she was 11, her father was president of the local Friends of the Library nonprofit. It gave her an inside first view of the library.

She said remembers seeing the inside before there were shelves were in place.

“This place is special to me,” Ursini said. “I took my kids to libraries wherever we lived, and nothing is like this one. “

LGA Architecture President Craig Galati designed the building 25 years ago and even came down to join in the celebration.

He said the goal was to capture the view of the mountains while making sure Pipkin was able to sit at her desk and oversee everything.

“We felt this was first real permanent community building in the city,” Galati said. “We wanted to make sure the design was timeless and provided all these amenities they didn’t have anywhere at the time. The idea was to build permanence in a transient town.”

Some of these amenities were office space to hold meetings and an area where youth could feel safe while learning.

The Laughlin Library is open seven days a week with varying hours.

Every month the staff offers a number of programs for adults and youth. For more information, call 702-507-4060.