Between Galena Summit and Timmerman Hill, three libraries make space among the mountains for rugged thinking and roaming imaginations.

The Wood River Valley is served by two publicly-funded libraries, Bellevue and Hailey, and one privately-funded library, The Community Library in Ketchum. Each library hums with conversations: Readers and staff members chat across the circulation desk; toddlers babble along with the books in story time; people joke with each other while they mill around the public printer. Neighbors and newcomers, children and elders, trade news at the front doors and at free educational programs. Folks daydream in the corners.

The biggest conversation, though, is also the quietest: the books themselves, side by side in the stacks, show the world in conversation, over time and across vast distances. The three libraries together offer more than 135,000 physical books (and another 100,000 digital books) in the Wood River Valley, for anyone to use. These books provide a sense of the wide range of perspectives and diverse ways of knowing that have characterized human existence, both close to home and far beyond this little valley in the middle of Idaho.

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