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The City Journals

Let’s make a memory: Midvale library to celebrate golden anniversary

May 08, 2017 04:35PM ● By Travis Barton

Midvale residents share some of Midvale’s veteran’s history last November. (Ruth Vine Tyler Library)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Make way for May, the Ruth Vine Tyler Library will be celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the month with its theme, “Midvale Memories.”

“We wanted to celebrate our anniversary,” said Library Manager Sarah Wegener. “And the library’s such an important part of our community, I thought it’d be a great way to celebrate all of Midvale.”

Wegener said Midvale has been through many changes since the library opened in 1967 incorporating new areas and developments.

With more changes on the way, most notably the rebuilt Midvale Middle School to open in the fall, Wegener said people can commemorate their memories of the city while looking forward to the future.

“We really thought celebrating our anniversary and the past was a way to show we’re building on that past for this better future,” she said.

Even for people new to Midvale, Wegener said it’s a positive thing for the city to have “opportunities for engagement, for connection to one another.”

“It’s really healthy for communities to have a sense of belonging. I think that celebrations like this can really help people feel like this is a place I belong,” she said.

All month long, the library will have its various programs highlighting Midvale’s history. Wegener said they hope to bring in recognized community members like Jason Mazuran, Midvale Precinct police chief, for story time or involve mining history with their after-school programs.

The library, named after the county library system’s first librarian, also hopes to incorporate crafts activities with 60’s themes and watch movies that were shot in Midvale, such as “The Sandlot.”

Most important, Wegener said, was she wants people to submit their fond experiences of Midvale.

“We’re asking them to send us a card, note or drop them off, telling us their stories about growing up in Midvale,” Wegener said.


Wegener said they also expect to have displays demonstrating Midvale traditions like Harvest Days and the Cinco de Mayo parade. That will be in addition to historical artifacts loaned from the Midvale Historical Museum.

“We’re really excited to showcase all this history,” Wegener said.

But those programs and items serve as prelude to the 50th anniversary party held all day on May 20  at the library.

Quick Wits will be on hand to perform as the day includes treats, games, activities and crafts for families.

“Kind of celebrate all the things the library’s done and where we’re hoping to go,” Wegener said.

Midvale’s history includes the refinery and smelter once located west of Main Street. Wegener is from Sandy and now lives in West Jordan, but her connections to the city run deep with both of her great-grandfathers having worked at the refinery at different times.

“Sort of a random connection when I think about it… kind of a cool thing that I have a history in Midvale even though I didn’t spend as much time here growing up,” she said.

Wegener hopes the month makes people better connected to their community and, by extension, Midvale.

“When people reflect on the past and where they’ve come from, it helps inspire them to continue to grow and build on those positive memories,” she said, adding that inspiration can “help us to move forward and do many more great things.”

To send your memories of Midvale to Wegener, email her at [email protected].