Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Library takes over Ketchum ski museum

Historical Society board of directors disbands

Express Staff Writer

Taylor Pasley, director of the Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society Ski and Heritage Museum, works in the museum in central Ketchum last month. Officials involved in The Community Library takeover of the museum have said Pasley will continue to serve as the facility’s director. Photo by Roland Lane

    The Community Library of Ketchum has officially taken over the Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society Ski and Heritage Museum in Forest Service Park.
    Library officials announced last week that the new venture—a partnership with the city of Ketchum—will help the library increase its community and education outreach.
    “We look forward to this exciting, new approach to serving our community and informing people about the unique heritage of this valley,” Community Library Executive Director Cynthia Dillon said. “We also look forward to this new partnership with the city of Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department.”
    The city of Ketchum owns the museum and the Parks and Recreation Department is in charge of managing the property.
    “This really is a win-win for the library and Historical Society,” Ketchum Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Smith said. “The library has the capacity and experience to execute a successful outcome here. The city gets its desire of having historical museums.”
    Smith said she feels the communication between the Historical Society and library has facilitated the process. The library has taken over the current lease for the museum, which requires that it pay the city only a nominal monthly rate. The Parks and Recreation Department will be involved in helping write up a new lease once the current one expires in September.
    In previous Ketchum City Council meetings, Historical Society Board President Heather Daves said the transfer of the lease would benefit the museum.

    During a Jan. 8 council meeting, Councilman Baird Gourlay concurred.
    “The library obviously has better fundraising capabilities, and I think this will make it a better operation.”
    Smith echoed the sentiments of Gourlay during the meeting.
    “This will definitely raise the museum’s profile,” Smith said. “This area has such a rich community history, and showcasing our heritage is very important. The library will immensely boost its presence.”
    After completing the transfer of the lease to the library, the Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society board of directors has disbanded. Former Historical Society President Anne Zauner said she is disappointed to see the board dissolve.
    “I think the board disbanding is a big mistake,” Zauner said. “The Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society has a responsibility for the whole community with our buildings and structures, especially our museums. The board was honestly focused on the museum.”
    Zauner added that she would have liked to see a board solely dedicated to the museum, while another board is created so the organization could be more broadly focused on preserving the character of the Wood River Valley community.
    The museum will be closed to the public during the transition and will reopen in early summer of 2014.

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