HILDALE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) People living in Colorado City are expected to have free access to a new public library nearly finished in the Fundamentalist LDS community of Hildale.
A new agreement between two counties will benefit the twin communities straddling the Utah-Arizona border.
Walls are coming down in the polygamous community collectively known as "Short Creek," and not just inside the new library. The building was formally an FLDS Sunday school for children.
It will be the first like it in the secretive community, where FLDS leaders prohibit non-religious books and the internet.
Tamara Barlow pushed for the library in Short Creek, hoping it will be a haven in the community.
"[Library patrons can] come into a space where they are empowered and they know that it's okay to think that they are equal and they can step so much further," Barlow said.
Right now only Utah residents would get free access, since Washington County taxes pay for library services.
But an inter-government agreement with Mohave County is expected to be finalized on September 20 allowing Colorado City residents to use it for free, too.
"We want to have the services we provide available to everybody," Washington County Library System Director, Joel Tucker said.
Renovations to the building are expected to be completed in time for the library's grand opening on November 18.
Currently, the nearest Utah library is 20 minutes away in Hurricane. A book mobile travels four hours twice a month in Arizona to provide services to Colorado City.
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