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Summer Books from Utah's Remote Librarian

May 27, 2007 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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In Moab, Utah, the local citizenry's expectations for their public library are as lofty as the colorful canyons, mesas and buttes that surround them.

It's Eve Tallman's job to meet those high expectations. She directs the Grand County Public Library in Moab, which serves a county the size of Delaware and Rhode Island put together.

Tallman's library — built to citizen specification — was recently named the best small library in 2007 by Library Journal.

Books on tape are a popular choice for locals who drive long distances in the remote region, Tallman says. A million international visitors come through Moab each year, many of whom are interested in climbing, canyoneering and rafting down the Colorado River.

Tallman, who enjoys canyoneering in her spare time, says the local landscape influences her reading choices. She kicks off Weekend Edition Sunday's annual summer reading series with a handful of books she's set aside for the season.

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