Parachute library expansion focus of system’s capital improvements |

Parachute library expansion focus of system’s capital improvements

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Garfield County Public Library System announced that its Parachute Library expansion will be the focus of capital improvements for 2004, and no other improvements are currently planned.

“Future library expansions will be driven by participation and interest of the communities served,” said Jaci Spuhler, director of the Garfield County Public Library System.

Spuhler presented the system’s 2003 annual report and its strategic plan for 2004 at the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners meeting Monday.

Joining Spuhler were library system board members Cheryl Currier, Chuck Dixon and Bill Lamont.

Staying the course

Currently, a 0.25 percent sales tax provides the library system’s primary source of revenue. Last year, that tax amounted to more than $1.52 million.

Spuhler noted that the library system will not ask for additional funding unless “a pressing need” is identified.

“If the voter climate is favorable, and if we have the support of the local government, we will be prepared to seek additional funding, including going back to the voters to create a library district funded by a mill levy to complement the tax revenues we already receive,” Spuhler stated.

“However, in light of the current economic climate, the success of such an effort would be questionable,” she added.

Spuhler told commissioners that one of the library system’s goals is to attain “complete use of the facilities we do have.”

She said she’d like to look at ways to expand library hours. Currently, all six libraries are closed Sundays and Mondays.

“We realize the buildings are not being fully utilized when the doors are closed,” she said.

Comprehensive reports

“We’re looking at using our libraries to the best of our abilities,” she added.

According to the library system’s strategic plan for this year, that means sharing books and resources between all six libraries.

County commissioners seemed pleased with the quality of both the library system’s 2003 annual report ” a 35-page document detailing operations at the system’s six libraries ” and its 2004 strategic report.

“These reports are extremely comprehensive,” said Commissioner Tresi Houpt.

“It might seem somewhat anti-climactic for you,” Commissioner John Martin told Spuhler and the board members in attendance. “We appreciate your hard work, and we’re looking forward to you going forward with your plans.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

– Branches: Gordon Cooper in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Parachute

– Population served: 45,931

– Number of visits: 257,827

– Number of reference questions: 34,879

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