Thank You, Garfield County, for supporting and using your public libraries |

Thank You, Garfield County, for supporting and using your public libraries

Emily Hisel
Garfield Public Library District
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Photo by Emily HiselGarfield County Public Library staff poses for a photo in October.

There are a great many things we all think about today as we join with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. And while turkey and football will be high on my list, I will also be thinking about how grateful I am to be a member of the Garfield County Libraries. And, just for a second, I’d like to thank those who make this such a wonderful place to be.

In 2006, the voters of Garfield County generously approved the formation of the Garfield County Public Library District, and granted a 1 mill property tax to build or remodel all six libraries.

These very important decisions have given the libraries greater financial strength by keeping the quarter cent sales tax, which is used to run the libraries, and adding the property tax, which will sunset in 2027. It has helped us weather this economic storm at a time when other libraries across the nation have not been so lucky. It has also helped us build for the future.

We completed the remodel of the Parachute Branch Library and the new Rifle Branch Library in 2010. We are currently in the construction phase for the New Castle Branch Library, and the remodeled building is scheduled to open in early 2012.

Designs for the libraries in Silt, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale are all now under way. It’s truly an exciting time to be part of the libraries.

Another piece I am thankful for is the involvement of the communities in library activities.

Through September of this year, more than 30,000 people have attended library events. We’ve had everything from concerts to video gaming to medical lectures, and each time it’s well worth the effort when community members come to enjoy or learn.

At the conclusion of the Summer Reading Program the libraries put out a survey to see how we were doing. Overwhelmingly, children, teens and adults enjoyed their experiences. We also got back survey responses such as, “Great job. Wonderful programming that meets the interests of a diverse population. Thanks!” and “My kids love books, and a large part is because of the library.”

For these kind words I must thank our patrons, first for taking the time to fill out a survey form, and secondly for saying such nice things. It is fantastic to hear of these instances in which we are accomplishing our goals.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who is supporting the libraries by simply utilizing and enjoying them. Through September of this year, more than 394,000 people have visited the six libraries, which is up almost 15 percent over 2010. Additionally, there have been more than 460,000 items (books, movies, magazines, CDs) checked out in the same period, which is up 20 percent from 2010.

Your support of, involvement in, and enjoyment of the libraries is why I enjoy my time with the libraries. Thank you for making it all possible. Best wishes for your Thanksgiving.

All six branches of the Garfield County Libraries will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25, in celebration of Thanksgiving. The libraries will reopen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26. Thank you for your continued support and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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