Weiler starts a new chapter at the Rifle Branch Library | PostIndependent.com

Weiler starts a new chapter at the Rifle Branch Library

New Rifle Branch Library Manager Steve Weiler puts away books at the library on Thursday afternoon.

When Steven Weiler, Rifle Branch Library's new manager, left the library business to pursue a career in other industries, his love of books and the institutions that carry them never left.

The self-proclaimed bookworm relocated to the Front Range after working in public libraries in California, Idaho, Virginia and all across the country and after just a year working for a 3D print company he knew he needed to return to his first love for the next chapter of his life.

"My philosophy is that libraries have a tremendous civilizing effect on any community," he said. "Working in libraries has always been very rewarding to me."

Weiler joined the Rifle Branch Library in late September and he's excited about what the future for the branch holds after the district's successful ballot measure passed earlier this month. The ballot measure will allow the district to keep all tax revenue it collects, around $133,232 in 2017, rather than refunding as it was subject to under Colorado's TABOR laws that limit the rate government districts are allowed to grow year over year.

Funds from Ballot Measure 6A, which passed with more than 70 percent in support, will be used to buy new books and other materials.

Weiler said he's thankful for the voters' support and hopes to restock the library's newspaper collection.

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"One thing I noticed was that the newspaper collection was cut in budget cuts," he said. "People expect some of those subscriptions and with the funding and expansion of the materials budget, that will be one I want to pinpoint. Overall, I'm excited to order new books."

Weiler said he's experienced budget cuts at every library he's worked at and said "it's something public libraries have to deal with the best they can."

"Once you have great facilities in place, all that other stuff comes a little easier," he said. "Having that already in place really sets this library system apart."

One of his goals as branch manager is to ensure that the Rifle Library takes advantage of all the talented artists that are in the valley.

Weiler mentioned the free concert with Rodrigo Arreguin in early November, a rising musician who performs up and down the valley.

"There's a lot of talented artists here and we want to give them the space to be successful in their endeavors," he added.

Assistant Executive Director of the Garfield County Library District Amy Shipley said what impressed her the most about Steven was his leadership philosophy and the years of professional experience he has with public libraries.

"Our goals vary from branch to branch, but we are focused on adding new materials and we're really excited to be able to bring back many popular titles," she said.

She added that each individual branch's budget lines doubled thanks to the ballot measure passing.

azorn@citizentelegram.com