Garfield libraries: We’re listening; meetings planned |

Garfield libraries: We’re listening; meetings planned

Amelia Shelley
Executive director, Garfield County Libraries
Alejandra Rico helping a patron at the Carbondale branch library.
Emily Hisel / Garfield County Libraries |

In 2007, the Garfield County Libraries conducted six community meetings to understand what our users were looking for in the new library facilities. We listened, and delivered on our promises. Seven years and six buildings later, we are looking for feedback on what our communities need now. We know the value of public libraries and all they have to offer, and want to be sure that everyone gets a great return on their investment.

We have hired JVA Consulting to help us create our next strategic direction. We hope to find out why some people don’t use the library, and understand what programs and services might be attractive to those who are not current users. We also want to learn how to better communicate with both users and nonusers so we can increase the number of people using the library, as well as increase the satisfaction of people who already use the library.

There are three ways you can participate.

First, you can attend a community meeting to tell us personally what you’d like to see at your library. We are hosting a meeting at all six libraries in Garfield County at the following dates and times: Glenwood Springs on Aug. 5, Rifle on Aug.6, New Castle on Aug. 20, Parachute on Aug. 21, Silt on Aug. 26, and Carbondale on Aug. 27. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m., and will offer a light dinner and drawings for $25 gift certificates to local businesses. The conversation will be led by JVA Consultants so that participants can feel free to be honest and candid with their thoughts.

A second way to participate is by filling out our anonymous survey online. Go to and click on the “Community Meetings” link. The short survey should take about five to 10 minutes to complete. Participants can choose to register their names at the end of the survey for an additional drawing for a $25 gift certificate to a local business.

Finally, all of our branches will be passing out a paper version of the survey to patrons who prefer a low tech interface for their opinions. Again, these participants will have an opportunity to fill out a drawing slip for prizes.

While the Garfield County Libraries are still very focused on books and reading, our libraries are also embracing eBooks, streaming services, other technologies, and events for all ages. Finding the right balance is essential to our communities’ success. We hope you’ll lend your voice and ideas to help shape the future of public libraries in Garfield County.

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