Glenwood Springs Branch Library opens Saturday |

Glenwood Springs Branch Library opens Saturday

Amelia Shelley
Garfield County Public Libraries

The sixth and final new facility in the Garfield County Public Library District opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at 815 Cooper Ave. in Glenwood Springs. We’ll have some great speakers, cut the ribbon, and then have a day of celebration including food, music and giveaways. We hope to see you there.

Each of our libraries is unique in its design, but you’ll find the same great services and talented staff in each location. We worked to design each library to be flexible so that each can continue to serve its community for years to come. We’ve created one-of-a-kind early literacy installations in every building that will engage our youngest users and their families. We also worked hard to build green, so that our operations would be kind to the environment. I hope you’ll take the time to visit all six.

I frequently get asked how the Library District managed all of this growth during a down economy. The six facilities were part of a ballot question that passed in 2006. This provides one mill of property tax for 20 years to cover the construction and operation of all six libraries. We also continue to receive a quarter cent of the county sales tax revenues. Over the past two and a half years we’ve had $1.4 million withheld from our sales tax revenues by the state related to court decision mandating a gas drilling industry refund. Despite this, we have been able to maintain our services due to adequate reserves and some generous help from Garfield County, although our 2014 budget is looking lean.

The other question I hear is, “What will you do next, now that you’re done building?” Lots! We will be moving to new software this November for our library functions, implementing text messaging to let people know their holds are available for pickup, building volunteer opportunities, opening a Maker Space at the Rifle Branch Library, and launching our new virtual branch at the start of 2014. We have two nationally renowned author visits coming up this fall, Dr. Mary Doria Russell, author of “Doc,” and Daniel Stashower, author of “The Hour of Peril.” Look for their books at your local branch. We will also be beginning some focus groups to solicit your ideas, concerns and opinions on what’s next for your libraries. We want to be sure that everything we do meets the needs and interests of our communities.

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