Shopping locally makes cents for libraries |

Shopping locally makes cents for libraries

A father and his baby browse the shelves in the children's area of the Carbondale Branch Library.
Emily Hisel / Garfield County Libraries |

Garfield County Libraries have kicked off a Shop Locally, Support Libraries campaign at the Carbondale Branch Library for March to highlight the relationship between sales tax, local businesses and libraries. The libraries receive a quarter cent of Garfield County’s 1 percent sales tax. In 2014, that equaled about $2.4 million in sales tax revenues, which support library operations including staff, utilities and materials including books, e-books, magazines, movies and audio books.

How does the Shop Locally, Support Libraries campaign work? Carbondale residents are being encouraged to bring their receipts from Carbondale businesses to the Carbondale Branch Library between March 6 and April 3 to be entered into a drawing to win prizes donated by local businesses. Although this campaign is limited to Carbondale, the Garfield County Libraries will be expanding the Shop Locally, Support Libraries campaign to the rest of the county later this year.

Primarily, Shop Locally, Support Libraries is designed as a public information campaign to remind people that shopping locally does more than support local business. Besides the six public libraries, the one cent Garfield County sales tax also supports the Garfield County Emergency (911) Communications Authority, Garfield County Health and Human Services grants to area nonprofits, and all six local municipalities. Shop Locally, Support Libraries was developed in partnership with Roaring Fork Leadership and the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, with numerous local businesses joining in on the project.

Garfield County Libraries hope that by heightening awareness of the connection of sales tax to supporting essential services in Garfield County, Shop Locally, Support Libraries will reinforce for citizens the need to spend their dollars close to home. “I think it’s really eye-opening when you think about the extended benefits of shopping in your community,” says Garfield County Libraries’ Executive Director Amelia Shelley. “It’s more than shopping local to ensure that your neighbors’ businesses thrive. It’s also ensuring that the sales tax dollars that are raised stay local, too, and support the entities that help make our communities great.”

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