Decision made regarding library district formation
At the June 17, 2008, library district public hearing, the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners voted two-to-one to against Jefferson County Public Library’s (JCPL) proposal to become an independent library district. Despite this decision, the Library Board of Trustees remains convinced that a library district is the best organizational model for the future of JCPL.
Further considerations about the road ahead will be discussed in the coming weeks, and we will be sure to let the community know what that path forward looks like.
On behalf of the Trustees and Library staff, I would like to extend great thanks to Jefferson County residents and the Library community for your continued support and assistance in our efforts. As a component unit of Jefferson County government, we remain committed to working with the Board of County Commissioners to provide high-quality library services to the community.
Library Board response to letter from county staff regarding formation of a library district
Library District - What’s Best for the People of Jefferson County? Prepared by Jim Moore, Jefferson County administrator, and Ellen Wakeman, Jefferson County acting attorney
The Library Board of Trustees is responding to the following letter from county staff to correct areas of misinformation. Responses from the Jefferson County Library Board of Trustees are listed in red.
Respectfully, Keith Grebe, chair, on behalf of the Library Board of Trustees.
Introduction The Jefferson County Board of Commissioner’s meeting on June 17 concerning the library system’s request for the formation of a library district is quickly approaching. We thought it would be helpful to the Jefferson County citizens, taxpayers and library users to hear the concerns of the county regarding the library’s proposed separation from the county government and the financial and service implications. The concerns focus primarily on cost and disruption.
Library Response: The request by the Library Board of Trustees to form a library district in Jefferson County focuses primarily on:
Fulfilling the Trustees’ fiduciary and stewardship responsibilities,
Changing the way Jefferson County Public Library operates to ensure its financial viability, and Safeguarding the Library’s future for Jefferson County residents.
Unlike other county/city departments, Colorado State Statute provides for the formation of separate library districts.
County residents continue to use their libraries in ever-increasing numbers and there is every reason to assume this trend will continue. In 2007, residents:
Checked out nearly 6 million items – an 86.7 percent increase since 2000.
Visited our libraries more than 2.8 million times – a 40 percent increase since 2000.
Used our Online Library more than 3 million times – a 354 percent increase since 2000.
Attended more than 118,000 free programs – an 87 percent increase since 2000.
As a consequence of the significant increase in use of our services, Jefferson County Public Library is in danger of exhausting its available financial resources (see charts 1a and 1b below).
From the Trustees’ perspective, the decision to form a library district must be based on: Who is in the better position to manage both the significant increases in use and the changing needs for library services that must and will occur, and What is the better organizational model to facilitate these changes? –more-
Op-Ed: Library District in Best Interest of Jefferson County Residents
The following op-ed piece, by Library Board of Trustees Chair Keith Grebe, was submitted to local media June 6, 2008:
Library District in Best Interest of Jefferson County
After the June 17 Library District Public Hearing, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) will make a decision on the future of the Jefferson County Public Library, the second largest in the state. The BCC will determine whether or not to allow the Library to move forward as a separate library district – a decision that will have long-term effects on the future operations of the Library and its services to the community.
For the last 56 years, the Library has operated as a component unit of Jefferson County government. Residents have benefited greatly from this organizational model, and it has served our 10-library system well.
However, residents’ demands on their libraries have changed and use of our services has increased significantly in the last 10 years. Since 2000 use of the Library and its core services have increased an average of 142 percent.
Library Board of Trustees announce finalists for executive director
The search for a new head of Jefferson County Public Library moves closer to completion, as the pool of 17 initial candidates for executive director has been narrowed to three by the seven-member Library Board of Trustees.
The candidates are:
Teresa Landers, deputy director and extension services manager, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, Corvallis, Ore.
Cheryl Garrison, assistant director, Kent District Library, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Marcellus Turner, acting county librarian and deputy county librarian, Jefferson County Public Library
Meet the candidates for the Library’s new executive director
You are invited to meet the three finalists for executive director of Jefferson County Public Library at a reception hosted by the Library Board of Trustees. It will be held on Thursday, June 12, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Denver Marriott West, 1717 Denver West Boulevard, Golden. The new executive director will help shape the future of Jefferson County Public Library.
The new executive director will replace Bill Knott, who led the Library for 37 years. Knott retired on April 30, 2008. A nationwide search to find a new executive director began in February and the Library’s Board of Trustees will interview the candidates June 14 through 16.
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