Columns

Much going on at the Library

In November of 2017, the voters of the Montrose Regional Library District, you, gave the Library
District a bit more money. This was a good thing because the District’s revenues were still down due to
the Great Recession. While campaigning for that election, the District promised to use those funds to
do 5 things: open the Montrose Regional Library 7 days per week, expand programs, update materials
and technology, increase bookmobile stops, and take care of maintenance that had been deferred.

The Montrose Regional Library began opening seven days per week in January of 2018, shortly after the
election. While this put a strain on staff as there was still hiring and training to be done, the board and
staff felt it was important to make good on our promise as soon as possible. Opening seven days a week
was a visible way to show the community we took our promises seriously.

The District has expanded programming. There are far more adult programs now such as a gardening
series, more speakers on more topics, and we brought back Sunday Serenades. A service called “Book
a Librarian” is offered whereby you can book an hour of time with a librarian to do such things as teach
you basic computer skills, set up a free email address, get help with Overdrive electronic books or other
digital resources the library offers, write resumes, work with websites such as Social Security, and any
other topic wish.

New hires in the Youth Services Department allowed us to expand programs for children and their
parents. We have expanded our early literacy offerings. Did you know if you get 1,000 books in a
child’s hands before kindergarten, they are much more likely to read at grade level or above by grade
three? And if they read at grade level by age three they are nearly 80% less likely to be incarcerated during
their lives.

Speaking of Overdrive, this is an electronic book resource we were able to add after the election. You
can get e-books and e-audio books. Materials expenditures have increased over 35%, making available
more new books, more audio books and just more great stuff in general. The District added over 11,000
new items to our collection last year.

Outreach services are flourishing. The bookmobile is visiting 16 new stops this summer. Bookmobile
summer stops are 1.5 to 2 hours long and include story times, crafts, activities, and performers. Due to
the generosity of an anonymous donor, the District will put a brand new, $150,000 book van into
service this summer. This will allow us to serve seniors more effectively through 13 stops per month.
The bookmobile and book van will also be at 21 promotional stops this summer. These are things like
parades, fairs, and special events.

And even though it is less glamorous, the community has made a huge investment in library facilities
over the years. In order to be good stewards of this investment, we have to take care of these facilities.
We are taking care of some deferred maintenance we know about and are embarking on an extensive
facilities assessment process which will give us a plan, with cost estimates, for the next five to 10 years.
As you can see, there is much going on at your library. We are striving to do what we promised you, the
people, we would do. Come check

About the author

Paul Paladino

Paul Paladino

Paul is the Montrose Library District Director