The Dolores Public Library District’s purpose is to provide an environment to encourage reading by all groups. The Library’s role is to provide resources to assist in the community’s pursuit of educational objectives, intellectual and emotional growth, “the enjoyment of leisure time” and the solutions to everyday problems.
An assessment of user needs was developed by the board and the Library Director, in June 2012. The Dolores Public Library functions as a traditional public library – providing both print and digital information. The Library also plays a leading role in the community as a meeting place, a technology / training center, and as a place to just relax and read. Technology is changing very quickly; the library gives people – who might not otherwise – an opportunity to learn about those changes
The current physical facility was built in 2004. The facility is conveniently located near the local schools and the post office and is just off the major highway running through the town. The Library has sufficient space to meet the needs of the community.
Collection and Materials
The Library’s collection as of January 2010 was 22,609 with the total circulation of materials at 23,209. There were 973 new items added and 639 items removed from the collection in 2010. The Library is a member of a consortium that allows for interlibrary loans (borrowing books from other libraries). A total of 1,860 items were loaned or borrowed in 2010. The budget for periodicals, electronic materials, electronic databases, and books was increased by approximately 30% in 2012. This increase will be used mainly for electronic and digitized content / resources. Weeding (removing materials from the collection that are outdated or not used much) is continually done to make room for current materials and to maintain the high standards and exceptional appearance of the collection.
Approximately 366 new patrons were added in 2010 for an estimated total of 4,000 patrons. Visitors and computer users may not always be included in the statistical reports. Improved community awareness is needed as some in the community may lack specific knowledge of the Library’s resources and services.
The Library has two full-time employee and five part-time employees (who work an average of 20-25 hours per week). The staff have been praised by patrons in terms of their knowledge and helpfulness. There is a high expectation that the Library will continue to employ qualified, dedicated staff to perform at the levels needed to provide the best service to the community. Three regular volunteers donated a total of 197 hours in 2010.
The current Library Director is also expected to retire within the next three years, and a succession plan has been implemented to ensure continued smooth operations.
The Library offers a wide range of promotional activities and programs to the community. These include a breakfast for the local school district teachers in August, a middle school/high school reading group, Story Time, Summer Reading Program, after school programs, a book club, and other programs. The Library hosted three authors in 2010. The meeting room was used 168 times for library training and programs in 2010. Various organizations also used the meeting room a total of 138 times in 2010. A celebration for the Library’s 55th anniversary took place in June 2011.
Classes, training sessions, and various workshops and seminars are being developed for future programs. Since one-on-one training is often required for basic computer usage it is available. Training on digital resources and content are also being developed. A film series will also start shortly. Funding and personnel constraints limit the availability of programming.
Technology is essential for the Library’s operations and increasingly for community outreach and programs. There are 17 computer workstations available for the community, including 8 laptops made available through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant in 2011. One of these is an ADA-compliant workstation, also provided by the BTOP grant. An interactive Smartboard was also purchased through this grant.
A computer workstation was also purchased by the Department of Labor and the Colorado Workforce Center to provide virtual services and assistance for those seeking employment.
There were approximately 10,076 computer uses in 2010. The Library has two T-1 lines and has committed to the fiber optics project slated for completion in August 2013. The Southwest Colorado Access Network, which is funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, is constructing this project. Free wifi is offered in the building. Other public services equipment includes a fax machine, copier, and telephone.
The Library’s primary source of funding is property tax (82%), per the audited 2011 figures. The mill levy as of 2011 is 4.906. In 2004, voters approved a small mill levy to build the current facility. A portion of this mill levy will be reduced in August 2013 unless another election allows the Library to keep this funding for operations, maintenance, and additional staff.