SDA Colorado to honor Grand County Library District executive director
Stephanie Ralph, executive director of the Grand County Library District, has been honored by the Special District Association of Colorado, receiving the 2018 James T. Walker Leadership Scholarship. She will be presented with the award this week during the association’s annual fall conference in Keystone.
Ralph has served as executive director since April 2014 and for 12 years in positions of increasing responsibility within the library district.
Funding concerns have been a constant theme throughout her time in this position. They are expected to dominate the discussion into the future as the library district plans to mitigate the possible effects of the Gallagher Amendment.
Together with her library staff and board, Ralph worked to pass a mill levy proposal to increase library funding in 2016. In an effort to find alternative library funding sources, the Grand County Library District has successfully increased local donations, works closely with the Friends of the Library group in fundraising efforts and is revitalizing the Grand County Library Foundation.
As part of the 2018 Strategic Plan, Grand County Library District is working to place the libraries at the heart of the community. New library initiatives in 2018 have provided opportunities for enrichment and education in the community. Ten scholarships funded through an IMLS grant provided access to the Career Online High School. Local students without a high school diploma can now complete their high school education. There are currently ten students working towards completion and one alumni.
Grand County continues to attract readers into the library branches in increasing numbers to checkout actual books, DVDs and magazines. This is counter to national library trends, which show movement away from physical books. Attendance at library programs has also shown a trend towards greater participation.
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US Forest Service officials have closed Willow Creek Reservoir in Grand County because of a potential blue-green algae bloom.