The Grand County Library District celebrated a successful year and outlined plans to continue increasing programs across the county at the annual Friends of Grand County Library meeting Saturday.
The library added 3,370 digital and print books to its collections this year as of Sept. 30, according to a presentation at the meeting by Polly Gallagher, executive director of the library district.
This year, the libraries have seen an increase in digital use and interest in graphic novels. The district added free access to the Denver Post and Rosetta Stone for all patrons.
One of the biggest areas of success for the district this year was with the early literacy program. Part of this program includes story times, literacy kits and expert talks on the best methods to read with kids.
According to Gallagher, the program saw 5,114 visits to story times across the district.
Gallagher said because of the success of this year’s program, the state doubled the amount requested by the district for program funding next year. With that money, the district plans to add a Saturday story time in Kremmling and expand take-home literacy kits at all locations.
Access Grand continues to expand, giving library cardholders access to tickets and passes for all sorts of activities. Gallagher said the program impacted over 1,500 people this year.
The district hopes to expand other popular programs as well. STEAM kits, a popular hands-on kit for kids, were very popular during the summer reading program and something the district wants to do monthly next year.
The district recently celebrated their first five graduates from the Career Online High School and is looking for participants over the age of 18 who want to earn a diploma through the program. There is still at least one scholarship available for those interested.
The district wants to increase library field trips, which proved to be very popular this year, to provide three separate trips next year.
The create courses saw 341 visitors this year, after school programs saw 749 and the summer reading program had 842 readers.
Another program the district is hoping to grow across the county is Great Decisions, a discussion group where people of all views from around Grand County can come to the library and discuss national and foreign policy.
Gallagher credited much of the successes to the Friends of Grand County Library, which raises about $35,000 every year for the libraries. The district requested $32,500 for 2020, with $15,000 for programming and $17,500 for collections.
Last year’s fundraising was a “spectacular year” according to treasurer Melitta White, so not as much was raised in 2019. However, this was expected and the Friends budgeted for less income.
Year to date fundraising from the biggest programs put on by the Friends included $7,500 from book sales across the county, $14,100 from the Tops of the Rockies fundraiser and $1,400 from the pancake breakfasts.
Those interested in joining the Friends of Grand County Library can go their website at FriendsOfGrandCountyLibrary.org.
For information on the library and programs available, Gallagher recommended people reach out to their local librarian and request to be added to the district’s monthly newsletter.