Nicolle Ingui Davies, executive director of the Arapahoe Library District, was chosen as the 2016 National Librarian of the Year this month.
“I’m a Colorado kid so this is a big deal for me that my home state got a little representation at the national level,” Davies said.
The magazine Library Journal says it chose Davies for her communication skills and her leadership.
She used both when she led an effort last year to persuade voters to approve new taxes with $6 million in revenue, for a total of $30 million for the district's public libraries.
On how she convinced voters to approve a tax hike:
"The success of the tax measure in my opinion is a reflection of my staff doing their job really well and the public saying, 'Yeah, this is a valuable public resource and we are going to support it.' My whole goal is moving the public library from a nice thing to have in the community to an essential piece of the community. It's an essential part of somebody's life so they're going to support that."
On the library district's technology focus:
"We've got a strong focus on technology because technical literacy is just a piece of the world that we live in today. And if you don't have technological literacy, if you're not able to navigate the electronic world, the online world, the gadget world, you're at a disadvantage. So we want to make sure that our public has that piece of literacy in the same way that we promote other forms of literacy."
On the library's generational appeal:
"We are one of the only services in the community that do cradle to grave. So we welcome our tiniest of patrons who are sometimes in a mom's belly or in a caregiver's lap at 6 weeks old to baby story time. And we stay with you until your later years, where we're doing senior computer classes to teach our seniors how to be Skype-ing and Facetime-ing with relatives outside of the state or keeping in contact with grandchildren via email. We hold on to a lot of teens because they come to us to study for finals, they come to us for academic needs. Where we're surprising them and where we're getting more teens is in some of our creative spaces."
CPR News' Megan Arellano contributed to this report.