2019 Is A Big Election Year For Colorado Public Libraries

October 24, 2019
Brett Normandin of Denver peruses the audio book section of the Denver Central Library on Thursday, May 25, 2017.Brett Normandin of Denver peruses the audio book section of the Denver Central Library on Thursday, May 25, 2017.Nathaniel Minor/CPR News
Brett Normandin of Denver peruses the audio book section of the Denver Central Library on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

From mill levy increases to sales tax hikes, a number of Colorado counties and cities will have measures on November’s ballot connected to funding for public library service.  

The Colorado State Library is aware of 11 initiatives.

“We’re seeing more ballot measures for libraries than we’ve had in quite a while,” State Librarian Nicolle Davies said.

Libraries and library systems going to the ballot this year include: 

  • Delta County Public Library District: Ballot Issue 7A 
  • Eagle Valley Library District: Ballot Issue 6A
  • Garfield County Public Library District: Ballot Issue 6A 
  • Gunnison County Library District: Ballot Issue 6A 
  • Loveland Public Library: Ballot Issue 2A. A sales tax increase for community improvement projects, including building a new library facility.
  • Manitou Springs Library: Ballot Issue 2D. A sales tax that would fund arts, culture and community projects, including the Carnegie library building. This is a branch of Pikes Peak Library District
  • Pine River Library District: Ballot Issue 6A
  • Pueblo City-County Library District: Ballot Issue 6B
  • Rangeview Library District (Anythink Libraries/Adams County): Ballot Issue 6A
  • San Miguel County Public Library District #1 (Wilkinson Public Library, Telluride): Ballot Issue 6A
  • Southwest La Plata Library District: Ballot Issue 6D. A mill levy increase to fund newly formed library district south of Durango

Colorado actually has a law on the books that protects public library service. The legislation specifies certain requirements when it comes to responsibilities, management, access and services. Those include being open to the public no less than 20 hours a week and having paid staff working during those hours.