There are many wonderful individuals and groups who contribute to the success of our award-winning library district.
This list of people includes the many outstanding employees, fantastic Friends of the Library and great volunteers who provide their time, skill and effort to make this a first-rate institution, which provides winning services to the members of our community. Each of these groups does so much it can be difficult to sufficiently recognize all that they contribute, both collectively and individually.
Another group that clearly falls into this category is the Pueblo City-County Library District Board of Trustees. The board of trustees truly deserves the respect and admiration of every citizen of our county due to their commitment, professionalism and desire to help the library be the best that it can be. These individuals work diligently to help make our community a better place to live and raise families.
The board of trustees consists of seven individuals who act together as the governing body for the library district. Trustees receive no salary or other compensation for the service they provide to the library. Members of the board are chosen from the residents of Pueblo County, and are appointed by a joint commission of the Pueblo County Commissioners and the Pueblo City Council.
Today, the seven members of the Board are Ms. Sherri Baca (president), Ms. Marlene Bregar (vice president), Ms. Rhonda Gonzales, Dr. Philip Mancha, Mr. Roy Miltner, Mr. Fredrick Quintana and Mr. Jim Stuart.
Each of these individuals contributes to our community and library by serving as board members, giving countless hours along the way to help make the library the best it can be. But they also are productive professionals within our community. Ms. Baca is the president and CEO of the El Pueblo Adolescent Community, Ms. Bregar is an educator, Ms. Gonzales is dean of libraries at Colorado State University-Pueblo, Dr. Mancha is a retired college administrator, Mr. Miltner is a retired ordained minister, Mr. Quintana only recently graduated from law school and is sitting now for the bar exam in Colorado, and Mr. Stuart is a retired businessman. Each brings their valuable advice, wisdom and lessons learned to assist in governing the library district.
Together these citizen trustees donate hundreds of hours each year to help make our library a premier institution in our community and in Colorado. If we were to pay them for their services, it would cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Yet they provide their time for no compensation. They truly are citizens serving the community. Thank you, library trustees!
Recently, a Friend of the Library came into my office and handed me a document. It showed the proceeds earned by Books Again. This is the used bookstore that is operated by the Friends of the Library, which first opened in the fourth quarter of 2005.
I reviewed the paper and smiled in amazement and gratitude. The Friends of the Library have truly accomplished something special. Since 2005 and through the end of 2011, in a period of about six years, the bookstore has generated $597,490.10 in revenue. These funds, in turn, are returned to the library in the form of grants and gifts, which support numerous projects and enable the library to provide a higher level of service for the community we serve.
The Friends of the Library was founded in 1960 to promote a new library for Pueblo. Over the years, Friends activities have expanded in support of the entire Library District. It is no surprise that many of our favorite programs are sponsored by the Friends including the summer reading program, several creative writing contests, the monthly library newsletter, All Pueblo Reads and so much more. In 1962, the Friends held their first used book sale which generated $230 in proceeds. More recently, of course, the Friends established the Books Again book store, and last year alone it generated a whopping $111,818.80.
In recent years, the proceeds donated by the Friends of the Library to the Pueblo City-County Library District have been used for numerous items to help make the library the best that it can be. The list is impressive. In addition to those contributions mentioned above, the Friends also make possible scholarships to staff to encourage the growth of more professionally credentialed librarians. The Friends also regularly support the library’s author programs that reach thousands of people in our community each and every year. The Friends also offer a steady stream of special grants to support individual library projects. Their support has helped to upgrade our facilities in numerous ways, such as the Rawlings Library, the expansion and renovation of the Pueblo West Library, the InfoZone News Museum, the library’s archives services, the Hispanic Resource Center, the Center for New Information Technology, the Books a la Cart service, information kiosks, signage, special furniture, and more. It is difficult to think of an area of library service that the Friends have not benefitted.
Truly, the Pueblo City-County Library District is blessed with true Friends of the Library. Since you can never have too many friends, I encourage you to join the Friends today. It is easy to join. Simply contact the Friends at Books Again, 622 S. Union (across from the Rawlings Library), by phone at 543-4688, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The best part is that you can be a member for as little as $15 each year for an individual or $20 for your entire family. There also are memberships for Businesses and Gold Cards ($30), Benefactors ($100), and Patrons ($500).
Please join me in thanking the Friends of the Library for their support. The library would not be the same without them.
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There are many wonderful individuals and groups who contribute to the success of our award-winning library district. This list of people ...