My son is an avid reader and we visit the library at least once a week. We drop off several books each time and pick up new holds. I’m continually reminded that the library is an amazing resource for our family – a place where my son can find countless books that keep him engaged and curious as he grows.
In fact, as a community we love the Boulder Public Library! It’s the busiest library of its size in Colorado, with nearly one million visitors each year. You might be surprised that it’s not just about the books. Attendance for programs like the Summer Reading Program, the Concert Series, and STEM initiatives continues to grow year-over-year and is now over 100,000 annually.
Moving past attendance, the library enjoys substantial volunteer support. Last year more than 1,000 community members donated over 18,000 hours, or the equivalent of 11 full time staff. These volunteers are absolutely critical to the success of the library because the Boulder Public Library has operated without a substantial increase in operating funding since 2002. That’s right, as library attendance increased by more than 33% since 2002, the operating budget has remained flat – for the last 17 years.
I joined the Boulder Library Foundation board in 2018 because of the important work the Foundation does for the Library. Many people don’t realize that the Foundation funds 90% of all library programming. This includes the literacy programs like Summer Reading, cultural events and concerts, and the amazing STEM programs offered at the BLDG 61 Makerspace. A hundred thousand people enjoy these programs, and it’s growing every year. In the past 4 years program attendance has grown 63%. This is wonderful and would not be possible without our donors and the Foundation.
How can we as a community continue to support our library and its programming so that these resources continue to be available in the future?
Consider the following 3 ways:
- Get engaged. There are a variety of ways you can engage with the Library. For example, you can sign up to be a volunteer, or you can donate old books. You can advocate for the library by sharing information about upcoming programs.
2. Donate to the Foundation to support the critical programming. Your donations are the lifeblood of the programming that the Library offers and we are continuously grateful for your support. You can donate at https://boulderlibraryfoundation.org.
3. Support the effort to provide sustainable funding for the Library. In 2020 you may have the opportunity to vote on a special district to fund the library. This would provide much needed funding to our Library which has been long starved for an operating budget increase. More information can be found at https://www.boulderlibrarychampions.org/why.