To our Library cardholders and patrons:
As President of Pikes Peak Library District’s Board of Trustees, I wanted to inform you of a decision that was collectively made by the Library’s governing body during a special meeting yesterday.
PPLD’s Board has withdrawn its intent to participate in the November 2022 general election. We heard from the community, listened to feedback, and decided now is not the time to ask voters for additional funding. But, we must continue such discussions if we want to do what’s right for our growing community and the Library District into the future.
As a Library Trustee since 2019, I’m fully aware of PPLD’s need to address its funding challenges and find sustainable solutions as we look ahead to future years. El Paso County has more than doubled in population size since the last voter-approved mill levy increase in 1986. If we want to keep pace with the sprawling growth and ever-changing community needs, we’ll need to continue exploring and assessing options that may involve going to the voters at another time.
Library Trustees and staff heard from more than 1,000 community members during the public input period of the Library’s strategic planning process last month, and we greatly appreciate everyone’s valuable input and engagement. There were many common themes across El Paso County, as well as amongst Library patrons, community leaders, and staff. Two of them were expanding service hours at existing Library locations and adding new PPLD facilities in areas that lack easy access – and those would only be possible with additional funding for the Library District.
As a public institution that’s here for everyone, PPLD currently provides world-class resources, services, and spaces to nearly 700,000 residents across 2,070 square miles. For the Library to continue offering what the community needs and wants, now and into the future, we must consider opportunities for sustainable funding.
Thank you for being cardholders and patrons of our great library system.
Dr. Ned Stoll
President, Board of Trustees
Pikes Peak Library District
July 20, 2022
Library Board approves resolution indicating intent to participate in general election
During their public meeting on July 20, Pikes Peak Library District’s Board of Trustees took their first steps to place an initiative on the ballot for November 8, 2022. They approved a resolution indicating its intent to participate in the general election to ask voters to approve additional funding for Library services, resources, and spaces.
The last time voters approved a tax increase for PPLD was 36 years ago. Since then, the population of El Paso County has nearly doubled, with 400,000 more residents than in 1986 – and what our Library needs to offer to serve those in the Pikes Peak region has changed immensely. This ranges from our Library’s physical and digital collections to access to technology, community spaces, and programs for the youngest learners in our community.
In general, additional funding would allow the Library District to keep pace with providing world-class spaces, services, and resources across El Paso County. Currently PPLD has 16 facilities, three mobile library services, and a large online hub of resources available to more than 700,000 residents across 2,070 square miles. With additional funds, the Library District could better meet the needs and demands of our growing community via our Library resources, services, and spaces. We want to be able to provide what residents need now and into the future – and fulfill our mission of cultivating spaces for belonging, personal growth, and strong communities.
Here’s a snapshot of how the Library could use additional funding to help residents build better lives and strengthen the foundation of the Pikes Peak region:
- Support early childhood literacy and development via Library services, programs, and resources
- Expand community spaces available for use by nonprofits, businesses, and other community groups
- Expand the Library’s physical and digital collections, including books, magazines, movies, music, research databases, online resource centers, and other things like board and yard games, outdoor and sporting equipment, and gardening and other tools
- Improve access to technology for families and individuals across El Paso County like K-12 students, adult learners, jobseekers, and residents in more rural communities
- Expand Library service hours and locations across the county so people can more easily access what they need when and where it’s convenient for them
Public libraries play an important role in every community by welcoming all, fostering connections, enriching lives, and helping people reach their full potential at every step of life. We are grateful to you – our Library cardholders and patrons – for your support of our libraries.