The Jefferson County Public Library held its first informal community meeting about the Golden Library Remodel on Monday, May 19.
Directors for the project were on hand to receive public input regarding current library services and what patrons would like to see. Although a design firm has been selected for the remodel, Studiotrope Design Collective, a formal building design is still in the works, and will not be presented to the public until June.
“We can’t start the design until we hear from the community,” said Donna Walker, director of public services at Jefferson County Public Library.
Cost for the project totals $250,000 with the City of Golden contributing $85,000 and the Jefferson County Public Library funding the difference.
The Golden Library, the oldest and first library in Jefferson County, is celebrating 100 years since it’s opening in 1914. The 13,500-square-feet building received 247,898 visitors last year who borrowed 656,590 items in 2013. The library provides services not only to the City of Golden but also Genesee Park, Lookout Mountain, Fairmont and some parts of Coal Creek.
“I would like to see more materials,” said Fran Loft, Golden resident and volunteer for the Golden History Project at the library. “They used to have a historic railroad collection and a lot of that has been gone; I would like to see some of these specialties kept within the library system.” Loft, along with other volunteers, run the Golden History Project at the Golden Library. It’s an unknown and yet unique resource at the library, Loft said with volunteers collecting materials of local interest including biographies, local publications and information about Coors, Foss, Miner’s Alley, museums and art galleries.
Repeated requests left on sticky notes by library patrons and volunteers during the community input gathering included more materials, more space and separate play areas for children.
While creating a more comfortable space is part of the project, the Golden Library Remodel is a pilot project for Jefferson County Public Library that is implementing a new countywide service model that focuses on improving services in and outside of the library while providing more comprehensive collections and materials tailored to the demands the community.
“In these smaller footprints like here, we can serve the public without increasing the size of the building but just being really thoughtful about what we put in the building,” said Pam Nissler, executive director for the Jefferson County Public Library. “Nationally, 20 percent of the collection of any public library accounts for 80 percent of the circulation.”
These smaller collections cover subject areas from travel and personal finance to crafts such as do-it-yourself home projects and cooking.
“We felt like this (Golden) would be a community that would welcome this whole concept. We want this to be something that reflects their concept of what fits Golden,” Nissler said of the project.
JCPL will hold a design feedback session on Friday, June 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Golden Library meeting room for residents to see design options for the Golden Library remodel.
Construction is expected to begin in August through November with the library staying open for the duration of the remodel.