The Longmont Library District Project
Creating a 21st Century Library For Longmont & The Surrounding Area
Mission of the project
The Longmont Library District Project's goal is to form a new Library District to create a well funded and sustainable 21st Century Library System for the residents of Longmont Colorado.
The present funding model for the Library over time has proven to be inadequate. Studies commissioned by the City of Longmont have shown that is has been below state and national averages for some time. If you value the Library and what it brings to your family and the Longmont community, as well as its ability to be the institution you want in the future, please support our effort to create a better funding strategy and a new even more inclusive community direction for one of the most valued resources our city has: The Longmont Public Library.
Fixing our Library's underfunding problem
Longmont's Library has been underfunded, compared to other cities in Colorado, by almost 30% for at least the last decade. Colorado's average per capita expenditure on libraries is $46, but Longmont's budget is $39.06, about $4 million a year, with a population of approximately 100K. Boulder, 12 miles away, with a population of 105K, has a budget of over $9 million and spends $88.10 per capita, over twice what Longmont spends. It also has plans to create its own Library District that would double its current over $9 million dollar budget to $20 million dollars.
Even smaller Colorado cities, like Durango, have larger budgets for their libraries because they use Library Districts for their funding. Longmont's current library building was designed for a city with a population of approximately 65,000-68,000 people. Longmont will be over 100,000 residents in 2022 with a growth likelihood of 125,000 residents within the next decade. That will leave us with a substantially underfunded library 1/2 the size needed.
Libraries are deeply embedded in our lives
Libraries are a key component of every city's information ecosystem. They serve as a community's long term memory as well being its beating communal heart for all its residents, rich or poor, young or old. It is essential to a healthy and well informed citizenry. The percentage of the US population using a library during any given year has held steady at around 50% for decades. It is an essential service for all communities, and Longmont's Public Library needs our help.
The Longmont Library District Project boundary plan is, currently, focused only on the City of Longmont itself.
It is, however, open to an expanded area into other Longmont zip code areas and even partnering with other Boulder County, Larimar County, and Weld County library entities.
A vision of what a 21st Century Library looks like isn't a pipe dream. It exists, right here in America, today.
Read the in-depth Smithsonian Magazine story below for a sneak peek at what a Longmont Library District could bring to our community:
"How Memphis Created the Nation's Most Innovative Public Library"
We need Longmont Library District members to help get a Longmont Library District on the 2022 ballot
To fund this effort, we need help funding the effort from education to promotion to consulting and strategic planning.
A Library District is used to fund over half of all Libraries in Colorado. We need people to help educate the public on how important it is Longmont join that group of well funded libraries with its own Library District.
A 21st Century Library
Longmont has been a visionary community for 100 years. It created its own power company and is one of the few communities in Colorado without concerns about access to water. It created its own municipal 21st-century gigabit Internet service.
It's time for the Longmont Library to catch up.