On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, the Denver Public Library (DPL) will host a community event to celebrate renovations to the Central Library funded by the Better Denver Bond Program, and the addition of public access computers and increased job search assistance, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).
The celebration will take place at Denver Central Library from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Activities will include remarks by Mayor Guillermo (Bill) V. Vidal and other dignitaries, live entertainment by Jonny 5 of the Flobots, light refreshments and self-guided tours of the recent renovations.
“We are proud of our tradition of innovation and want to celebrate that,” said City Librarian Shirley Amore. “During this time of budget cuts and financial insecurity, we continue to look toward the future, to serve the growing needs of the public as best we can.”
Better Denver Bond funded renovations at Central Branch Library include interior building repairs, upgrades to the alarm and public address systems, several automated library self-checkout stations and the introduction of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to library materials revolutionizing the way customers access library books and media. Two new spaces including a redesigned third-floor Reference Services Department and new fourth-floor Community Technology Center were also funded by the bond program.
“I applaud Denver Public Library for their commitment to the community and seeking out alternative funding to provide these essential services to the public, during this tough financial climate,” said Councilwoman Jeanne Robb.
Stimulus dollars granted to the City through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) state-wide Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) funded nearly 70 new public access computers at the library. Many of these computers are located in the redesigned Reference Services Department and new Community Technology Center.
“This funding has allowed us to better serve the public,” said Denver Public Library Director of Collections and Technology Michelle Jeske. “So many people in our community count on DPL’s computers and internet connection to search for jobs, conduct business, further their educations, and connect with friends and family.”
In addition to making it easier for job seekers to access computers, find job-related materials and attend classes and workshops, BTOP funding will allow the library to offer training in basic computer skills, Microsoft Office suite, and resume building, as well as resources for adult education, GED, and high school and college attainment.
“The expanded Reference Services Department, Community Technology Center, new public computers and community training programs at the Central Branch Library speak to the importance of alternative funding sources,” said Mayor Guillermo (Bill) V. Vidal. “While many cities have been unable to finance new infrastructure and amenities, the voter approved Better Denver Bond program and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have been helping hundreds of companies and thousands of people find work in Denver.”
Denver Public Works provided project management for the bond-funded renovations under the leadership of George Delaney, Bond Implementation Manager and Director of Denver Public Works, by working closely with Denver Public Library staff. Klipp Architecture Company and Interlock Construction provided services for the majority of library’s interior bond renovations.
Founded in 1889, the Denver Public Library (DPL) connects people with information, ideas and experiences to provide enjoyment, enrich lives and strengthen our community. With 24 locations throughout the City, DPL provides essential resources to the community including early literacy programs, computer and internet access and training, family and adult programs, and more. DPL is currently ranked in the top five library systems in the U.S.
The voter-approved Better Denver Bond Program has funded renovations at 23 libraries and the construction of three new branches. The City & County of Denver’s Better Denver Bond Program works to preserve, renovate and create amenities that touch citizens’ lives – including roads, libraries, parks, recreation centers, child care sites, hospitals, city buildings and cultural facilities. Approved by voters in 2007, the bond program generates millions of dollars into the economy, preserves and creates jobs and makes Denver a more attractive place to live, work, and invest in the future. For more information about the Better Denver Bond Program, visit www.denvergov.org/betterdenver.
The state-wide Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant is being administered through the Colorado State Library and supported through the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Colorado Libraries www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/BTOP. In addition, seven branches will be receiving BTOP funded enhancements and were selected based on a formula that examined poverty, ethnicity and current public computer access. They include: Athmar Park, Blair-Caldwell, Byers, Ford-Warren, Valdez-Perry, and Woodbury.