"The role of Delta County Libraries' foundation is to provide a safety net for our library district, especially in tough financial times," says Lea Hart, district director of Delta County Libraries, while addressing a group of 50 women at the Feb. 1 Delta Area Chamber of Commerce Women in Business event. Delta Library was the host organization for the monthly event and it was ideal timing, given the month-long fundraiser for the foundation that had just kicked off that morning. "Our libraries need our communities' support now more than ever," Hart appealed to the audience after sharing statistics showing a trend of decreasing revenues and increasing costs to maintain the five libraries.
The Love Your Library Fundraiser for Delta County Libraries coincides with the nationally celebrated Library Lover's Month in February and will provide the opportunity for community members to support the libraries through online or on-site donations. It is a districtwide fundraiser that will run the entire month and will generate funds for the library district's foundation.
"The foundation was established in June of 2004 to aid, assist and support financially the Delta County Public Library District," states Laura Earley, president of the library's board of trustees. "The foundation conducts, promotes and maintains activities to solicit funds and other property to specifically provide support to our libraries. The foundation has not actively taken part in such activities for several years. Given the financial challenges our libraries are now facing, the foundation feels it is imperative to take an active role in raising funds to ensure our libraries are able to continue their current level of service to our patrons."
The Women in Business event was one of many clear indicators that library services are used and appreciated in the community. Many of the attendees were familiar with the abundance of services that the libraries provide. Everything from their partnerships with local organizations like the Workforce Center and Delta County Joint School District to providing one-on-one technology assistance were mentioned by attendees during the presentation. There were also many resources, like the Delta County Seed Library and the Colorado State Park backpack check-out program that attendees were happy to learn about during a scavenger hunt throughout the library.
Darnell Place-Wise, Executive Director of the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce, concluded the presentation by announcing their upcoming members banquet on Friday, Feb. 17. "The Delta Library has been nominated for Nonprofit of the Year for 2016," Place-Wise says. "I hope to see you all there!"
As for the fundraiser, the library district is optimistic given the community response thus far. "We are aware of how often a person is approached to make contributions to various organizations," Earley says. "We simply request that the public remember their libraries when they make decisions regarding their giving of financial support. Please visit the Delta County Libraries website to view how many services the libraries provide to the citizens of Delta County." Go to www.deltalibraries.org to learn more.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.