Between 1899 and 1917, the Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded construction grants to 35 public libraries in Colorado. As of 2010, 30 of these buildings were still standing and 18 were still operating as libraries. Delta Library is one of them.
Many residents of Delta County cherish this rich and unique history and want to see it protected. However, preserving a historic building like Delta Library comes at a high cost with many challenges. The process has very specific guidelines for sites designated as historic. Colorado's State Historical Fund offers an opportunity for Delta County Libraries to acquire some of the much-needed funding to support the ongoing effort.
Delta County Libraries is the recent recipient of a $35,000 grant from the State Historical Fund to produce revised construction documents for Delta Library. The revision process will focus particularly on ADA accessibility, mechanical and electrical systems, and the interior ceilings, walls, floors, doors and windows, all in light of maintaining the historic integrity of the building.
"Part of what makes this project unique is that we have to consider our function as a library throughout every step of the process," explains LaDonna Gunn, assistant district director of Delta County Libraries. Gunn, who wrote the recent grant, will play a key role in its oversight. "Hundreds of people walk into Delta Library on a weekly basis to attend programs, check out books, and use computers. It is so important that we continue to support the community with those services while this project is underway."
Every single day the library is open in November, there are programs and activities scheduled. A turkey scavenger hunt in the children's area, a writing workshop, a genealogy research group and weekly storytimes are just a few.
"Now, with the announcement of the grant, we want to highlight and celebrate the Carnegie library with the community through various programs and events," Gunn says.
On Monday, Nov. 13, Delta Library staff invites the community to the library for Patron Appreciation and Carnegie Day. People are encouraged to visit the library between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and to view displays, mingle with library staff and friends, and enjoy all the library has to offer. Appetizers and a skit performed by library staff will start at 5 p.m. in the Carnegie area of the building.
Additionally, quilts provided by members of the Basket Case Quilt Guild will be on display all month long. "Members of the guild have been providing quilts for us to display in the library for many, many years," says Adriana Chavira, Delta Library manager. "It is an opportune time to honor their contributions to the library because they are very much a part of our history."
To learn more about upcoming programs at Delta County Library visit the online calendar at www.deltalibraries.org and stay tuned for more news on the Delta Library project.