On August 23, Monica Birrer, Spanish Peaks Lbrary Director was interviewed by Teresa Shiavone on National Public Radio. The title of the segment was “High Tech Library Gleams in Colorado Town.”
According to the interview, more than 20 states are cutting library budgets at a time when Walsenburg taxpayers voted a 1.75 million dollar bond to fund expansion of the library in an abandoned high school building. The library has been housed in the basement of the courthouse, in a crowded bungalow on Main Street, and now in a renovated historic building which will also provide facilities for a cultural center.
Walsenburg is a town of 3,800 with an average income of $22,000 where people of all ages count on the library for information. The new children’s center is especially popular. According to a study by Keith Curry Lance, Director of Library Research for the state libraries, in places where children’s books and programs are popular, children’s third-grade reading scores tend to be higher.
Nine-year-old Evan Ksander had this to say about the new facilities: “The children′s area, I really like it because I′m already seeing where my favorite books are going to be. If I see a cover that looks interesting or something that I′ve never read and always wanted to read, and I′ve never seen it, I just, like, check it out.”