Investing in Anythink's Future

Investing in Anythink's Future

Anythink (Rangeview Library District) provides Adams County residents with the exceptional libraries and services they deserve. In our rapidly growing community, sustaining this level of service comes with significant challenges.

District Needs and Challenges

As one of the lowest-funded library systems in the metro area, the district is not able to meet several needs:

  • Due to limited hours of operation, children who use community branches like Anythink Commerce City and Anythink Perl Mack only have 17 hours of library access outside of school (versus 35 hours at our largest branch). This means a lack of access to literacy resources and after-school programs during key hours and days of the week like Sundays and Mondays. 
  • Current average wait time for a popular ebook is over 30 days. 
  • For some branches, like Anythink Bennett, it takes a week for a book to get into the hands of a child who needs it for homework. 
  • Without additional resources, the library would need to cut back on vital technology like public computers and hot spots.

The funding level for Anythink Libraries has remained the same since 2006, when a mill levy of 3.69 was passed. 

  • Since then, Adams County has gained over 89,000 people. 
  • We have some of the farthest driving distances to access a library in the metro area, and some of the lowest public transportation accessibility to help people get there. 
  • Booking a meeting room, finding a computer, or even a place to sit is a challenge at many locations. 

Looking Ahead

In the spring of 2017, Anythink asked the community how the library can help their families achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations. 

They told us that they want more: More early literacy programs for kids, more technology and career support, more science and cultural programming, more lifelong learning opportunities, more books, and more materials for entertainment and research needs. 

This information informed the Anythink Strategic Plan 2018-2022

What Does a 21st Century Library Look Like? 

As pre-work to the library's current master planning, Anythink convened community members and stakeholders to explore the question: What does a 21st century library look like? The results are the Catalyst for Innovation report. 

Anythink Master Plan

Each of Anythink's existing facilities are being analyzed to see if they are meeting the community's needs and to recommend potential upgrades or expansions. Humphries Poli Architects and HBM Architects are working with local partners to discuss the potential for three new libraries:

  • A 40,000-square-foot community library as part of the upcoming Reunion Town Center
  • A 30,000-square-foot career library in a pre-existing leased space in Northglenn
  • A 100,000-square-foot cultural library focusing on arts, science, learning and performance

2018 Ballot Initiative 6A 

In 2018, Anythink lost a ballot initiative to increase funding for the library by 2.2 mill, which would have requaled an additional $11,6. million in operating funds for the library in 2019. Based on a home with the assessed valuation of $325,000, the additional 2.2 mills in the ballot proposal would have cost a homeowner $51.48 per year – approximately $4.29 a month. 

The library mill levy override question lost by 1,200 votes, less than 1 percent of the nearly 130,000 votes cast.

How We're Funded

Rangeview Library District (dba Anythink Libraries) is a special taxing district. The library system is funded through a 3.69 mill on property taxes for residents who live in Adams County, excluding Westminster and parts of Aurora. 

Rangeview Library District is one of the lowest-funded library systems in the metro Denver area. 

 

Revenue per Capita (2017)
 

Library                                                           LSA Population Local Revenue per Capita
Arapahoe Library District  262,524  $123.81
Douglas County Libraries  328,330  $69.47
Denver Public Library  693,292  $65.65
Jefferson County Public Library  571,711  $60.60
Rangeview Library District (Anythink)  381,525  $41.08

Anythink History

Anythink was the worst-funded library system in the state of Colorado for over 50 years. Originally, the library system was Adams County Public Library. In 2004, the library separated from the county to become a special taxing district. No longer able to call itself "Adams County Public Libraries," the organization held a community contest for a name, becoming Rangeview Library District. 

After twice going to the ballot and failing, the library was in a situation where it would need to close the Perl Mack Library to stay afloat. The community responded, and in 2006, the voters approved a mill levy increase to 3.69, taking the library's operating budget from $4 million to $12 million a year. This made the library the second-worst funded system in Colorado. This is the same funding level the library has today. 

Projected Growth in Adams County

Adams County population in 2006: 407,587
Adams County projected population for 2025: 585,105*

This projected increase of 177,518 people means Adams County could see a 44% population increase by 2025.

At this rate, the library will struggle to provide the community with the level of service it has come to expect. As it stands, Anythink is already facing growth-related issues related to capacity and resources. 

*Projection numbers from Colorado Department of Local Affairs

Doing More with Less

Anythink has gone above and beyond its promise to voters in 2006. Not only did it build four new libraries and renovate three, but it completely revolutionized its approach to library service, with a model that focuses on putting people at the center. The library system used its limited resources to change the perceptions of what a library could be, created a space for ideas and inspiration, and enhanced the quality of life for Adams County residents. In 2009, the Anythink brand of libraries was launched. Anythink had gone from being the worst-funded library system in Colorado to one of the most recognized library brands in the world. 

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

"Thank you for giving my grandson so many opportunities to learn about his world. He is entering kindergarten and our library is a great partner in his educational foundation." – Shawnee C.

"Someone asked my 12-year-old what he'd do if he was suddenly granted a million dollars but had to spend it in 24 hours. Without hesitation, he replied, 'Well, first, I'd make a gift to my local library. Anythink is awesome and does so much for our community. We need the library and they don't get enough support.' I was stunned that he didn't start his list with a trip to Hawaii or a Disney cruise. It tells you how much the library means to him. Who says kids today don't still need libraries?" – Lisa G.

"The library is like our second home. We love the access to information to help us grow as individuals. We love our local library and the people who work there." – Britt S.

"Public libraries fundamentally changed my life. When I was homeless, I spent all my time there. They had WiFi, computers, endless resources that allowed me to keep surviving. Librarians were kind to me when I had no one to speak to at home. Their books filled my head with stories and made my reality bearable. My teachers would drop me off at Anythink after school and I'd spend the whole evening there. I wrote most of my college essays in libraries. I would have never made it to Yale without them." – Viviana A.

"Anythink libraries are an amazing and necessary part of the community. My family has witnessed and participated in things that opened up their eyes to worlds of safe, fun and high-quality entertainment." – Gloria A.

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