Investing in Anythink's Future
Ballot Issue 6A Results
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, Ballot Issue 6A lost by approximately 3,700 votes. The library issued the following statement from Anythink Director Pam Sandlian Smith:
“We are overwhelmed by the incredible support we’ve received from our community. Thank you to the thousands of individuals who voted in support of our libraries. Unfortunately, Ballot Issue 6A did not pass. Despite this, the need remains. Anythink is still one of the least-funded library systems of its size in the metro area. We will still struggle with limited hours, wait times, space restrictions and the strains of our growing community. As your public library, it is our responsibility to tackle these challenges while finding ways to continue providing exceptional service, something that will be more difficult as our community continues to grow. Over the next few months, we will take time to intentionally reflect on the community’s feedback while evaluating next steps.”
Library leadership will work together with its Board of Trustees, Anythink Foundation Board, community stakeholders and partners to better understand the needs of the community and the capacity for the library to meet those needs moving forward.
We have a bright future ahead.
Learn more about Anythink's future below or ask a staff member for more details.
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. Learn more about Anythink's Master Plan.
Ballot Proposal 2019
On Aug. 21, 2019, the Anythink Board of Trustees again unanimously voted to refer a ballot measure for additional funding for Anythink (also known as Rangeview Library District). This funding would be used to expand opportunities for children and families in Adams County. If approved by the voters, the additional funding would allow Anythink to better meet the needs of the community by adding more early literacy programs for children, expanding services for seniors, creating more lifelong learning opportunities for all ages, and buying more books and technology. The funding would also make it possible to open on Mondays at four locations. Additionally, the library would build two new branches and develop a career-centered library. The complete ballot text can be found at the bottom of this page.
The 2.2 mill increase would cost a homeowner an additional $1.32 per month for every $100,000 of actual value. For example, a home with the assessed valuation of $300,000 would be taxed an additional $3.96 per month.
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.
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 actual 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 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
How Do We Compare?
|Library||# of print books||# of CDs/DVDs/ Blu-Rays||# of downloadable e-books & e-audio|
|Denver Public Library||1,413,550||294,248||120,421|
|Pikes Peak Library District||684,908||145,409||212,711|
|High Plains Library District||495,977||106,852||39,701|
|Jefferson County Public Library||766,914||262,485||194,011|
|Arapahoe Library District||331,221||132,738||355,003|
|Douglas County Libraries||470,733||131,084||167,659|
|Library||Staff expenditure per capita||Staff expenditures as % of total operating budget|
|Denver Public Library||$54.86||69%|
|Pikes Peak Library District||$27.53||64%|
|High Plains Library District||$40.33||65%|
|Jefferson County Public Library||$30.17||65%|
|Arapahoe Library District||$67.29||60%|
|Douglas County Libraries||$45.67||64%|
|Library||# of Children's Programs|
|Denver Public Library||19,555|
|Pikes Peak Library District||5,968|
|High Plains Library District||4,197|
|Jefferson County Public Library||8,696|
|Arapahoe Library District||4,310|
|Douglas County Libraries||5,542|
|Library||Average open hours per week, per branch||Evening & weekend hours per week|
|Denver Public Library||45.7||459|
|Pikes Peak Library District||53.9||331|
|High Plains Library District||53.5||280|
|Jefferson County Public Library||53.6||243|
|Arapahoe Library District||55.1||218|
|Douglas County Libraries||58.5||158|
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.
>2019 Ballot Issue 6A Full Text
Ballot Issue 6A
Shall Anythink, also known as Rangeview Library District, serving Thornton, Northglenn, Commerce City, Brighton, Perl Mack area, Bennett and unincorporated Adams County, taxes be increased $12.3 million annually ($1.32 per month for each $100,000 of actual residential value), for collection in 2020, and by such amount as may be raised annually thereafter by increasing the district's mill levy rate by 2.2 mills, to be used to maintain and expand library facilities and services which may include:
Expanding literacy programs for children to help provide them with a strong start and kindergarten readiness
Increasing services for seniors
Providing additional lifelong learning opportunities for students and adults to help them thrive;
Extending library hours and renovating current branches with more physical space to address community needs;
Purchasing additional books and digital materials for children, teens and adults to meet community learning and entertainment needs;
Adding technology and workforce development resources to support career and technology skills;
Constructing and operating two new libraries and developing a career-centered library to meet the needs of Adams County's growing population;
And provided that the district's total mill levy may be adjusted to offset revenue losses from changes to the residential assessment rate; and shall the district be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues generation from the mill levy increase, as a voter-approved revenue and spending change and an exception to any statutory limits, including Section 29-1-301, C.R.S. and any constitutional limits, including Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution, that would otherwise apply?