We had a special speaker come in today Rebecca Winning from The Jefferson County Library System. Rebecca started her talk by asking how many of us had been to the library in the last month – two people raised their hands. Rebecca then asked for a dollar from one of us, Edna volunteered. Then she asked us how many had used the on-line services offered by the library – 5 people raised their hands. Rebecca, then went on to ask us how many of had Internet, phone, netflix and cable service at home and how much that costs – the average was around 130.00 a month, she told that the cost of the library and all it’s services is around 5.00 per household per month.  Rebecca went on to tell a story about a couple of the services that our libraries offer. There was a woman who lived at 7th and Alkire in Lakewood, being close to 6thAvenue there an incredible amount of highway noise. Wanting to find a way to resolve the problem she went to her local library and researched decibel levels and sound barriers but from tires, she then went onto the Internet and found to coalitions in her neighborhood about the noise. They got together and found the information they needed to petition the city and get funding for the noise barrier along that section of 6thAvenue – all through the library. We have 10 libraries in Jefferson County withavariety of services. They still run the Bookmobile for children’s outreach programs and touch 1500 children a year by visiting the Head Start programs around Jefferson County. Now they have incorporated the E-Train which is a traveling computer lab – this is taken to senior centers and works withour older residents on computer and Internet access.  The computer centers in each library has around 80 different Subscription Databases that can help you in your business by allowing you to search by demographics, marketing angles and city. They also have resume programs that will help you design and send out your resume – in that way the library is training people to look for jobs. The library is becoming a new community and working withthe people of the county to provide other services as the needs arise – The Bel-mar Library is now offering a Senior Night and for the first event they weren’t sure how many people would show up by the end of the evening they had 25 seniors talking, reading and playing on the computers. Libraries today are community centers they can bring people together, with the advent of the Internet libraries have moved into the technology by offering a variety of services that they couldn’t in the past – you can now go on-line and order books to pick up on your way home, they also have a large selection of e-books that you can download to your reader, they offer classes for all levels of computer experience and job search skills. In the past couple of years they have studied the return of investment in libraries or basically what do the taxpayers get for their tax dollars, remember that it cost the average taxpayer pays 5.00 a month for the comprhensive services that the library provides. Rebecca went back to Edna, who gave her the dollar at the beginning of her talk. She gave her back the dollar and said “You have invested in your community – Thank you”. Then she gave her another dollar stating “Libraries pay their staff, who are members of your community and they buy groceries, get car repairs and pay taxes as well. They are your neighbors, you pay their salaries and they pay you pack.” Rebecca, then gave Edna a third dollar, “Libraries pay for services in the community too,  hiring painters, carpet layers and for supplies.” Then she gave another dollar, “Did you know that libraries are great anchor stores, generating traffic all day long. Studies show that when people go to the library they will stop off at another stores and spend around 20.00.” Out came another dollar, “Most Coloradoans spend the cost of one hard back book a year to support the libraries in their county. That one book gives them access to literally millions of books, magazines, DVD’s, CD’s, and computer services.” So with that Rebecca reminded us of the value of our library system!

Rebecca Winning * Communication & Public Affairs Manager – Jefferson County Public Library * 303.235.5275 * www.jeffcolibrary.org