Then and Now…Douglas County Libraries – Castle Pines: A Story of Community
The support and generosity of the Castle Pines community brought the library from a small bookmobile to an improved storefront facility to the magnificent state-of-the-art center the community currently enjoys. Along the way, to celebrate the forthcoming structure, a temporary “Little Free Library” for swapping books graced the property where the new library would stand.
By Susan Helton; file photos
The past decade has brought many changes to the Castle Pines community, filled with remarkable accomplishments. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than the story of Douglas County Libraries – Castle Pines.
In January 2009, prospects looked bleak for a library in Castle Pines. The aging, ailing bookmobile that had served so well for almost five years was scheduled for retirement, and the Douglas County Libraries (DCL) funding initiative had suffered a second disappointing defeat in as many years.
Undaunted, volunteers sought other ways to make the library a reality, promising to “keep a good thing going.” Over the course of the next 10 years, the Castle Pines community rallied to bring it to fruition.
In spring 2009, DCL decided on a storefront version of the library in a space the owners of the Village Square Commercial District provided at a significantly reduced rate. For start-up costs and to equip the new library, DCL earmarked funds that had been set aside from the 2005 sale of library-owned land in Castle Pines. But more money was needed.
Community organizations and volunteers, the DCL Foundation and area businesses worked countless hours at fundraising activities ranging from an authors’ reception, to book sales/swaps, pancake breakfast and Girl Scout bake sale during a swim meet between the local swim teams. These efforts, and the generosity of area residents and business owners, meant the 2,300-square-foot Douglas County Libraries – Castle Pines library opened in September 2009 with more than double the number of items offered for checkout, as well as features and amenities impossible in the small bookmobile.
In subsequent years, area businesses and volunteers rallied time and again to help the library. With partnerships and donations, pancake breakfasts and restaurant nights, the “sponsor the library for a day” and scrip card programs, lemonade stands and school spare change drives, the community kept the library going and funded improvements.
Most recently, on land the City donated, the community’s generosity made possible today’s freestanding, permanent library. This state-of-the-art, 13,000-square-foot library boasts expanded collections, outdoor patios, laptop borrowing, a drive-through book drop, community activities rooms and space for City offices.
The exceptional Castle Pines community enabled the library’s transformation and continues its support today. For information about ways to support the library, visit www.dcl.org. Scroll down to the bottom right, click “Foundation,” then click “Other Ways to Give.”