The award-winning Poudre River Public Library District was officially approved by voters in 2006 in response to the expanding community's need for library services at a time when ongoing city budget cuts were enacted.
In November, a citizens' initiative group called "Libraries-Yes!" succeeded in placing a question on Larimer County's general election ballot for the formation of a regional library district. Residents overwhelmingly voted to support the establishment and funding of the Poudre River Public Library District, which began operating as a District in 2007. A stable source of funding, which continues today, was created to improve and expand library service to the growing community. The major source of revenue for Poudre River Public Library District is derived from a 3 mill levy.
The Library District serves a large regional area within Larimer County, Colorado. The District's boundaries are essentially the same as those of the Poudre School District, covering more than 1,800 square miles. The service area is home to more than 191,740 residents.
The Poudre River Public Library District Board of Trustees serves as the governing board for the library system. Its first members were selected by City and County officials in March 2007 to oversee the transition, operations, and plans of the new district.
Today, the seven-member Board of Trustees continues to play a vital role representing the interests of the community, delivering quality services that are responsive to the needs of northern Colorado, and practicing responsible fiscal management of public funds.
In all its endeavors, the District aims to enrich the cultural, educational, and economic life of the growing region which it serves. Current priorities are set forth in the "2019-2022 Strategic Plan" and focus on three key areas: Learn & Discover, Meet & Collaborate, and Reimagine the Future. The Focus Areas build upon prior achievements to drive future success, while still allowing the District to be agile and responsive in the implementation of our strategic plan.
Additionally, the District continues to provide and improve services, programs, and collections that support all users, including adult and senior populations, the disabled, LGBTQIA, those experiencing homelessness, and non-English speaking and immigrant populations.
The Poudre River Public Library District includes three library locations and an administrative building. More than 2,700 people visit the libraries on average each day, and more than 162,800 individuals have library cards. The libraries offer a broad collection of books, audiobooks, DVDs and movies, and eMedia; and sponsor over 2,600 diverse exhibits, presentations, classes, and performances per year. Nearly 3 million items were circulated in 2019 and databases were accessed 585,675 times.
The Old Town Library celebrated its 40th Anniversary in October, 2016, having served the Fort Collins community since 1976 when it was known as Main Library. An interior remodel and facilities update was completed in January 2012, which added 6,000 square feet of space, state-of-the-art technology, and easier access to materials. The 43,000 square-foot redesigned spaces include an expanded children's area, group and individual study rooms, a makerspace with a 3D printer, and a snack area. 201 Peterson Street, Fort Collins
The Harmony Library, a 30,000 square-foot joint-use facility, opened in 1998. It is a unique shared-use facility with Front Range Community College serving students, faculty, and the public. The Harmony Library includes the Harmony Small Business and Nonprofit Center. It also serves as home to the Poudre River Friends of the Library used book store. 4616 South Shield Street, Fort Collins
Council Tree Library, the third library in the District system, opened March 28, 2009, and is located at Front Range Village, a retail development in southeast Fort Collins. Located in the most rapidly growing area of the District, this branch is a unique neighborhood library with an emphasis on families with young children. The nearly 18,000 square-foot facility has a generational arrangement, with adult, children and teen areas. The location boasts an open and reconfigurable floor plan, inviting spaces and seating, natural and ambient lighting, sound containment features, and environmentally responsible construction. 2733 Council Tree Avenue, Fort Collins
Webster House Administration Center became part of the District in November 2011 when the administration, collections, systems administration, maintenance, communications, and outreach staff moved to the historic building. This move freed up 3,000 square feet of Old Town Library's interior to be used for materials and services in the remodel and redesign. 301 East Olive Street, Fort Collins
For more information on the Poudre River Public Library District see our Annual Reports and Strategic Plans.