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Our Building Campaign

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Why a Building Campaign?

Your Ruby Sisson Library has always been a place to explore, share, discover, and dream. But, the time has come for an upgraded and expanded library – one that offers quiet reading spaces and public meeting places, bright and cheery youth areas, and the latest resources and technology for everyone. The current library building was built in 1989. It is time to bring the building into the 21st century.

Cindi Galabota, Executive Director of the Ruby Sisson Library Foundation, would love to speak with you about our Mountains of Opportunity campaign. Please contact Cindi at 970-264-2209 or Join Cindi and hundreds of others who have made an investment in building a better future for the Library we all love!

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Our current challenges include:

  • Limited programming capacity;
  • Insufficient space for hands-on learning;
  • No dedicated children’s area for early literacy programming.
  • No engaged space for teens and tweens;
  • Lack of complete ADA compliance and accessibility;
  • Constant demand and competition for meeting spaces, both small and large.

Our Proposed Solution:

Your Ruby Sisson Library is the hub of a healthy Pagosa Springs community.  The Library building is currently 7300 square feet.  We propose a renovated and expanded building size of 11,300 square feet. 

We plan to add:

  • 150-seat Library Community Room designed for a variety of options from Library programming to community use;
  • Dedicated Children’s Discovery Room for early literacy programming and connected to an outdoor children’s exploration garden;
  • Teen Hub for teen and tween education, entertainment, and enjoyment;
  • Private Study Pods
  • Collaboration Lab for intergenerational, hands-on creating and learning;
  • Easy access to self-checkout and item drop off;
  • Outdoor Reading Garden that is easily accessible from the Library and from outside.
Diagram of Planned Expansion 

Current library footprint = everything in peach; planned expansion = everything in blue.

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Why is your Ruby Sisson Library important to our community? 
  • We are poised to meet the ever-changing needs of our global society while continually positioning ourselves for the desires of our local community.
  • We serve as a neutral and welcoming space for people of every age, income level, ethnicity, or physical ability. We advocate for your right to read and your right to reader privacy.
  • We see an average of 6500 visitors to the Library every month.
  • We provide a warm, dry sanctuary for some and a refuge from loneliness for others.
  • We help to bridge the digital divide by offering public computers, free wifi, and one-on-one tech help.
  • According to a 2019 study by the Pew Research Center, the percent of rural Americans who lack home broadband access is 33%.
  • We help patrons further their education, seek employment, and find entertainment.
  • We offer Pagosa Adult Learning Services (PALS) for patrons seeking to acquire their GED or for other continuing education opportunities.
  • We offer English as a Second Language classes to our non-native English speaking community.
  • We promote early literacy and school readiness to our youngest patrons and their families.
  • According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, visiting the local library remains by far the most common cultural activity Americans engage in.
What are the project costs and goals for funding the expansion and renovation? 
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A 1.5 mill levy funds 85% of the general operating costs o the Ruby Sisson Library with 15% additional funding from donations and grants. A home value of $500,000 pays only $54 in tax funds annually to the Upper San Juan Library District.

Libraries provide a monetary value for the community they serve. The return on investment (ROI) for public libraries is approximately $5.00 for every dollar spent; creating a vibrant community, raising property values, developing an intelligent workforce, and making social services more efficient. Kagan, O. (2018, July). The Return-on-investment from Your Public Library Is Unbelievable! Medium.


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