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Lone Cone Library 2021 Annual Report 

Message from our Director

Thank you for joining us for a few minutes to look back at 2021! It was year filled with success, laughter and a few challenges too. We were so pleased to see so many familiar faces through our doors after the pandemic and to meet new folks who have moved here during that time.

The adoption of Sustainability as a Core Value of Librarianship, as you will read about below, validated the focus of the Lone Cone Library over the past ten years on community sustainability, leadership and community involvement.

Libraries are so much more than books. We are creators of opportunity and community, connectors, conveners, providers of information (not limited to the written word), and change agents.

A library can only meet community needs if we are out in the community learning first hand about the challenges and opportunities of our citizens and organizations.

We invite you to look at 2021 in review and join us as we seek to create a sustainable Norwood (and surrounding areas)!

Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals

In 2019, the American Library Association adopted Sustainability as a Core Value of Libraries and began partnering with the United Nations and the International Federation of Library Associations to address their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These goals were designed to address the global human condition as well as the state of life on our planet which is endangered by climate change.

As one looks over the SDGs, one will see that there are goals related to reducing poverty, eradicating hunger, and building sustainable cities/communities. In 2021, the Lone Cone Library began aligning our practices to these 17 SDGs. Mostly, this was simply a practice of reframing our thinking about the intent behind why we do the things we do. In fact, we found that we could align activities with every single goal.

2021-2022 Library Activities Aligned with SDGS

UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  1. No Poverty
    1. Promoting literacy
    2. Job Search
    3. Educational resources
  2. Zero Hunger
    1. Participation in Healthy Food Coalition
    2. Free Lunches for Children 0-18 on Fridays and during holidays
    3. Partnership with TriCounty health to provide Cooking Matters classes
    4. Partnership with the Fresh Food Hub and CSU Extension office to offer Food Preservation classes
    5. Seed Library- in partnership with CSU Extension
    6. Community Garden in planning stages
  3. Good Health and Well-being
    1. Wellness Initiative- Yoga, Health Coaching, Tribal-Fusion Belly dancing, Pilates
    2. Disc Golf equipment for checkout and practice basket on site
    3. Pickleball sets for checkout
    4. Partnership with Norwood Nordic Association for Cross Country ski checkout program
    5. Future build- Bouldering wall, ropes course, Outdoor Classrooms, expanded trails and outdoor spaces
    6. Programming designed to bring people together to create relationships and decrease social isolation
    7. Cultural Preservation projects
  4. Quality Education
    1. Early Literacy Storytimes
    2. STEAM programs
    3. Partnering with School to provide access to databases
    4. Public access to databases for personal and higher education growth
    5. Book a Librarian appointments for one on one assistance
  5. Gender Equality
    1. Changing tables in all restrooms
    2. Gender neutral restroom
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
    1. Participation in Water Education Day
    2. Supporting and staying up to date with Water District plans and needs
    3. Providing accurate information on the state of our local water
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
    1. Solar powered outdoor study stations- future plan
    2. Solar panels on roof- future plan
    3. EV charging station- future plan
    4. Staying up to date on existing/emerging programs in the County
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
    1. WEEDC Board Member
    2. Active in Chamber meetings
    3. Resources on business planning and startups
    4. Active at County level to promote economic diversity and stability
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    1. Pinion Park Housing Committee- offering advice based on public opinion and concerns, sharing information from our capital project, providing accurate information to public to dispel rumors
    2. Mt. Village Housing project- staying up to date with accurate information
    3. Participation in School Master Planning project- offering advice from Library feasibility outcomes and community survey
    4. Supporting Fire District capital project- offering advice on grant writing
    5. West End Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC)- Board Member
    6. Working with Norwood Chamber of Commerce- Visitor Center in Library
  10. Reduced Inequalities
    1. Broadband access through library WiFi indoors and outdoors
    2. Increase access to commercial broadband through partnership with local ISP-equipment on building
    3. Bilingual programming and resources added
    4. Partnering with Sparky to create awareness of college scholarship opportunities for Latinas
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
    1. Master planning projects
    2. Water infrastructure projects
    3. Promoting diversification of economic industries- tourism, agriculture, light industrial. Moving away from boom and bust of Natural Resource extraction
    4. Placemaking
    5. Cultural Preservation projects
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
    1. Green efficiencies in new building
    2. Outdoor design will incorporate more
  13. Climate Action
    1. Will model Restorative Agricultural practices on library grounds
    2. Provide education on ag within a drought climate
  14. Life Below Water
    1. Water/environmental education- Clean water and plentiful water protects river and lake ecosystem as well as water based recreation
  15. Life on Land
    1. Connecting to the history of our area
    2. Teaching skills on working with the earth
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    1. Bring in Board trainings for elected/appointed boards
    2. Provide resources on effective board practices
    3. Advise local leaders on best practice
    4. Promote partnerships on common goals to reduce territorialism and competition for limited resources
  17. Partnerships for the Goals
    1. Partner with any organization (varies with capacity of time) on projects which address the other 16 goals
    2. Be on the lookout for partnerships either with the library or between other organizations

    Priority SDGS

    There are 17 SDGs and 169 targets in total. While library activities will continue to align with all Goals, we will be focusing on supporting the community through the following SDGs in the coming years.


    1. Clean Water and Sanitation
      1. Water education/information
        1. Stay informed on the state of water, infrastructure and grants.
        2. Answer questions and dispel misinformation.
        3. Participate in educational opportunities and local events
    2. Climate Action
      1. Library Grounds Development
        1. Model Restorative Agricultural practices.
        2. Drought resistant plantings
        3. Solar options
    3. Sustainable Cities and Communities
      1. Cultural Preservation
        1. Participate in local history preservation projects
        2. Create projects/programs to connect people with the history of the Norwood area.
    4. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
      1. Growth Planning
        1. Public forums
        2. Participation in capital project committees and input gathering activities
          1. Town
          2. School
          3. Fire District
          4. UMC

    Measuring Progress

    In May of 2021, we, in partnership with the Anderson Hallas Architects, conducted a Post Occupancy survey with over 200 respondents. There were a number of takeaways from the survey that have influenced decision making. Click here for the full survey report.

    Sample Comments

    “The Director and her staff. I have spoken with the board members and they all seem to be on the top of their game.! Nice Work!”

    “Potential of the outdoor space and overall capacity of the building for visitors and community growth”

    “There are so many offers available for things to do outside the library- it really is a gateway to the entire mesa and beyond!”

    We categorized the responses into categories with the top five being: Building related, Outdoor spaces, parking, Not relevant- they liked everything, Hours and Limited programing. Throughout the year and as we move into 2022, we are taking steps to make improvements in these areas.

    Key Indicators: 

    1. Building related 
      1. Summary
        1.  Most of these related to personal taste or items that cannot be changed after construction. One item that can be addressed is the acoustics in the multi-purpose rooms.
      2. Solutions
        1. Sound mitigation plan has been created and bids received.
        2. USDA grant being submitted to cover cost of renovation.
    2. Outdoor spaces, parking
      1. Summary
        1. Many comments were made about the maintenance of the site- weeds and landscaping/ Narrow parking spots were also a common theme. The desire for a flag is being added here as well. 
      2. Solutions
        1. Exterior development was already in the works but have used comments to help guide design
        2. Flag will be installed in May.
        3. Changes to the parking area are in a planning phase.
    3. Hours
      1. Summary
        1. Respondents would like longer hours for those who commute
      2. Solutions
        1. Analysis was done on cost to open two nights a week until 7. This would cost about $10,000.
        2. Grant was written to do a pilot program but was not awarded.
    4. Limited programming, program-related
      1. Summary
        1. Comments centered around the types of programs they did not like or would like to see. There were also comments related to the program descriptions and how they were advertised.
      2. Solutions
        1. New programs have been created or tried in response to the comments.
        2. Other programs are on hold until another staff person can be hired to expand staff capacity.
        3. Better and more regular communications have been put in place.
        4. More program partnerships have been created to expand offerings.
    5. Other comments that have been addressed
      1. Summary 
        1. Improve Visitor Center
        2. Library Card easier
        3. Timed-out computers
        4. Better communications
      2. Solutions
        1. Working with Chamber to make changes to improve the space. Responsibility of the Chamber.
        2. Have streamlined process to accommodate our housing realities.
        3. Changed.
        4. Focus on Marketing

    2021 by the Numbers

    Three Year Comparison of Key Library Usage Statistics

    Percentages +/- from previous year

    2021 Financial Overview

    First established in 1938, the library operated out of an original homestead cabin (with additions) until 2019, when we moved into our brand new facility. The last two and half years in the new facility have been focused on developing new procedures, offering expanded programming, and navigating a pandemic.

    Now, we are excited to start planning for the future. There are two areas of focus.

    One, we have begun conceptual design work for Phase 2 of the library construction project which is focused on the build out of the library grounds. Partnering with community organizations, this project is exciting and diverse in our approach to meeting the needs of the community.

    Two, building an emergency reserve and endowment to provide stability for our future. The primary funding for library districts in Colorado comes from local property tax and is supplemented by grants and private donations. During the pandemic, the Oil & Gas company in our district has had difficulty paying their taxes on time. This resulted in the library ending 2020 with a 15% or $59,000 shortfall and 2021 with a 16% or $64,000 shortfall in projected tax revenues. This has created a hardship for the library in making ends meet until taxes begin to be collected and disbursed in March. Last year we had reserves to fall back on but this year, those are running out. If the pattern continues, we will be in an extremely tight spot this time next year. To prevent that and to prepare for the likelihood of other unforeseen circumstances in the future, we are focusing on building an emergency reserve fund and endowment to subsidize and protect library services.


    Our Mission:

    To cultivate an inquisitive, inclusive, and thoughtful community by connecting people with resources both emerging and traditional; connecting people with people; and connecting people with opportunity.

    Here are some of our favorite patrons interactions from 2021:

    A long time local stopped by the Director’s office to go on record with her positive experience today. She is so grateful for staff assistance in renewing her Driver’s License online.

    “Thank you for helping me with yahoo mail and fixing my password. I start work Sunday and I don’t know technology that well.” a happy and now employed patron.

    Wonderful thing today: an elderly woman, who has a form of dementia , came in with her caregiver. She was so overjoyed with our library, she revealed that she had been a librarian herself for many years. What was cool is that her caregiver told us that it was really exceptional that she was communicative and that she remembered so much and was engaged in seeing everything. She promised to return. It was quite moving actually.

    Patron struggling to find a motorcycle service manual in PDF format. Staff found the correct service manual in PDF form and saved it for him on a flashdrive. Went away very happy.

    “Thank you, Lone Cone Library Staff. I have been through some very difficult challenges in the past year or so and the staff at the Lone Cone Library have always been extremely kind, helpful and understanding. It is obvious that there is sincere interest in community connection, opening important conversations and improving communication.”

    Many of the Ride the Rockies bike riders and their relatives commented on our wonderful library. The building was beyond their expectations and the service, staff and WiFi were much appreciated. Thank you for staying open an extra hour and for great atmosphere to catch up on internet needs.

    A mom brought in her two children to storytime. One young boy apparently has not spoken much in the last two months of quarantine. He whispered a full sentence to his mom and then verbally interacted with staff…as they were leaving he told his mom that it was fun and he wanted to come again.

    Had a group of three (two travelers and one new local) come in and comment on how nice our library is. They were so glad to have access to the internet, study rooms, and helpful librarians to assist them in getting oriented to use the facilities. They needed help finding a local insurance company, internet company, used a study room to make private phone calls, and got directions to Town Hall. I happily assisted them and they were very very thankful and appreciative.

    Giving Opportunities

    If you are interested in giving to the library to support ongoing operations, programs or projects, here are some of our fundraising priorities for the coming years. Click here to DONATE! or contact Carrie for more information.

    With Gratitude …


    2021 was an exciting and busy year as services and usage began to increase after the pandemic. Due to careful observance of Covid precautions, the library did not have to close a single day last year. However, we are burdened by the number of patrons we were unable to fully serve due to mask mandates. We look forward to serving the entire community now that the mandates have lifted.

    Among our successes last year was the record number of program attendees which exceeded even 2019 numbers. This was accomplished by having a full-time staff person dedicated to Programming. In addition, a Wellness Initiative was developed to include a number of volunteer instructors offering yoga, health coaching, gymnastics, and belly dancing to the community.

    Our staff are one of the district’s greatest assets, as demonstrated by survey results and patron comments. To honor this, the board approved a large cost of living increase last year to begin to bring staff pay up to a living wage. We are committed to improving this in coming years.

    Our greatest challenge last year centered around threats to our tax revenue stream from legislative actions and state level ballot initiatives, and the delinquent or non-payment of taxes by one of the largest corporations in our taxing district. We went to the ballot in November to try to protect ourselves from upcoming tax rate changes implemented by the legislature but we were unsuccessful in passing our question. Several steps have been put in place in the first quarter of 2022 to anticipate future challenges by cutting district costs (such as refinancing our loan from 3.62% to 2% saving the district over $130,000 for the life of the loan), budgeting to account for a shortfall in tax revenues, grant writing, and the creation of the Emergency Reserve fund.

    We are honored to serve the citizens of Norwood and the surrounding areas and are committed to the sustainability of our district and community, and to our mission to connect people to resources, opportunities and others.

    Want to learn more about this report or how to support the library? 


    Carrie Andrew




    You can read the pdf version of the report here. Lone Cone Library 2021 Annual Report