By Claudine Perrault, Estes Valley Library Director
We asked, you answered.
In 2022, the Estes Valley Library conducted a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) for the purpose of informing a new strategic plan. This community-wide survey provided up-to-date patron input, informing us about how to increase our value to you, the taxpayers of the Estes Valley and patrons of the public library.
In February, we shared the results of the CNA in an article like this, highlighting five main recommendations that emerged from the hundreds of responses we received. We reflected and planned, and now we’re acting on your feedback.
The first and most prominent theme was to “explore options for overcoming the challenges related to Library access, including parking, seasonal crowds, and downtown traffic.” We understand; it can be challenging to visit the downtown location during the busy summer season.
This year we introduced Park Like A Local, an initiative that focused on savvy, local tips to improve your ability to access our resources. The headlining service: we streamlined the process of acquiring a free local parking permit. Library cardholders (living within the Park R3 School District) only have to share their license plate information with our staff. We take care of the rest by working with the Town of Estes Park to enroll your plate in the Town’s database.
At the time of this writing, over 430 of you have signed up and are enjoying two hours of free parking daily in any of the downtown paid lots, including ours. Haven’t signed up yet? The paid parking season continues through October 22. Stop by the Library and we’ll get you squared away.
Another patron recommendation from the CNA was to “streamline website navigation and event registration.” Our team has been redesigning the Library website, with improved search function, increased integration with our program calendar, and responsive features to better serve up content that speaks to your interests and needs. We’ll be launching the new website by the end of the year.
Finally, we heard that while our building is well used and provides great resources for our community, we need to do some updating. Survey respondents suggested that more comfortable spaces as well as a designated area for teenagers would better serve local needs. We agree.
This summer, the Library Board of Trustees approved a renovation plan. We then selected a design-build team that specializes in public libraries to help us redesign and refresh the Library, which will be a significant project in 2024. We’re very excited and hope you will be, too. Stay tuned for more information as the process moves forward.
Because of your participation in the CNA, the Library received tangible direction, not only to create immediate shifts in how we offer services to you, but to inform our 2024-2028 Strategic Plan. This plan will be published in the fall, and we look forward to sharing it with you.
In the meantime, if you haven’t yet, take a look at the full executive summary of the CNA, available 24/7 here. Your feedback is always welcome; if you’d like to share more, email us (email@example.com). We’re listening.