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Dolores Public Library looks to future with community survey

The Dolores Public Library.
Director hopes for more collaboration with local entities; welcomes new ideas

The Dolores Public Library is developing its next strategic plan, and it wants your help.

A survey open through the end of the month will gauge community ideas on programming and local integration with four open-ended questions.

“Hopefully, we'll get some responses that are things that we didn't think of that are totally novel ideas,” said Sean Gantt, library director.

The new strategic plan will outline the next three to five years of the library’s future.

The questions are as follows:

  • Are you satisfied with the programs and resources offered by the Dolores Public Library? Why or why not?
  • Are there any programs and/or resources that you would like to see the library add to enhance your experience while at the library?
  • What role do you think the library should play in supporting our community?
  • Do you have any other suggestions on how the library can be improved?

When Gantt envisions the future of the library, he hopes for more collaboration with federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, nonprofits like the Dolores River Boating Advocates and Trout Unlimited, and the local school district.

“We just want to be good neighbors and partner with all the other entities up here,” he said.

The library aspires to address gaps in the community, like it did in curating a hanging space in its glass-walled backroom to function as an art gallery, he said.

That room overlooks the scenic Dolores River Trail, which the town helped to clear and enrich.

“I would love to see us do more programming related directly to the river because we could literally have a program in the community room, step outside and look at whatever we're talking about in the river,” he said.

Gantt replaced Diana Donohue as director in April 2020.

“That transition took a while for people to know about or even understand, because when I came in, we were still at curbside, and all the craziness was going on,” he said.

Before working at the Dolores Public Library, he served as director of education for the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

Amid rising local and national conversations of coworking spaces, Gantt reminds the community that libraries are a “natural location” for teleworking.

“That backroom, you can sit there next to a fireplace looking out at the river and be typing away on your laptop,” he said.

Gantt said he is always up for conversations with the community, and welcomes anyone into his office. He can be reached at sean@doloreslibrary.org.

“We want to be more than just a place for people to come check out books and DVDs, we really want to be a community hub in the Dolores area and the larger Montezuma County community,” he said.