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Conifer Public Library

While the Conifer Library was among the first of the local libraries to join the Jefferson County Public Library system, it has never had its own facility. According to 50 Stories for 50 Years, Stories and History of the Jefferson County Public Library 1952-2002 and from Jefferson County Public Library Facilities Master Plan February 2018, the Conifer Library joined JCPL in 1954 and in 1996 moved into the new Conifer High School.  All other Jefferson County Libraries have been housed in buildings owned or rented by JCPL and most JCPL libraries have been or are currently being remodeled since their purchase.

Conifer residents have a long history of support of and desire for a public library. Over the years they have sought to keep the library active and available. The 2021 library survey shows that the community’s desire has not changed, with 93% of respondents in support of a stand-alone library in Conifer.

Download a PDF of the Survey here

In 2011 the Conifer Library Committee reported that the budget for the Conifer Library was less than 1% of the JCPL budget.  In 2020 it was 0.41%, despite the property tax revenue collected from Conifer being the same 4.5 mils that the rest of the county’s residents pay to support their libraries.

Conifer Library

Decisions on budgeting partially rely on the daily count of the number of patrons visiting the library. However, the measure of the number of people at the Conifer library is distorted by the exclusion of the school-day gate count from the daily JCPL count. Students and school staff are JCPL patrons. They must have a JCPL card to check out materials and log into JCPL’s computers, website, and databases. They have all the rights and responsibilities of other patrons. Given that these are the only users allowed in the library during the school day, their numbers need to be included to give an accurate reflection of patronage.

Given the unique situation that JCPL has with sharing space in Conifer High School, additional concerns need to be considered.  The safety of students prevents the community patrons from being able to visit during school hours. The current agreement between the library and school districts would leave the school with a diminished inventory if the public library were suddenly removed from the school.

CAC will continue to be a voice of our community to the Jefferson County Public Library and Conifer High School. We will work toward a solution that will benefit all parties including taking small interim steps to provide better access while pushing toward a facility that will allow the community the same access to a local library that the rest of Jefferson County has already.