The Pueblo Library Foundation exists exclusively for the benefit of, or to carry out the purposes of the Pueblo City-County Library District, including providing resources for the development. maintenance and operation of PCCLD to the extent not normally met by public funding.
Pueblo Library Foundation was established in 2011 to help fund the programs of the public library. Since its founding, the board has worked diligently to create an investment fund for the library. It also hosts a variety of fundraisers annually to continue to increase the investment fund. The Foundation helped raise $1.1 million in support of three new libraries in 2015 and looking forward to supporting the library with new projects in 2022.
Thank you for supporting the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD). Your help is important to the library district's success. I am writing to you in order to provide a brief update on the state of your local libraries and ask for your assistance to ensure this good work continues.
PCCLD is known nationally as a high-achieving public library. The library district was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Services just a few years ago. This medal is cherished among librarians and I am proud Pueblo is among the few communities in the United States to receive this recognition. PCCLD also is a 2021 National Star Library. This designation places Pueblo City-County Libraries in the top echelon among more than 5,600 public libraries from throughout the United States based upon key performance measures. This means our local libraries compare favorably with libraries everywhere across the country.
I am pleased our local libraries are viewed so positively. These accolades also say a lot of great things about our entire community. I hope and trust that you feel the same.
There are other important activities on our radar. This includes the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis has shadowed our work starting in March 2020 and continuing today. I am pleased with PCCLD's overall response to this difficult situation and our institution remains resolute even in the face of it. Pueblo Libraries have been hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics at all local libraries, showing how PCCLD can help in unexpected ways. Another important recent development is Reading Pays: Pueblo's $1 Million Reading Challenge. Reading Pays helped re-engage PCCLD positively with the community this past year even as everyone was reeling from the negative consequences of COVID-19. Thousands of local young people completed the program and more than $700,000 has been paid out to date. Reading Pays both helped foster reading achievement among our young people and put money into the local economy. Reading Pays occurred due to key support with both the City of Pueblo and Pueblo County infusing federal COVID-19 recovery funds to pay for it.
One more pivotal project to highlight is renovation of the Rawlings Library. I am pleased construction is well underway and on-track to be completed in 2022. This upgrade will help ensure the Rawlings Library is well poised to serve the community as robustly in the coming twenty years, just as it has over the prior twenty years. PCCLD also plans to begin the design process in 2022 to expand and renovate both the Barkman and Lucero Libraries. These two heavily used neighborhood libraries are too small for the many people who frequent them, and PCCLD will invest to improve both with work starting in 2022.
These are only a few of the many matters influencing PCCLD's promise to deliver excellent library services. I know you are proud of our libraries and our goal is to make certain PCCLD delivers on these expectations.
I will close both by expressing my sincere appreciation for your support for libraries and asking your help. Please consider a financial gift in support of PCCLD's ongoing success as a trusted and respected institution providing free and open access to books and library materials, public computing and online services, research and reference materials and services, and public space for people to gather together to read, study, and learn.
For more information on 2021 highlights, please read the publication at: https://www.pueblolibrary.org/donate
Donations to the Your Future Library Capital Campaign of $250 or more are eligible to participate in the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit. Colorado's Enterprise Zone (EZ) program provides tax incentives to encourage job creation and capital investment in economically depressed areas of the state. Donors who make a qualifying contribution may claim an income tax credit of 25 percent on cash donations and 12.5 percent on stock gifts.