Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Press Release - $3.3M for Computer Centers in Libraries



MONDAY, SEPT. 27, 2010



Mark Stevens, 303.866.3898,

Myung Oak Kim, 303.947.5708,


Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. and Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones announced today that the Colorado State Library has secured a $2.3 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to open new and upgraded public computer centers in 76 communities, including tribal and public libraries. The grant is part of a total of $3.3 million that will be used to add 692 laptop computers, 451 desktop computers, 69 computer stations that are accessible to people with disabilities in centers that serve 2.3 million children and adults, with a special focus on communities with limited access to public computers and high-speed Internet.

“Providing greater access to free computers and high-speed Internet is critical to advancing our education and job training goals in Colorado,” said Gov. Ritter. “Congratulations to the State Library and its many partners for winning this important grant to help Colorado bridge the digital divide.”

“Education is a life-long pursuit and these labs and training will help those with the most need gain the education and skills to succeed,” said Commissioner Jones.

Eugene Hainer, Assistant Commissioner of the Colorado State Library, said: “These additional computers will reduce wait times in public libraries and allow state and local agencies to provide training and support for those with highest need.”

The grant was awarded in a competitive process through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided $754,000 in financial support and local libraries and community organizations provided matching and in-kind donations worth $316,234 for a total of $3,345,760.

Participating communities were selected based on a formula that examined poverty, ethnicity and current public computer access. Along with computers, the grant will increase public training on computer use, job skills, health resources, e-government and education.

The initiative includes many partners, including the Colorado Department of Labor, local work force centers, the community college system, College in Colorado, Adult Education/Family Literacy and GED and the National Library of Health. Local partners in each community will help provide economic development and support for small business development, employment resources, online training for firefighters and genealogy assistance.

Participating Libraries and Tribes
Funding will serve multiple locations in some areas, for a total of 76 community participants.
Alamosa/Southern Peaks Public Library
Burlington Public Library
Canon City Public Library
Conejos County Library District
Cortez Public Library
Costilla County Public Library
Costilla County Public Library
Delta County Public Library District
Denver Public Library
Dolores County School/Public Library, Dove Creek
Dolores Library District/Montezuma County
East Morgan County Library District
Elbert County Library District
Fleming community Library (School/Public)
Fort Morgan Public Library
Fowler Public Library
Gunnison County Public Library
Haxtun Public Library
High Plains Library District
Holyoke/Higginbotham Library
Jackson County Public Library
John C. Fremont Library District (Florence)
Kiowa County Public Library District
La Junta/Woodruff Memorial Library
Lamar Public Library
Las Animas-Bent County Library District
Limon Memorial Library
Mancos Public Library District
Mesa County Public Library District
Montrose Regional Library District
Nucla Public Library
Ordway Combined Community Library
Pikes Peak Library District
Poudre River Library
Pueblo City-County Library District
Rangeview Library District
Red Feather Mountain Library District
Rio Grande Library District
Rocky Ford Public Library
Silverton Public Library
Southern Teller County School/Public Library District
Southern Ute Cultural Center
Spanish Peaks Library District
Sterling Public Library
Stratton Public Library
Swink School/Public Library
Trinidad/Carnegie Public Library
Upper San Juan Library District
Ute Mountain Ute Library
Wray Public Library

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Learn more at or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter.