From: Denver Public Library [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:32 PM
To: 'List Member'
Subject: DENVER CITY LIBRARIAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2005
DENVER CITY LIBRARIAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
-- 20-year Career at DPL to end February 28, 2006 --
Rick Ashton, City Librarian of the Denver Public Library since 1985, today announced that he plans to retire on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006.
In a letter presented at a meeting of the Denver Public Library Commission, Ashton, 60, said, “We have reached the end of a chapter, and it is time to turn the page.” He thanked Mayors Federico Peña, Wellington Webb, and John Hickenlooper for their support and credited the Library Commission, staff, and citizenry for the advancement of the Library.
During Ashton’s 20-year tenure the Denver Public Library has experienced major growth. In 1985 the Library checked out about 2.5 million books per year. This year’s total will be about 10 million. He led the 1990 effort to secure voter approval of a $91.6 million bond issue, oversaw the design and construction of the new Central Library and 20 branch library projects, and introduced the Internet into DPL service. Widely known for its successful attention to customer service, DPL has been ranked by Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings as Number One among big-city libraries for three of the past five years. The ranking is based upon DPL’s high levels of public use and public support.
Although the budgetary difficulties of the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado have had an adverse effect on Denver Public Library in recent years, Ashton has continued to emphasize the Library’s service commitments. A major planning effort to develop focused library service for Denver’s changing and growing population is underway.
Library Commission President K.C. Veio said, “Rick has been a devoted servant for more than 20 years, and has led the Denver Public Library with integrity and grace. He will be sorely missed, but certainly not forgotten. His successor, whoever he or she may be, will have some pretty large shoes to fill.”
Reached in his office, Mayor John Hickenlooper commented “The Denver Public Library is a treasured fixture in our community and for 20 years, Rick Ashton has been its faithful guardian and advocate,” Mayor John Hickenlooper said. “I was surprised and saddened when Rick told me he was retiring. On behalf of a grateful city, I thank Rick for his service and congratulate him on his many accomplishments as City Librarian. His expertise and enthusiasm will be missed.”
Ashton did not announce any future plans. “There may be new opportunities for me in the coming years. But in the near future, I plan only to be a doting grandfather and an active customer of the Denver Public Library.”
The Library Commission designated Letty Icolari, the Library’s Director of Human Resources, to serve as Interim City Librarian beginning March 1. The Commission will undertake a national search for Ashton’s successor.
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Contact: M. Celeste Jackson
Denver Public Library
10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., Level 7 AAC
Denver, CO 80204-2731
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