The Denver Public Library is currently seeking name recommendations from the community to rename the Byers Branch. Community members interested in submitting name recommendations can do it online at denverlibrary.org/Byers or stop by the Byers Branch during open hours to pick up a printed form. Criteria can be viewed online and the submission deadline is Sunday, July 25, 2021.
During last year’s national call for social and racial justice, Denver Public Library examined our building names to better understand the history of individuals and their contributions. The Denver Public Library learned about William N. Byers problematic and disturbing support of the Sand Creek Massacre on the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes which took place in November 1864. The Library Commission asked library staff to move forward with renaming the branch if the community agreed.
As part of this process, a Renaming Community Committee was formed consisting of a diverse group of people from the community. The committee is facilitated by Library Commissioner Jehan Benton Clark and Councilwoman Jamie Torres. The Renaming Community Committee is guiding this process and created the criteria for a new name.
This is the first step in engaging the general public. Recommended names submitted will be researched and vetted. The Renaming Community Committee will then finalize the top names which will go to a public vote in September. The final branch name will be presented to the Library Commission on October 21 for approval and a celebration will be planned in November.
As one of Denver’s five historic Carnegie Libraries, the Byers Branch Library opened in 1918 in a building designed by Varian & Varian Architects. The branch recently underwent a renovation as part of the Elevate Denver bond program and reopened in June bringing a new look to a familiar community space.
More information about current offerings at Denver Public Library can be found at denverlibrary.org.