April 21, 2022 - The Denver Public Library Commission voted to approve the Bob Ragland Branch Library as the name for the library’s newest location at 1900 East 35th Street, Suite A at the ArtPark Community Hub today (April 21).
A Community Naming Committee was formed in late summer 2021 and set name criteria for the new branch. During fall 2021, the community and the committee were invited to submit names for consideration. All recommended names submitted were researched and vetted by library staff. Four final names were released to the public for voting: Bob Ragland Branch Library, Lorraine Granado Branch Library, South Platte Branch Library, and ArtPark Branch Library.
The public was invited to vote on the name during the month of March and selected the Bob Ragland Branch Library. The committee then submitted the public’s selection to the Library Commission for final approval.
“Bob Ragland was an artist, library supporter and a community leader and resident from the Whittier and Five Points neighborhood ,” said Michelle Jeske, City Librarian. “Our newest branch has a community arts focus and it is fitting to name our newest branch library after him.”
The branch opened to the public in mid-February. An official grand opening celebration will be held in the coming months. More information about current offerings at Denver Public Library can be found at denverlibrary.org.
Background on Bob Ragland
Bob Ragland (1938-2021) was a prolific and well respected Black visual artist, teacher, consultant/coordinator, tv producer, and more. He authored and published “The Artist’s Question and Answer Book” and “The artists' survival handbook, (or, what to do till you're rich and famous)” and is honored as an award winning artist who worked with multiple mediums. As a longtime resident of both the Whittier and Five Points neighborhoods, Ragland was an advocate for Colorado art/artists as well as art in public schools. He also taught at Emily Griffith Opportunity School, George Washington High School, and Bradley Elementary. He even had a segment during Denver channel 2’s “Montage, a look at the Arts” television show as well as a series on PBS KRMA TV6 titled “You’re an Artist.” Some of his work is publicly displayed including his 1990 sculpture, “Flute Player with Corn Row Hair”, at the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art.