City Librarian Shirley Amore Announces Her Retirement To Library Commission

Shirley Amore

The Denver Public Library (DPL) today announced that City Librarian Shirley Amore has informed the Library Commission that she will retire from the Library on or about February 27, 2015. Amore has served the Library and the City of Denver for more than eight years and worked in libraries in many capacities for 40 years. She is the ninth city librarian and the first woman to lead the organization.

Under her leadership, the Denver Public Library, the largest public library system in Colorado, has grown to 25 branch locations serving more than 400,000 active cardholders. The Library provides essential resources to the community including traditional borrowing services as well as early literacy programs, computer and Internet access and training, family and adult classes and more.

Amore is given credit for helping the Library thrive at a time when libraries across the country are facing tough challenges amidst changing consumer habits. In 2007, Denver voters approved the Better Denver Bond Program, which allocated $52 million to the Library to build three new branches, renovate the Central Library and 12 branches and make significant repairs to all facilities. In 2012, voters also approved measure 2A, which helped, in part, to restore service hours to all branches that were hit during the budget cuts of the recession.

In 2013, DPL began a large-scale project called “Service Delivery: The Next Evolution” designed to carry the organization into the next century. Using census data and consumer market information, the Library is adjusting products and services to meet the needs of Denver’s unique neighborhoods as well as the needs of Denver residents across the city.

“The Commission is thankful to Shirley for her leadership and vision of the Denver Public Library. We regretfully accept her decision to retire but feel she’s leaving the Library poised for years of success,” said Commission President Jay Mead. “We thank her for her extraordinary leadership and the many successes of her eight years as city librarian. Under her direction, the Library has become an essential city service for thousands of Denver residents and continues to attract new customers every day. She and the staff continue to find ways to connect people with information, ideas and experiences that truly strengthen our great city.”

Amore also commented in her letter to the Commission that, “I will miss my passionate, talented and dedicated colleagues who come to work every day ready to change the world. They have inspired me with their creativity and impressed me with the innovative products and services they have created. I am certain that the Library has the resources and strength to build upon our success and find new ways to enhance people’s lives at very deep levels.”

Amore’s career in libraries spans more than 40 years. She has worked in public libraries in Connecticut and Florida in positions ranging from children’s librarian and reference librarian to library director.

The Library Commission will outline steps for a national search for a new city librarian at its next meeting in September. The 8-member Commission will work closely with library staff and city officials to determine the process and scope of the search. The Commission expects to be able to announce a new city librarian by February 2015.