Representatives of the Lone Cone Library in Norwood have received what they say is big — and surprising — news: The local library has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) Library of the Year. Last week, library director Carrie Andrew said she was astounded to learn of the recognition. 

Unbeknownst to her, Bob Bennhoff, of the Colorado Library Consortium, nominated the new Norwood library, and the Colorado Association of Library Awards Committee supported the idea and made its selection. 

Bennhoff told The Norwood Post on Monday he was impressed with Norwood’s library and its board. 

“Primarily, I did it just because I think the funds that were raised as a community Norwood’s size, people came together and secured funds from (the Department of Local Affairs),” he said. “DOLA typically doesn’t give funds prior to, usually they wait to put up money, until money is already raised, but they made an exception. “It’s a tremendous effort on Carrie’s part and the board’s part to secure funding for such an amazing library.”

Now, the Lone Cone Library will be honored at the CAL Awards Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Loveland. The event will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., and two members from the Norwood library’s board have been invited to attend. 

The luncheon includes a presentation of the award and an award acceptance speech. 

Andrew said the board has not decided yet who will make the trip.  

Andrew said she was “beyond honored” that Norwood was chosen. 

She said a representative called her on July 20 to let her know of the award. Then, an official letter from the CAL Awards Committee followed last week confirming the news. 

“It was impossible to keep in the tears as Robin explained that we had been awarded Library of the Year. I am completely honored and humbled that our library and project would receive this award,” she said. “I did not even realize that we had been nominated. In all honestly, it felt so surreal that I did not want to tell anyone until I had seen it in writing.”

Andrew said the recognition means a lot to her, as establishing the new library in Norwood took several years, fundraising and also the collaboration of many in the community who supported the project. 

The Lone Cone Library officially opened in May, and held its grand celebration in June. 

The space features print and digital materials, work space, a Colorado law library conference room, a community room with a kitchen, kids areas and also outdoor space. It also offers high-speed internet to the public. 

“We are beyond honored and would love to share this information with the community. …(This) is truly amazing, and I am beyond grateful,” Andrew said. “I still can't talk about it without tearing up. 

The Colorado Association of Libraries is an organization that advocates for “quality library services, support access to information, and fosters professional development of its members,” according to its website.