New partnership allows Manitou library to reopen doors, expand opportunities

Manitou Springs Library
Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 01, 2021

MANITOU SPRINGS — The Manitou Springs Library will soon open their doors at their new location shared with the Manitou Art Center. The collaboration will provide better accessibility and a wide array of new opportunities to El Paso county residents.

According to a recent press release from the Pikes Peak Library District, this new partnership will bring together art, literature, studios and meeting spaces, as well as a vast array of creative tools all under one roof.

Building upon a decade of cooperation, PPLD and the MAC are transforming the historic building at 515 Manitou Avenue to become a shared space that extends more benefits to local artists, Library cardholders, and the greater community. PPLD will be able to offer more than traditional library resources and services – and in a way that’s accessible – to all in Manitou Springs. The MAC will join them in welcoming more residents to learn, connect, create and tinker with their already extensive offering of equipment and creative spaces.

The library announced their decision to move away from its historical home in the Carnegie building back in July of 2020 due to the structure's failure to meet ADA requirements.

"We want to make sure that everyone has access to the building," John Spears, Executive Director of the PPLD, said in a July statement. "Unfortunately, in a building like this, that's just not possible right now."

According to Spears, the city of Manitou Springs and a task force are continuing to plan for the future of the Carnegie building.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the City and return to the Carnegie building if the Library can be accessible to everyone and in a way that allows for a common experience similar to our other libraries,” shared Spears in a press release.

For now and into the foreseeable future, however, the library and art center will co-exist in one location. According to directors of both organizations, even after the two stop sharing a physical space, the collaboration won't stop.

"We have no intentions of ever really dissolving any of the relationships and opportunities we've been building and creating here," stated Natalie Johnson, executive director of the MAC.

"Everything we've discovered [that] we can do together as we've explored this project and implemented it, that will continue," finished Spears.

The official opening for the new collaborative space is March 5th, and as we move farther into the year, PPLD and the MAC plan to offer broader opportunities to access to on-site meeting rooms, spaces for a wide array of creative works, computer labs and more.

To find out more about this collaborative effort between the MAC and PPLD, CLICK HERE.