Highlands Ranch library to be renamed

New sign will have just a geographic name

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The Highlands Ranch library will soon be renamed to represent its geographic location, removing the name of former longtime Douglas County library director James H. LaRue.

The new title comes as the library board replaced its naming policy in an Oct. 30 meeting, stating that buildings can no longer be named for living people.

“You never know what living people may do,” said library board president Sean Duffy.

The board also made the change to match the policies of the school district and the county, he said. The Highlands Ranch library is the only one in the county named for someone living, Duffy said.

While there wasn't any recent cause for changing the name, Duffy cited potential confusion from patrons as one part of the rationale, he said.

“We have heard from folks in the area that the lack of geographic name can be confusing,” he said.

LaRue, who was the county library director from 1990 to 2014, was notified of the board's vote on the policy change the day it happened, he said. He attended the meeting where the name was changed but felt there was not enough opportunity for residents to understand the process or provide input, he said.

“There was no discussion of any kind,” he said.

Duffy responded that the open meeting provided an opportunity for public comment but no one in attendance spoke.

“It was not a closed process at all,” he said. “Everything we do is open, transparent and above board.”

The library board decided in 2013 to name the library after LaRue, who was given the Colorado Association of Libraries' Career Achievement Award in the same year and named Colorado Librarian of the Year in 1998.

In the October meeting, the policy change passed unanimously with one member absent, Duffy said. The cost of the rename has not yet been determined, he said.

It's unknown when the sign marking the library at 9292 S. Ridgeline Blvd. as the Highlands Ranch library will be officially changed but it's in progress now, said a spokesperson for the library district. While signs on and outside the building still have the James H. Larue name, the letters above the library entrance have been removed.

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