Membership Details and Benefits

Membership Details:


Important Notice: We are no longer accepting new members in the cooperative. Please send an e-mail to for details.


Operating continuously since Sept. 2003, AskColorado is proud of its service record and collaborative operating model. Here’s how it works:

  • Our organization operates on a model similar to public radio: We are member and grant supported.
  • Staffing and software costs are shared by member libraries, and supplemented by LSTA federal grant monies from the Colorado State Library.
  • Member library contributions help to pay our software vendor costs and a portion of the cost of operating an after-hours librarian service.
  • Operating expenses, overhead, coordinator salary, marketing materials, and other expenses are paid for using LSTA grant monies. Currently, no state monies are received for this service.
  • Our Contribution Chart outlines suggested contributions for libraries wishing to join the cooperative.


Membership Alternatives:

  • We always accept more than the minimum suggested contribution. Thanks for your generosity.
  • If you want to participate, but feel you cannot meet the minimum suggested contribution(s), please contact the operations manager. We want to find ways to allow all libraries to participate!
  • We accept additional contributions in lieu of staffing, or for reduced staffing. Suggested rate: +10% of suggested contribution for every 1 hour of reduced staffing.
  • We accept additional staffing for reduced contributions. Suggested rate: 1 hour of staffing for every -10% of suggested contribution.


Benefits to the Colorado library community

  • The image of all Colorado libraries benefits from this highly visible service.
  • Collaborative participation helps to lower costs per library by distributing costs.
  • Grassroots support is essential for ground-up, user centered services addressing real-world needs.

Benefits to your library users

  • Meet your library users online when they need search help.
  • Provide library service beyond your library hours, 24/7.
  • There is a strong need for expert (librarian) presence on Internet.

Benefits to your library

  • Enjoy a higher profile in your community and the state.
  • Be part of an innovative and popular statewide collaboration.
  • Reach new library users.
  • Add another reference point for higher use statistics.

Benefits to your staff

  • Offer cutting-edge reference skills for library staff members.
  • Improve staff reference skills through training, mentoring, and collaboration.
  • Connect with over 200 reference staff throughout Colorado.
  • Get access to subject experts for those challenging questions.

Participating Libraries

The active participation of our member libraries is what makes us great! Because we are a collaborative library service, we rely on our member libraries in order to continue to offer this popular service.


AskColorado has committees that contribute towards creating policies and setting best practices, selecting software, and more. Each committee is comprised of individuals from one of our member libraries as well as our after-hours service.

ASKReps: An ASKRep is an individual from one of our member libraries who represents that library and acts as the liaison between the library and AskColorado; who disseminates communication about the service to library leaders, and when appropriate, oversees staff scheduling and training, and participates in collaboration planning and future development.

Reference Support and Education: This committee exists to raise staff awareness and knowledge about ASK philosophies, goals, best practices, policies, and guidelines. They deliver education and training using existing tools and resources, innovative ideas, programs, practices, and by engaging the expertise of ASK’s membership.

Software: An ad hoc group that periodically reviews software options and makes recommendations to the cooperative about technology.