While it appears the government is still some time away from a whole-hearted acceptance of the burgeoning cannabis industry, it appears at least one Colorado government institution is on board with the green rush—Colorado public libraries.
Denver’s Public Libraries Expand Cannabis Collections
Libraries around Colorado are making it a point to educate their clientele about the cannabis industry. Anythink libraries, a chain of publicly funded libraries in Colorado, hosted a Careers in Cannabis panel as part of its Anythink Startup Month in September.
They brought in several high-ranking executives within the cannabis industry to discuss the once-taboo market and to explain to their listeners about some of the pros and cons of working in the rapidly expanding field.
What was more interesting, however, is the expansive collection of marijuana multimedia now available in the nine Anythink locations. The chain of public libraries spread between Bennett, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn and Thornton now boasts close to 550 weed-related materials available to the public, including 108 printed books, 56 audio books, 259 e-books, 140 albums and 65 movies.
“If it meets our collection development policy and is relevant to our community, then we consider it,” said Anythink collection buyer Jennifer Hendzlik. “We saw a need for factual information for locals and librarians.”
Hendzlik, along with fellow Anythink buyer Aaron Bock, have also begun to educate librarians on cannabis culture in an effort to properly appease a growing demographic.
The two lent their expertise through a series of pow-wows with the Public Library Association‘s Colorado and national chapters. They gave suggestions for cookbooks that should line the shelves, grow-guide recommendations and even, taught their colleagues how to roll joints with oregano.
Hendzlik even shared her favorite bud and book pairings, and took some stigma off of the exercise by comparing the pairing to drinking a glass of wine while reading a novel.
Despite being a fun activity, Hendzlik didn’t downplay the importance of the exercise.
“We called it ‘puff, puff, lend,'” she joked. “But really, one of our most important responsibilities as librarians is giving out reliable information.”
A Growing Trend
While one might think cannabis topics are restricted to just grow-guides, cookbooks and historical recollections, Bock explained that the cannabis-related sub-topics are expansive.
“We buy some books for people to specifically read when they’re stoned,” Bock said.
And luckily, the marijuana book boom doesn’t merely end with Anythink.
The Denver Public Library reportedly has garnered over 300 pieces of cannabis-related literature, and the Aurora Public Library claims to have over 130 pieces of marijuana-based material.
While the idea of libraries carrying such subject matter still remains fairly new, Hendzlik believes it will soon become an accepted cultural norm.
“The stigma is attached, even for librarians,” Hendzlik said. “But so far, we think the response has been really good.”
Forgive us if we’re not “highly” surprised.
Nailed the joke.