Attention residents served by the Byers Branch Library in Lincoln Park. It’s time to put your thinking caps on.
The Denver Public Library is moving forward with its plan to rename the Byers Branch and the agency is currently accepting name recommendations, according to a DPL press release.
During the social unrest last summer, the department launched a review of its library names “to better understand the history of individuals and their contributions,” the release says.
The branch is named after William Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News, who discriminated against Indigenous people through the news outlet. In the paper, Byers praised the Sand Creek Massacre, which left at least 200 members, mostly women, children and elders, of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes dead.
A full list of name guidelines can be found on the Byers Branch Library website. Recommendations can be submitted online or at the branch. DPL asks that residents include as much detail as possible with their recommendation.
Residents have the option to choose a person or words with meaning. If choosing a person, the DPL says they should be deceased.
The person could be significant to the surrounding areas of the branch, including the Lincoln Park, Barker and Alamo Placita neighborhoods. That person could also be a historical figure or a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.
The name could be an Algonquian word, which was spoken by the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. It could also be a historical place or the name of a neighborhood.
The deadline is Sunday, July 25 at midnight.
The names will later be vetted and researched by the Renaming Community Committee. The committee will choose the top names and in September, there will be a public vote.
The final name will be presented to the Library Commission on October 21 for approval. A celebration will be planned in November, which is Native American Heritage Month.
The Byers Branch opened in 1919 and is one of Denver’s five historic Carnegie libraries, which were built through donations from steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie.
The branch was recently renovated as part of the Elevate Denver bond program. It reopened in June with a new teen space and literacy space for kids, among other renovations.