For 3 years, it ran in the Greeley Tribune. Since then, it has run in various subsidiaries of the Douglas County News Press. I still have most of my columns in digital format.
For many years, I only gave myself one rule: try to work the word "library" into every piece. My intent was to think in public about just what librarianship means at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st.
There have been many advantages for me. I found that putting library plans out in front of the public, and getting feedback about them, helped me make better decisions. Sometimes, I found that it was very difficult for me to describe those plans or policies -- the kind of thing that makes me realize that they might not be good ideas after all. The weekly discipline of explaining my profession to the public keeps me more mindful, more honest. It also has provided steady visibility for the library and its issues.
December 26, 2001 - Thank-you For Your Patronage & Best Wishes for 2002
After over 25 years of working in libraries, I've made an important discovery. Our key asset isn't buildings or books. Those things are important -- even very important.
But even more important is staff. Even if a library's buildings and books are nothing to shout about, good people can make you glad you stopped by.
We have many beautiful library buildings in Douglas County. And we're getting to the point where our collections are impressive. But our core strength is, and remains, the people who work here.
Every week, I have the remarkable opportunity to tell our citizens whatever I'm thinking about. This week, I asked my staff what THEY would like to tell the public. Here's a sample of what I got, and it goes a long way to explain the high regard I have for library staff.
"Thank you for letting us be a part of your communities, and for letting us share in a bit of your life ... I would also like to thank you for your support of our staff, and wish you peace, health and happiness in the coming year." -Peg Hooper, Louviers and Roxborough
"I want to thank the people of Castle Rock for welcoming me into their community this year. I moved here in July, and already I feel like this place is home. Working at the library has given me the chance to meet so many people, and I'm looking forward to meeting even more in 2002!" -Spring Lea Boehler, Philip S. Miller
"We now have a considerable DVD collection, cataloged and ready for checkout (with more titles being added daily)!"- Kathy North, Technical Services
"If I could say just one thing to patrons it would be how much fun it is to serve them and how fun it is to be with their children. There are so many ways that they enrich all of us that work hard to do story times/puppet shows, programs, and of course, help them with those homework assignments. I just hope that they'll come in OFTEN!!!!" -
Carol Wagstaff, Highlands Ranch
"I would like to thank all the Parker area parents for bringing their wonderful children to Parker storytime. I thank the parents for their gift of time and sharing the love of books with their children."- Lisa Tatangelo, Parker
"Please extend a thanks to the patrons who unselfishly share a smile or their enthusiasm for a novel they are returning with a recommendation. Also thanks to the parents of small children who share their excitement over their child learning to read their very first book! It is a wonderful part of the job. Also let them know we appreciate their patience when we are trying to provide that special service to the person ahead of them in line!" - Joanie Mack, Parker
"This is a brief greeting to the people of Douglas County. Thanks for all your questions. Keep them coming in 2002. You make my job very interesting!" - Deb Margeson, Lone Tree
This last one sums up my views as well: "Thank you for your patronage and friendship! Best wishes for a wonderful 2002!" Connie Smith, Highlands Ranch