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.
September 10, 2003 - Moving to the New Philip S. Miller Library
Back when I was working on my graduate degree, my parents moved. It was the house I'd lived in for most of my childhood. I went up for the last weekend before they packed, and it was very strange.
My childhood home was a two-story, brick gingerbread sort of house, surrounded by towering trees. I spent a nostalgic evening rocking by the fireplace, listening to the sound of the old water pipes popping and hissing. And that was the last time I was ever really able to feel like I was "home."
For the past 13 years, I have mostly worked out of the Philip S. Miller Library on Plum Creek Boulevard. In less than a week, we'll be moving to our new location at 100 S. Wilcox in Castle Rock -- the site of the old Safeway grocery store.
I am so excited I can hardly stand it. The building no longer looks like a Safeway. Our architects, Humphries-Poli, have made a truly interesting place both within and without.
You can also tell, from the outside, what is likely to be going on in the inside -- from our two-story glass Teen Tower, to our red brick children's room, to our quiet reading room, to our open and spacious conference center.
Coordinating the move from old to new, not to mention incorporating various other pieces from around the district, will be a little tricky. Some of you may have already picked up much of this information from the circulation desk in Castle Rock, but I thought it might bear repeating here.
Our timetable looks like this:
* Saturday, September 13, 5 p.m. The library closes as usual. Then the movers arrive, and we start unplugging things. The Philip S. Miller Library will then be closed until September 27 (except for returns, as below).
* Monday, September 15 and Tuesday, September 16, all day. We will be moving all of our central computer equipment. That means our catalog, our web server, and our Internet server are all down across the entire district, not just Castle Rock. With any luck, Qwest will have live T1 lines to plug into at the new location. Pray for us. If all goes well, we will return to cyberspace on Wednesday, September 17.
* Tuesday, September 16 through Friday, September 26. We'll continue receiving and setting up shelving, followed by the transfer of the old collection to its new location. Then we've got time (barely) to get everything else plugged in, situated, tested, and shaken down.
* Saturday, September 27. Our Grand Opening! Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the dedication of the building by the Masons. The children's parade, from the old to the new library, begins at the old location at 10:30 am. The big party at the new library, with guest Reggie Rivers, begins at 11:30 a.m. The doors will be open at noon! That night, we'll have a parking lot dance from 7-10 p.m.
During the period the Philip S. Miller Library will be closed, we have nevertheless figured out a way to allow you to return your materials. You have three options: the book drop at the new library (right by the entrance), our book drop by the King Soopers off Founders Parkways and I-25, and any other Douglas County Libraries location.
Except for the two days when our computers are down, you can also go online at www.douglascountylibraries.org and renew your materials as usual.
Finally, we've also figured out a way to let you pick up anything you may have placed on hold. Depending on how the logistics work out, we'll have a pickup and checkout location either just inside the foyer of the new library, or working from the new meeting room. We'll have signs outside to direct you to the right spot.
Whether you make it to our Grand Opening, or sometime afterward, we know it will feel like home.