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.
June 4, 2007 - Authors Coming to Our County
Ah, summer, the season of lawn mowers and pollen. But there are compensations.
My daughter will be home from her first year at college overseas. My son will be able to start making claymation movies again, having blasted through his final weeks of infernal math homework.
For awhile, young people will bask in the heat and indolence of seasonal downtime. Then, of course, they'll get bored.
What to do?
Well, shortly we'll be rolling out our summer reading program, with its usual complement of programs and prizes. We will also offer our usual comfy, air-conditioned spaces, and literally hundreds of thousands of tempting library materials. (Parents: do NOT tell your children that reading in the summer will keep their skills sharp, helping them ramp back up when the summer is over. It will, of course, but it's best that they don't know.)
I also wanted to take this opportunity to talk up some coming attractions.
About a year ago, the library did a host of open meetings around the county to find out what people would most like to see from our library foundation. The message came through loud and clear: you wanted to see live authors.
We've learned that to set up big events takes time and money. But one way to get authors here faster is to team up with others in the business. So I'm very pleased to announce our partnership with Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch. Together, we'll be hosting a visit from author Anna Quindlen.
Her latest novel is "Rise and Shine," a story about "two sisters, the true meaning of success, and the qualities in life that matter most." The event will be held at Tattered Cover Bookstore Highlands Ranch Town Center on Friday, June 8, 2007. We'll be offering a limited number of free tickets (one to a customer) beginning at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Quindlen speaks at 7:30 p.m., then signs books afterwards. I've heard her before, and she's a wonderful speaker.
A second series of events features Denver's Poet Laureate, Chris Ransick. Ransick is a fine writer, with a quiver-full of pointed questions about the role of media in our society.
He'll be appearing, for free, at the following places.
* Highlands Ranch Library: Saturday, June 9 at 10 a.m.
* Neighborhood Library at Lone Tree: Thursday, June 14 at 7 p.m.
* Parker Library: Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m.
* Philip S. Miller Library: Thursday, June 28 at 7 p.m.
A third new feature is a spanking new TV program. This time, our Foundation is teaming up with the good folks at the Network DC -- also known as Douglas County Television. I'll be interviewing authors for about half an hour apiece -- time enough to find out what makes them tick, and to probe just how these books come to be written. Watch for "Authors! @ Douglas County Libraries" coming to you soon.
So remember. If you're a child, there is marvelous fun to be found at the library. If you're an adult, we're working to give you the opportunity not only to read compelling and interesting work, but to meet the people who create it.
Who knows? One day, it might be YOU that we're inviting to a signing.