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.
August 23, 2007 - Libraries are Windows to the World
Douglas County Libraries are the windows to the world, generationally.
Since I was a child of immigrant parents, growing up in Brooklyn, New York, in the l940s, money was scarce. The public library was our source of entertainment and enlightenment. Once a week Mom walked (we had no car) some twenty city blocks to the Stone Avenue Library. I would return home with my ten book limit, curl up with my Mom or Dad, and be read to. Eventually I would read independently, venturing into the world of literature. Oh the joy of the Little House on the Prairie series, and Little Women.
Many, many years have passed since having helped my own children with homework assignments at the Thousand Oaks library in California. There, too, prior to computers, the public library was the place for recreational literature, books on tape, and research projects. The library was the place for my children's school assignments, as well as for me, a non-traditional student, completing my college degrees for career advancement.
Now, it's the 21st century. My husband John and I have relocated to Roxborough Village in Littleton, Colorado. Prior to the Roxborough Marketplace, John and I frequented the Bookmobile, eagerly awaiting those "open days" to satiate our reading hunger, books on tape for longer car rides, and even "special request" books and films, borrowed for us from other libraries. One text found its way to us from the Grand Army Plaza Library, in Brooklyn, New York. This library was a favorite stop from my teen years, when I could venture beyond the immediate neighborhood via the subway system.
The Neighborhood Library at Roxborough has become an integral part of our grandparenting. It gives me great pleasure to impart the joy of reading and learning to my grandkids. Kayla, the 5-year old, looks forward to story times. As soon as the program is over, Kayla is busy selecting books and DVDs for the special times with grandma and grandpa. Thanks to library assistance, 13-year old Danielle, got a better than perfect grade with her British Isles middle school project. Learning is accompanied with lessons of responsibility, as we respectfully care for the materials we've borrowed, to be returned in good condition and in a timely manner for the next borrower.
Alas, it is time for John and I to enjoy our latest library picks. For John it's a detective or mystery novel. For me,it's a gardening book (our landscaped yards are a testimonial to responsible water usage utilizing drought tolerant plantings).
I'm within walking distance to the Neighborhood Library at Roxborough. Many times my two dogs, Daisy and J.J. accompany me to make my return drop-offs. I've come a long way, chronologically and geographically from my first library trips as a child. Thanks to Douglas County Libraries, the windows to the world are open to me and my family, to enhance the quality of life we enjoy in Douglas County.