In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
The fundamental mission of the Douglas County Libraries is to promote literacy and lifelong learning.
What results from such advocacy? Here's one of them: productive citizens.
Recently, I asked Kate Prestwood, who heads up Douglas County Libraries adult literacy efforts, to give me an update on the status of the program.
A few years ago now, the Douglas County Libraries consolidated most of our phone lines into a central Contact Center. This did two things for us. First, it let us get rid of a lot of annoying sounds and service interruptions in the public areas. Our staff can concentrate on the people who show up in our buildings.
The second thing was that it let us really monitor the number and type of calls we receive, bringing in a lot of eye-opening data. That data has helped us manage a host of operations more efficiently.
In 2005 Philip Tetlock wrote a book called, "Expert Political Judgment: How Good is it? How can we know?"
To find out, he did something extraordinary. He went back and studied 50 years of writings by various media pundits and commentators who made predictions about politics and economics. Then he carefully tracked the results.
What did he find?
Experts don't do so good.
I've written in the past about what we should do when we learn that something we have long believed turns out not to be true. (In brief, strive to change those beliefs to be more in line with reality. Doesn't that sound easy?)
But where do these beliefs come from in the first place? Why do we believe them?
On a personal level, according to the brain and linguistical research work of George Lakoff and others (see "Don't Think of an Elephant," and "The Political Brain") it all comes down to "framing."
One of the talks I most enjoy giving is about Strauss and Howe's generational theory of American history. Their work ("Generations: the history of America's future," and "the Fourth Turning") details the interactions of four distinct generational types. These types follow each other repeatedly, making a predictable cycle of historical moods.
It was just a matter of time.
Libraries generate a lot of traffic - from 1,000 to 2,000 people a day depending on the library's size. Our patrons represent a good cross-section of the community.
Library users tend to be engaged in other ways. For instance, many of them are registered to vote.
Recently libraries were in the news in Colorado and the nation. But it was weird news.
The first case was Peter Boyles, who got very exercised that some newly built libraries in Adams County didn't have flags flying in front of them. My first thought was, Good for him. What a great opportunity to encourage citizens to step up and show their civic pride.
It happens that I know something about the situation in Adams County. They've done a wonderful job of building their inviting new libraries on very tight budgets; outside improvements and landscaping happen last.
One of the recurring discoveries of my life is that everything connects. Get interested in something, and it leads you to something else. That leads you to the next thing. Before long, you're interested in anything.
Following connections is great fun in your personal reading habits. It's fun for organizations, too.
For instance, the Douglas County Libraries is deeply interested in its many overlapping communities. The more we know about them, the more we can gather resources - people, information, facilities - to help the larger community succeed.
Dean Ruppelt is a patriot.
He served in the Army Reserves from 1982-1987. He served another stint in the Navy from 1987-1991. In September of 2007, he joined the National Guard.
In August of 2008 he got married (on 08/08/08, in fact - a brilliant stratagem to make the date itself memorable.)
And on January 2009, he got called up.
At Fort Hood he got two months training. He left for Kuwait at the end of June, where he got two more week's training, this time in dealing with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).
On July 12, 2009, he arrived in Iraq.
Former county commissioner Melanie Worley told me recently about her first job. She was a fairy princess.
A local movie theater hired her, gave her a gown, cape, and wand, and instructed her to supervise the frequent hordes of children. Sometimes, she said, she had to bonk them with her wand.
It was excellent training.