In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
Since September 2, 2010, the column moved off the library site to laruesviews.blogspot.com.
By: Rochelle Logan, Associate Director of Support Services, Douglas County Libraries
What is the public library?
I think I can boil it down to this: we are a cooperative purchasing agreement. By pooling relatively small amounts of money from many people, we can buy and maintain buildings, collections, and services that none of us could afford individually.
But every now and then, someone asks me, "How do you decide what to buy?" That is, how do library staff figure out precisely which titles of fiction, non-fiction, magazines, movies, and music should be added to our collections?
It was once thought that the Big Bang -- that moment some 80 billion years ago when all the matter of the universe exploded from an unthinkably dense Cosmic Egg -- would eventually play itself out. Then, slowly, a universe of cold dust would tug itself back home.
So the universe might have a rhythm, like the breath of a baby: out, then in.
A friend of mine recently lent me a copy - published in 1908 - of "The Story of Little Black Sambo."
As an artifact, it's beautiful. The binding is still snug, the cover illustrations still bright and appealing. The paper has hardly faded. The illustrations are for the most part whimsical, clever, and finely drawn. The print is large and handsome. They don't make books like that anymore.
While we were having dinner last Saturday, the family was talking about the need to adjust our clocks for Daylight Savings Time (or as they say in England, "Summer Time"). My 10 year old son, Perry, asked, "Why do we do that?"
I shrugged. But then I remembered something else, I think from Ayn Rand. "A frown is the beginning of intelligence."
A shrug says, "Beats me," and lets it go. A frown says, "I ... don't know. And it bothers me."
There are a handful of life lessons that I seem to need to learn over and over again.
One of them is that I am most fully alive when I'm learning something new. I just signed up for a small part in Castle Rock Player's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat." I'm the oldest guy in the cast, and have been struggling to learn about 100 dance moves for the show stopping "megamix" number.
Along with Mark Weston (past-president of the Douglas County Libraries' Board of Trustees), and Eloise May (director of the Arapahoe Library District), I have just returned from the biannual (every other year, not twice a year) conference of the Public Library Association.
The three of us presented there. The conference, held in Seattle, drew over 5,000 attendees. Our session pulled in almost 400 of them, about evenly divided into trustees, directors, and other staff. Our topic was "board self-assessment."
I just returned from a "Trustee Training" workshop in Pueblo. Some 100 or so board members of public libraries showed up -- representing libraries stretching from north of Denver to the southeast corner of the state.
Years ago, I was working my very first job as a professional librarian. I was an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University. Among my responsibilities was to work the general reference desk, not too far from the main entrance to the library.
Here's another letter I received from our unofficial, self-proclaimed ombudsman, Ms. Featheruffle. Incidentally, I'm closing in on the clues.
The letters are arriving from the email of one Missy Hess, a shelver at the Parker Library. At any rate, Ms. Featheruffle seems to have gotten her tongue stuck firmly in her cheek. I think. - Jamie LaRue
Dear Mr. LaRue: