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.
To some people, an "agenda" has sinister overtones. Our enemies have agendas; our friends just have plans.
But the idea of a "national agenda" does have political overtones, particularly when held in our nation's capital.
So what kinds of things are librarians wanting to push?
I think most folks would be pleased. I hope so.
Back in 1992, I reprised a column I'd written even earlier. I find that I still don't have much to add. So here it is again. Happy holidays!
What we really need is an all-purpose gift that will satisfy everybody. It should be suitable for all ages. It should require no assembly. It shouldn't need batteries. You shouldn't have to feed it. It should last forever. It should be constantly entertaining. The more the recipient uses it, the more he or she should like it.
And of course, it should be free.
So here's my 12 year old son, Max, talking on our cordless telephone to his sister, Maddy. She's calling from Germany.
I'm at a point in my life where "stuff" is starting to catch up with me.
On the one hand, there are boxes. I'm not just talking clothes, but those mysterious boxes that somehow survived three moves and ten years in the basement. Many of them are books, of course.
Some of those boxes are stuffed with my own writings. I have notebooks, I kid you not, from 6th grade. I have a couple of my incredibly naive and amateurish attempts at novels from high school. I do not, I promise you, spend my evenings reviewing this debris.
I'm sure people are tired of hearing about the elections. But I have two things I'd like to share.
First, a lot of Colorado libraries went to the voters this November. And by and large, they did very well.
Successful library issues (usually, increases in funding to build or renovate libraries) were approved in:
- Adams County
- Fort Collins
- Garfield County
I'll lay my cards on the table. A man has to make choices in his life. He can't be knowledgeable about everything, even if he works at a library and reads a lot.
Weighing my choices, then, I made a radical life choice, and I've stuck with it.
I am a sports illiterate.
I mean it. I have never watched an entire baseball game or basketball game or football game on television in my entire life. I've been to a couple of live basketball games, but that was back in junior high school.
A young friend of mine recently moved to California. She's been sending back thoughtful and astute observations about the public library she works for out there.
Not surprisingly, that library is different from ours in ways both large and small. For instance, we are an independent library district -- the only kind of public library that is directly accountable, not to some other governmental entity with its own concerns (such as a county or city), but directly to the people it serves. My friend's library is within a city with lots of its own problems.
I was talking the other day with an economic development executive. A self-described Internet junkie, he wanted to know how the 'net was changing the profile of library use.
I told him a little bit about the study I reported on earlier this year: the more Internet stations we add, the more business we get everywhere else, too. But then I got curious about proportions. How do the uses of the public library compare to each other?
Mother Nature is mighty and unpredictable.
I've tried to set up a procedure to handle library closings or delayed openings. In general, we try to follow the school district. But sometimes what makes sense for them doesn't make sense for us.
As I'm writing this (the morning of October 27), Douglas County's weather is split along peculiar lines. In some areas, it's fine for travel. In others, people are socked in with snow. But the weather forecast says it's supposed to be in the 60s by noon. You gotta love Colorado.
In years past, the library has offered several fine amnesty programs. For instance, we have, at various times, encouraged people to drop off cans of food. In exchange, we wipe out old debts, and pass the food along to some worthy charity.
I'd like to introduce a different program: for one week, make a point to pay your fines with real money. Why? Because there's an important civic project underway, and it deserves your financial support.