In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
Jamie LaRue is on vacation. This week's column is written by Art Glover, Human Resources Manager for Douglas County Libraries.
"How do you feel about public employment verses private employment?"
It is a question I have been asked many times since I began working for the Douglas County Libraries as the district's Human Resources Manager.
Often, the question is delivered with a knowing wink. I imagine they are thinking, "Surely you must be happier now!" And generally, I would say they are correct.
It's a marvel to most adults that we made it this far. At least, I know some of the chances I took as a young adult might well have killed me.
The field of brain development research continues to shed light on all facets of human life. And what we've learned, at least about teenagers, borders on the insulting. Or does it?
In brief, it comes down to this: teenagers have a high predilection for risky business, coupled with a really startling lack of judgment.
I have a glad and broken heart. Our little girl doesn't live here anymore -- she's off to school in Europe.
I remember being surprised, when Maddy was wee, how much she brought back memories of my own childhood. When we put her on a plane for London (with all her buddies, who were headed off to perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland), I suddenly remembered when my own parents dropped me off at college.
A couple of years ago, we were working on the design of our Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock. To that end, we did what we always do: talk with the community.
We held meetings with seniors, elementary school students, civic groups, and storytime moms. We listened to business people and government workers. Over and over, we asked, "What do you want to see in a library?"
There was a lot of overlap. Everybody wanted us to have books, books, and more books. Another strong contingent asked for recorded books -- on audiotape and CD.
Suppose that there were a simple formula for happiness?
Well, according to Jonathan Haidt, there is. In his book, "The Happiness
Hypothesis," he just gives it away:
H = S + C + V
Any questions? I thought there might be.
H stands for "happiness."
S stands for "set point." That's the idea that you're more or less genetically
programmed to have a range of responses to the world, broadly falling into
either optimistic or pessimistic.
I was talking with a friend last night about the social effects of technology. He was saying that people today, mainly because of technology, live incredibly accelerated lives. And we're overstimulated.
We rush from one place to another, never really having the time to focus, to pay attention. Along the way we have radios, CDs, DVD players -- and that's just in the car.
One of the things I do for fun is to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Castle Rock Band. The band, under Bandmaster Kent Brandebery, was formed in 1999, and plays concerts at the Castle Rock Community Bandstand, the Douglas County Fair, and other occasional locations.
Mainly, my job is to let these fine musicians catch their breath. To pass the time, I talk about the history of the next piece -- that research usually provided by the Bandmaster. Along the way, I've had the chance to learn a little bit about the American band movement.
There seem to be two things that everybody knows about public libraries.
First, we collect fines. The collective guilt of America about overdues is staggering.
People, please! For most things, we charge the same rate we did 20 years ago: a nickel a day. It always caps out way, way less than the cost of the item. We just want you to bring things back so other people can use them. Relax!
The second thing people know is the phrase, "the Dewey Decimal System."
Since this column comes out so close to Independence Day, let me recommend a
book. It's called "The Founding Brothers: A Revolutionary Generation," by
Joseph Ellis. It's available from our libraries in several formats: book,
large type, CD, Cassette, and now, even on VHS and DVD.
It's a shame they don't teach history this way. Instead, we get elementary
school fiction, in which the Founding Fathers did boring things, building to
the inevitable climax of our own perfect government.
There's a common misconception about libraries.
In brief, a lot of politicians seem to think that technology competes against
libraries -- and that libraries are losing.
This is something former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin called the
"Displacive Fallacy." It's the idea that new technologies drive out old.
But the truth is, they often coexist quite comfortably. TV didn't kill radio.
DVDs didn't kill movies. Both radio and movies make far more money than they