In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
We did it. We weren't the first library in the state -- La Junta and Windsor were ahead of us, and more power to these small town pioneers! But we're the first Colorado library with more than one branch to do it.
What did we do? We put a new system in place to manage a big part of our work. We touched every one of our over 650,000 items to put an RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tag on them.
by Demetria Heath
[Ms. Heath is a library patron who recently challenged a children's book, "Princess Buttercup."]
I appreciate Douglas County Libraries' Director James LaRue for offering me this forum and I will provide a list of the reference material used in this writing to anyone requesting it. I ask that you read Princess Buttercup before making the request.
A researcher studying race relations in Chicago records the following quote from a five-year old girl. I have removed the name of the ethnic group that she refers to.
Not long ago, one of our patrons registered a complaint about a children's picture book called "Princess Buttercup."
The book was about a party being planned by a group of fairies -- diminutive beings, all female. Princess Buttercup set out to gather honey for the party, then got distracted, then got lost. Eventually, she flagged down a butterfly, and found her way back.
That's pretty much the whole story: a slice of the whimsical social life of mythical creatures.
About a year ago, I let myself get talked into running for office.
This wasn't a political thing, not really. I ran to represent a regional library network to a much larger international body called "OCLC Membership Council."
OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) is a non-profit organization that sells various technical products and services to libraries around the world. Its flagship product is something called WorldCat -- a database of the cataloged items of all its members. We're talking billions of records.
Every so often, someone asks me if libraries are really necessary now that we have Google.
We brought it on ourselves, I think.
There were a lot of librarians, pre-Google, who tried to define our profession solely on the idea of "information." Ask a librarian, and we'll look it up for you!
Then the Internet came along, then Google emerged as the top search engine. And the people who just would never take the time to phone a librarian, or stand in line at a desk to ask something, found Google marvelously convenient.
Some people think the word "literacy" means the attainment of a specific reading level.
They may have heard that literacy is where an elementary student should be at the end of fourth grade. (Fourth grade does indeed appear to be that crucial year when somebody "gets" print, or needs a little extra assistance at just that moment.)
Or they think it means someone can follow newspaper headlines and get the gist of a story. Or maybe they think literacy is what helps someone decipher the instructions on a prescription.
Recently, my wife brought home a fascinating film from the library called "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill."
It told the story of a man, Mark Bittner, who had once tried to start a life as a musician. That hadn't worked out. He wound up in San Francisco, where he spent a lot of time studying various Eastern philosophies, and reading poetry, particularly the works of Gary Snyder.
The public sector is not the same as the private. In business, if you move more products, you get more money. In libraries, it doesn't work like that.
We recently took a look at the last five years of one of our main activities: checking out library materials (books, DVDs, CDs, VHS and audiotapes, magazines, etc.). And in the past five years, our business has grown by 124%.
Someone told me about a recent study of long term survivors of open
heart surgery. They were surveyed to find out what motivated them to
recover. The reason was not, as you might suppose, "to avoid death."
It was for some more positive outcome: to spend time with their
grandchildren. To tour Europe. To learn to play a musical instrument. To
finish the garden.
It makes you think. Many people work in businesses that have problems,
too. At some point, the question becomes, "how do we get better?" In
When I was growing up, there was a lot of talk about the "generation gap." Mainly, it was conflict between the GI generation and the Boomers -- the Veterans and the War Protesters. Nowadays, the conflict isn't quite so obvious.
But you know it's happened to you.
You're a Gen-Xer talking to a Baby Boomer, who is being so maddeningly circular that you have no idea what she is trying to tell you. Or you're a Boomer, wondering why the Gen-Xer doesn't seem to have any loyalty to the company.