In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
I started writing newspaper columns in 1987. Shortly afterward, I stumbled across a great little piece of software called PC-Style. You ran it against a text file, and it told you what grade level the piece was.
In general, the more short words you used, the better you scored. It was better to use fewer words in a sentence, rather than more.
Tell the truth. Do you find your life interesting?
And if you do, do you think other people do?
I admit that I find the "life" of the Douglas Public Library District very interesting indeed. Recently, I've discovered that so does the rest of the world.
I mean that literally. I've been reviewing some statistics from our home page, the library's location on the World Wide Web (http://douglas.lib.co.us).
Well, the elections are over (for now).
I admit that on the day of the Primary, I still hadn't made up my mind about a few races. So I devoted some private time not only to reviewing the library's Making Democracy Work folders, but to finding out what was available on the World Wide Web.
In keeping with observations I've made in previous columns, I found newspapers to be the definitive information source. But now they're online: the Douglas County News Press, the Denver Post, and the Rocky Mountain News.
I gave a speech last week at a conference of "paraprofessionals" -- folks who work in libraries, but don't happen to have library degrees. After my talk was over, I got a private tour of the recently refurbished Regis University Library. The Dean, Andrew Scrimgeour, was my tour guide. He was a good one, too.
Let's face it, most political information isn't so much presented as sprinkled: a road sign, a sound bite, a phone call, a card.
Newspapers do the best job of reporting on campaign issues and the stands of various candidates -- certainly in greater depth than TV or radio.
But newspapers come out in various editions. It could take a month or so to cover all the questions and races. Even for the diligent voter, it takes a lot of digging and sorting to assemble all of the relevant data.
I use e-mail. A lot.
At work, I'm logged into a high speed network that makes grabbing my messages a snap. I do it many times a day -- it's a good filler for those odd moments between tasks. When I get home, I usually check my mail at least once again before I go to bed.
I once read that it was the custom among the leaders of certain Plains Indian tribes to exchange sons. The exchange lasted from the ages of 8 through adulthood. The sons guaranteed peace -- who would attack his own children?
The practice also bespoke the willingness of tribal leaders to pass on to their own children the lifestyles and perspectives of former enemies.
Several years ago, I served on something called the Colorado Library Card Committee.
We've done all of our big computer upgrades. So what's in it for you?
How about -- speed? Our machine is much faster than it used to be. That means faster searching, faster connections to other library computers.
Or how about -- dial-in renewals?
If you've got a computer and a modem, you can connect to our library computer either directly (688-1428) or through ACLIN (440-9969, 294-7260, 291-0986). Once you get to our main search screen, choose "Review patron record."
As I've written before, the library recently had to go through two intense computer upgrades. The first was hardware. Based on the experiences of other libraries, we figured that would take about three to five days.
The next upgrade was software. This one was a little trickier. It involved not only an operating system upgrade (to take care of the pesky Year 2000 problem), but THREE library software upgrades. (The first two didn't have much that was significant to us. The last one did.)