In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
When I first got started in libraries, I had a very narrow view of what it was all about. I stayed focused on the things I was responsible for: the number on the spine of a book to be re-shelved, the card to be stamped in the book, the card to be filed in the daily circ (circulation) drawer.
Over the past year, the Douglas Public Library District has conducted several experiments. Our aim was to provide direct public access to electronic magazine indexes and full text.
Three years ago, we tested, at no charge, a CD-ROM based product. It was OK, but in my judgment, surprisingly expensive. We would have had to buy a PC for it; only one person could use it at a time; and the annual charge for 12 CD updates was several times the cost of a paper index. Too, the product did not include full text. I decided not to invest in it.
The December 30,1995 News Press carried a story about the death of Genevieve Mead. To her Douglas County friends, she was Nicky. As one of her long-time associates put it, "Genevieve was for checks and legal papers."
But when she left Douglas County for Denver, she introduced herself as Genevieve. When I met her in 1992 -- and was immediately captivated by her resolutely cheerful and gracious persona -- she called herself Genevieve. So she will remain for me.
"Despite the fact that it took our ancestors about 2,000 years to develop an alphabetic code, children are regularly expected to crack this code in about 2,000 days (that is, by six or seven years of age), or they will run afoul of the whole educational structure -- teachers, principals, family, and peers. If reading is not acquired on society's schedule, these suddenly disinherited children will never feel the same about themselves. They will have learned they are different, and no one ever tells them that evolutionarily, this might be for a good reason."
You probably didn't know this: some libraries aren't big enough to hold their own stuff.
Several years ago, I got it into my head to look at what percentage of our materials were checked out at any given moment. I was impressed to discover -- at least about five years ago -- that the answer was "around 25%."
Then I realized something else: if those materials came back, we had nowhere to put them. We depended on at least that level of use to allow us to buy anything new.
This is a fact: the demand for library services is growing faster than our population. On the one hand, that's good: Douglas County likes its libraries.
Nationwide, library checkouts are growing by about 2 or 3 percent annually. In Douglas County, they have grown by 124% over the past five years.
By contrast, our population growth, which is impressive by itself, has only jumped by 44 percent in the same period.
A LONG time ago, my wife and I wrote an article about "green librarianship." Just then -- back around the late 1980s -- a lot of information was coming out about "sick building syndrome," and the toxic effects of some chemicals.
Since then, I have tried, with varying degrees of success, to practice the principles of green librarianship.
My continuing interest in this topic is based on an administrative realization. People imagine that the costs of library facility operations are all about their construction. That's not true. The cost is in operations.
"Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat."
-- John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy, 1981-1987
I'm just going to come out and admit it. I, as director of the Douglas County Libraries, abuse my position.
I -- and let me be clear about this, I have NO intention of changing -- have let people know in our receiving department, our cataloging department, our circulation department, that I, Jamie LaRue, Library Director, get the comic books first.
That's right. Before anybody else. Before any tax payer in the county. I don't care WHO is waiting for them. I'm first in line.
There was a time when people wrote letters to their friends and families, providing a highly detailed record of people's lives and times. Those letters are archived in libraries and museums today.