Last week I talked about two of the concepts behind the library's new mission statement: building communities, and improving lives.
The rest of the mission statement focuses on three other things: "providing resources" and "supporting learning and leisure."
I dreamt last night that I flew.
Not in a plane. I just leapt into the air and soared. I lifted over forests of oak. I sniffed in the smell of old leaves. I could tell that I was in river country, in that last crook of the land before it opened its arms to the Lake.
The season was that heartrending transition just after the fall ends, and just before the first hard snow. The time was early evening; the light steady and grey.
A moment later, I topped a crest, and was viewing the snow-capped Colorado Rockies.
For the past several years, I've been reprinting what I've come to think of as "my Christmas column" -- a tradition. I hope you enjoy it.
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.
After over 25 years of working in libraries, I've made an important discovery. Our key asset isn't buildings or books. Those things are important -- even very important.
But even more important is staff. Even if a library's buildings and books are nothing to shout about, good people can make you glad you stopped by.
We have many beautiful library buildings in Douglas County. And we're getting to the point where our collections are impressive. But our core strength is, and remains, the people who work here.