Every now and then -- and the last column of the year seems like a
logical time -- I like to remind everybody what the Douglas County
Libraries are all about.
First and foremost, we are an independent library district, dedicated to
quality service. Where does our money come from? -- mostly, from
property taxes. While we are not a part of Douglas County government, we
do share the same boundaries.
How do we operate? The Douglas County Libraries hire smart people,
On occasion, I get glum about American culture. But then I remember some facts that make me feel better.
Here's my favorite: There are more public library branches in America than McDonald's. Truly -- we have over 16,000 service locations; they have fewer than 15,000.
Here's another: in a given year, there are more visits to the local library (Denver, for instance) than there are to all city sporting events combined. In fact, last year, there were over 1.1 billion library visits, or 4.3 visits per capita nationwide.
I need some advice.
For over a century, libraries have mostly focused on the purchase of print. And indeed, in libraries all across the country, we have stocked our shelves mainly with books and magazines.
These continue, of course, to be a significant part of our business. Adding up all the categories of things we check out, in 2002 a full 75 percent of what people took was print. Forty-one percent of our checkouts were children's and Young Adult books, which I find comforting.
I was taking the dogs for a walk with my 9-year old son, Perry. He was telling me that lately he is obsessed with Bionicles. These are snap-together toy models produced by Lego. Perry has a lot to say about them.
I didn't follow it all. It went something like this: in 2004, they're going to make a new Bionicle movie called "Metru Nui: City of Legends." It includes six heroes. Unlike the first six Toa, they're going to be more powerful Matoran.