I had, depending on your viewpoint, the good or the bad luck of being raised in something of a religious vacuum.
For one summer, I went with my neighbor to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Later, my family belonged for about a year to a United Methodist Church, whose new minister greatly appealed to young people. He was a compelling and intense speaker, with a fresh, contemporary take on Christianity.
In the process of planning for our new Philip S. Miller Library, we conducted many focus groups. There was a consistent message: we needed more meeting rooms.
It was true. Our "big" meeting room -- about 700 square feet -- was booked every Monday through Thursday night, as much as a year in advance.
But there were, often, just three or four few people in each meeting. So our new building in Castle Rock, like the Highlands Ranch Library before it, offered lots of smaller spaces for people to get together.
One of the last classes I took to get my library degree was an "administrative practicum." In brief, I had the chance to closely observe the local public library director, a man named Fred Schlipf. Schlipf had a Ph.D. in Library Science, and had taught a couple of our classes.
Much of the practicum consisted of me sitting in his office and taking notes. How to deal with this. How to deal with that. I also got to ask frank questions about why he had chosen a certain approach; in return, I got frank answers.
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.