About a year ago, I went to Bulgaria, under a United States Department of State grant. I was supposed to be teaching some of the techniques of modern librarianship as practiced in the United States.
But in fact, I found that I served a far broader role. I was an ambassador for our country. I was bombarded with questions about American history, politics, and sociology. Often, I found myself called upon to explain, and sometimes to defend, American values.
During the recent recession, the Colorado State Legislature reduced state funding for libraries by almost 79%. Libraries were not, of course, the only services to take a hit.
That recession, along with various competing mandates -- federally mandated increases in Medicaid funding, State Constitutionally mandated increases in education funding, and TABOR mandated tax cuts -- meant that there simply wasn't enough money to keep funding many other programs at historic levels.
By Katie Klossner, Community Relations Manager for Douglas County Libraries
In August, I was upset to learn that my favorite playwright, August Wilson, had been diagnosed with liver cancer. In October, I was devastated to learn that he passed away (October 2). Last year, I had the opportunity to direct one of his early plays, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, in Colorado Springs.
My grandfather spent all this life as a business man. He dropped out of 10th grade to support his disabled mother. For awhile, Granddad worked through a correspondence course to become an attorney. Then the Depression hit.
So though he never became a lawyer, he got a taste for self-education. He remained a voracious reader.
Most of his working life, he drove a pastry truck, and considered himself lucky to have the job. Eventually, he wound up in appliance sales at a big department store, where he worked until his death at 72.