When I was in high school, I read a book that changed my life. It was Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead." Among other things, it was about an architect who designed absolutely original, and highly functional, buildings: private residences, housing projects, gas stations, skyscrapers.
You wouldn't think reading about that stuff would be thrilling. But it was.
Man, I wanted to be an architect. I even got a summer job in an architect's office.
Alas, much like another career plan that didn't pan out (theoretical astrophysics), I just didn't have the genetic predisposition to succeed in that field. Imagine: they wanted me to have artistic and mathematical ability. Who knew?
But I do have an appreciation for art and math. And in architecture, I think I've learned to figure out when something is derivative, or unique, a mishmash of conflicting and poorly articulated aims, or an elegant and incisive solution to real problems.
So You Want to be a Trustee?
The players have changed but the game remains the same." - Harrison Ford, "Working Girl."
As we approach 2008, the Library Board of Trustees finds itself with two vacancies. Leaving us at the end of December is Steve Roper, who was appointed back in 1996. His term expires in January of 2010; his replacement will fill that out. Candidates must currently reside in Douglas County Commissioner District III, meaning Highlands Ranch.
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.
Not long ago, we finished up our public meetings around the county, collecting responses to our long range plans. One of the questions that came up a couple of times, and then came up again from a staff member recently, was this: why don't we charge for some services as a way to raise money?