First, my thanks to the literally thousands of people who have responded to recent library mailings about our consideration of a proposal to add additional library space and materials around the county. I appreciate it.
Second, some of our citizens have asked pointed questions. I'd like to answer them.
Question: in Parker, why don't we just buy and renovate the vacant King Soopers, as we did with the old Safeway in Castle Rock?
Answer: the building isn't for sale. The owners have other plans for the property. We can't buy what isn't on the market.
Question: "are you idiots aware that there's a recession?"
Answer: we have got to do something about the quality of public discourse in this county.
No, we're not idiots. Yes, we are aware that some of us are spending up to $30 more a week to fill up our gas tanks -- for which we receive absolutely NO increase in value.
Libraries- Necessity or Luxury?
by Sharon Nemechek, Manager, Lone Tree Library
[I was having a conversation with the manager of our Lone Tree Library recently. The topic was "what do people need?" This literate and engaging essay is Sharon's eloquent answer. - Jamie LaRue]
Can you identify the necessities in your life? Stop and think….are you able to distinguish the necessities from the conveniences and the luxuries? Most of us would agree that our basic needs include air, food, water and shelter. But, what about books?
In "Man’s Search for Meaning," Viktor Frankl, who was imprisoned in four different concentration camps during WWII, observed that it was not necessarily the strong, fit laborers who survived the starvation, torture and hard physical labor in the camps, but those prisoners who had travelled and read books. For the few hours they were idle they escaped the daily horrors of the camp and in their minds visited the places they had seen in life or in literature. That mental escape was essential to their survival.
[This week I wanted to highlight the business development work of the library and its partners. Our "reporter" is Rochelle Logan, my wonderful Associate Director of Research and Collections.]
I recently attended the National Economic Gardening Conference in Steamboat Springs where participants from twenty states, Japan and Australia came together to discuss ways to support small businesses in their communities. The concept of Economic Gardening started in Littleton, Colorado some twenty years ago. In addition to attracting new business from outside your city or county and keeping them, Economic Gardening (EG) helps local entrepreneurs thrive and grow which brings more resources to the community.
"Economic Gardening is a great opportunity for smaller businesses. It provides access to resource channels that they might not be aware of or otherwise be difficult to engage." Christian Eppers, Manager of Economic Gardening, Chamber of Commerce at Highlands Ranch.
A few weeks ago, I put out a call for stories about how the library changed lives. I'd like to give you a taste of some of the wonderful responses we've gotten. This one is from Hannah Fenstermacher: "I grew up with the library having a consistent presence in my life. My mom was a library fan, and I remember going to our small town library each week to pick out new books. I continued to enjoy libraries as I went on to college - and then when I moved to Castle Rock - the library was one of the first places on my list to visit.