Recently I interviewed an author (Kate Lawrence, author of "The Practical Peacemaker") who made a beguiling argument: the path to peace begins with a simplified life.
Recently, former DCL manager Peg Hooper emailed me a link to a fascinating campaign. It's called the 3/50 project (www.the350project.net) -- and it makes so much sense it's a wonder nobody thought of it before.
The tagline of the project is "saving the bricks and mortars our nation is built on." The whole idea is this (pulled from the project home page):
"What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared? Stop in. Say hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around.
Something magical happens to children. They grow from extraordinarily self-centered creatures (think of the toddler whose vocabulary centers around the words "no!" and "mine!") to members of a family, capable of both compassion and acts of genuine altruism.
I've been thinking about that after reading an article in Forbes Magazines called "America's 25 Best Places to Live," by Peter Kilborn. You can find it online at www.forbes.com/2009/07/07/relocate-relocation-cities-lifestyle-real-estate-affordable-moving_print.html. It's worth a read.
Here's the good news: of the top 25 places in the United States to relocate (usually in pursuit of a climb up the corporate ladder), three of them are in Douglas County. Coming in at number 4 is Parker. Number 5 is Castle Rock. Number 20 is Highlands Ranch.
I've been thinking a lot lately about library development: how the public institution I serve has changed over time.
At the beginning of library development, the focus, the measures of success, are mostly about inputs. Is there enough money to hire staff, buy materials, build buildings, and invest in technology?
Assuming that those basic needs are met, then libraries start focusing on other kinds of measures: outputs. Internally, we use benchmarks. For instance, we divide the number of checkouts (or the number of new materials ordered and processed) by the number of people it took to do that. Then we compare it to last year's number. Objective: get more productive and efficient. (We have!)