This week happens to be both National Library Week and National Holocaust Awareness Week. At first blush, there wouldn't appear to be much in common between them.
But I have a picture from May 10, 1933. A "brown shirt" (Nazi) is throwing an armful of "un-German" books onto a bonfire. The place: Berlin.
In January of the same year, Adolf Hitler had been named Chancellor of Germany, the most powerful position in the government. The aging President Hindenburg hoped Hitler would lead the nation out of its grave political and economic crisis.
Once I caught a Seinfeld monologue about librarians. The gag was that we're like a kid who keeps letting you borrow his stuff just so you'll like him. It all sounds a little pathetic.
There's some truth to it. We quite consciously hire people who hate to make patrons unhappy. So we take the extra step, and try to find a way to make people walk out of the library with a smile on their faces.
But I have decided that there's one area where we're just going to have to get tough.
It started when I was reviewing a batch of evaluations for new employees. A theme began to emerge. "I had no idea working in the library was so complex!" "There's so much to remember!"
At first, I thought I was seeing the benefit of the district's new employee training. There really is more to working at a library than checking books in and out. That's one of the things new staff discover when they get a glimpse behind the desk.
But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered. Is the job really so much denser than it used to be?
On January 3, 1968, Denver Post writer Chuck Green reported "One of the best-verified sightings of an unidentified object." It happened in Castle Rock.
According to one Deputy Sheriff Weimer, about 12 "reliable citizens" claimed to have seen "a large, bubble-shaped object" flying over Castle Rock between 6:10 add 6:25 p.m. on January 2. Morris Fleming, director of the Douglas County Civil Defense Agency, said that at least 30 people saw the object.