I can't remember if I was 13 or 14. I do remember that I was playing a lot of chess.
Back then, a lad could wander downtown, stroll into the old library (the new library was a couple of blocks away) and face a series of old guys over a chessboard.
It was timed chess. When you made a move, you slapped the clock.
I fought my way to "expert" status. One of the people I played was a charming, near-bald, older gent with the uncharming name of Bevier Butts.
The Douglas County Libraries had the first website in Douglas County -- and one of the first library websites in the country.
One fairly recent addition is our branch-specific "blogs." From our website (www.douglascountylibraries.org) you'll see "Branch pages" on the leftmost column. These pages allow our staff to quickly post what's hot at the library that week.
Recently, we hired some consultants to come in and examine how we "handle materials."
That included everything from how we took requests, to how we ordered them, to how they were delivered, to how the invoices were checked, to how the items were cataloged, to how they were set up for checkout, and to how they made it out to the branches.
As I've mentioned in previous columns, we move a lot of materials.
While we were having dinner last Saturday, the family was talking about the need to adjust our clocks for Daylight Savings Time (or as they say in England, "Summer Time"). My 10 year old son, Perry, asked, "Why do we do that?"
I shrugged. But then I remembered something else, I think from Ayn Rand. "A frown is the beginning of intelligence."
A shrug says, "Beats me," and lets it go. A frown says, "I ... don't know. And it bothers me."