For 3 years, it ran in the Greeley Tribune. Since then, it has run in various subsidiaries of the Douglas County News Press. I still have most of my columns in digital format.
For many years, I only gave myself one rule: try to work the word "library" into every piece. My intent was to think in public about just what librarianship means at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st.
The fundamental mission of the Douglas County Libraries is to promote literacy and lifelong learning.
What results from such advocacy? Here's one of them: productive citizens.
Recently, I asked Kate Prestwood, who heads up Douglas County Libraries adult literacy efforts, to give me an update on the status of the program.
A few years ago now, the Douglas County Libraries consolidated most of our phone lines into a central Contact Center. This did two things for us. First, it let us get rid of a lot of annoying sounds and service interruptions in the public areas. Our staff can concentrate on the people who show up in our buildings.
The second thing was that it let us really monitor the number and type of calls we receive, bringing in a lot of eye-opening data. That data has helped us manage a host of operations more efficiently.
In 2005 Philip Tetlock wrote a book called, "Expert Political Judgment: How Good is it? How can we know?"
To find out, he did something extraordinary. He went back and studied 50 years of writings by various media pundits and commentators who made predictions about politics and economics. Then he carefully tracked the results.
What did he find?
Experts don't do so good.