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.
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.
It was just a matter of time.
Libraries generate a lot of traffic - from 1,000 to 2,000 people a day depending on the library's size. Our patrons represent a good cross-section of the community.
Library users tend to be engaged in other ways. For instance, many of them are registered to vote.
Recently libraries were in the news in Colorado and the nation. But it was weird news.
The first case was Peter Boyles, who got very exercised that some newly built libraries in Adams County didn't have flags flying in front of them. My first thought was, Good for him. What a great opportunity to encourage citizens to step up and show their civic pride.
It happens that I know something about the situation in Adams County. They've done a wonderful job of building their inviting new libraries on very tight budgets; outside improvements and landscaping happen last.