I've always loved beautiful buildings. There's no one type. I like big prairie farm houses. I like tiny bungalows. I like the ornate two and three story office buildings with cornices and window ledges. I like skyscrapers that attempt to be more than Bauhaus blocks of concrete and glass. I even like gas stations -- at least those with some imagination (the green-roofed village style, the chrome art deco style).
In the course of my life, I have turned down various jobs simply because I couldn't imagine myself walking into a particular building every day.
Some weeks ago, I put out the call for candidates for the Douglas Public Library District's Board of Trustees. Six people came forward.
At this writing, our Nominating Committee has not yet made its recommendations to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. But I can say this: the quality of these candidates was extraordinary.
Librarianship has at least four dimensions. The first is the local level: this is the heart of library service.
The second is the regional level. Colorado, it happens, has 7 regional "systems." These small offices help libraries move materials around among themselves, and focus on various kinds of professional development and training.
Then there's the state level, where policies are made, cooperative strategies assembled, and money invested. Finally, there's the federal level.
I have to admit that I'm a city boy, raised in a mid-size Midwest place of streets, tall trees, and lots of blue collar jobs.
Most of the time, I don't think about that background. But when I get together with a bunch of Douglas County ranchers, I definitely feel citified, the sort of guy you wouldn't want with you when there was trouble on the ranch.
I'm a reasonably good librarian, but the last time I was asked to do the simple task of closing a barbed wire fence, I locked myself in the pasture. Embarrassing.