The Douglas County Libraries are retooling.
Why? Because the demand for our services is growing. We need to grow our ability to meet it, and there are some new tools we haven't had before.
So our retooling will begin with something called "self-check." Our first full-scale experiment will be at the Parker Library.
Right now, our very capable staff spends a lot of time doing simple tasks: scanning the barcodes on your library card and books, for instance.
I suppose it's my background in philosophy: I enjoy a good argument every now and then. But a "good" argument isn't just disagreeing with somebody. It's trying on a perspective for size, seeing how easy or difficult something is to defend or critique.
The object isn't to defeat the opponent. The object is to learn something.
Douglas County's first bookmobile, featuring 8 stops, was provided by the now defunct Plains and Peaks Library System, headquartered in Colorado Springs. These days, we again have a bookmobile, shuttling back and forth between Roxborough and Castle Pines North.
But bookmobiles aren't the only way to get books into people's hands. As told on the thoroughly charming website www.bookboat.com, countries around the world have found a host of innovative solutions to various topographic and social barriers.
When I was growing up, my mother had two beautiful sets of books. One of them was classics of science. I think there were pieces by Aristotle, by Newton, by somebody I've now forgotten, and by Einstein.
The other was a selection of Shakespeare plays: the comedies, the dramas, and the sonnets.
I loved the look of those books. I was 11 when I decided to try Shakespeare. So I'd take those gorgeous volumes up to my room and try to puzzle them out.