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.
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.