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.
Almost everybody uses Google, even librarians.
And it gets easier all the time. It used to be, if you wanted to find the location of the nearest chain restaurant, you would type in the restaurant name, then look for locations.
That still works. But now, on that golden first page of hits, you'll also find a map of the Denver or Douglas County area.
How does that happen?
"It was 20 years ago today
Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play."
I have now held my position as director of Douglas County's libraries for 20 years. It was a different world back then.
The population of Douglas County in 1990 was about 65,000. We checked out 368,492 items a year. Today, we have close to 300,000 people, and check out nearly 8 million items annually.