An increase in district programming had monthly ‘thematic’ programs/events at the different libraries, including J.M. Barrie presentations, storyteller Lois Burrell for Black History Month, a Madame Curie presentation for Women’s History Month, Celtic Storytelling, National Library Week, Hispanic Celebrations with storyteller Esther Acosta, Teen Read Week, Western music/storytellers, Scary Stories, Edgar Allen Poe presentations, Children’s Author Tea Parties, Tellabration, Santa Visits, and a holiday reader’s theatre presented in December by DPLD staff.
New library services/programs offered in 2002 include:
Library computer terminals started offering Microsoft Word for patrons.
Spellbinders, a volunteer training program for senior citizens to tell stories in area schools.
Great Books bookclubs, lead by trained volunteers, began at Highlands Ranch Library, Parker Library, and the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock.
Thematic discovery packs containing a variety of learning materials for different ages, focused on specific themes (such as colors, snow, etc.).
June kicked off the largest summer reading program for youth and adults in DPLD’s history, “The Art of Reading.” The teen summer reading program, “Xtreme Xpressions,” began at the same time. A large variety of special reading program events for all ages included art, music, writing, clowning, gardening, Shakespeare, and theatrical offerings.
In the summer, DPLD sponsored the first annual Shakespeare Festival (King Lear, presented under a tent by Theatreworks of Colorado Springs) for all of Douglas County to enjoy for free, right in the heart of downtown Castle Rock (in the parking lot of vacated Safeway building). Over 1,000 residents enjoyed the tent performances and various library Shakespeare-related programs.
Page to Stage Productions: DPLD’s Literary Theatre Troupe was created for various theatrical outreach projects, including a summer children’s theatre tour of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe into schools to help promote the summer reading program. Over 8,000 Douglas County elementary school children were connected with the library in this extremely popular outreach program.
DPLD sponsored the first Battle of the Bands teen event, also held in the vacant Safeway parking lot, which had over 200 teens enjoying the music of local bands. DPLD also co-sponsored the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival kick-off event, A Summer Evening of Stories, held at the new Douglas County Events Center.
In September, construction began on the vacated Safeway building in downtown Castle Rock (100 S. Wilcox Street) for the new Philip S. Miller Library. The grand opening is projected for Fall 2003. In celebration of Library Card Sign-Up Month, DPLD visited grocery stores in each of the library communities to promote new library card registration. DPLD hosted the Douglas County Arts and Culture Day, which provided area organizations and artists an opportunity for networking and learning.
In October, the second annual Fantasy Fest was held at the Highlands Ranch Library with over 200 in attendance celebrating the ‘fantastical.’
Due to state budget cuts, DPLD began to limit patrons to 7 DVD checkouts and 2 Interlibrary Loan requests per day.
In 2002, The Douglas Public Library district checked out over 3 million items, Reference Librarians answered over 165,000 questions, the number of new patrons increased by 25% and over 2 million people visited DPLD libraries.
Douglas Public Library District changed their name to Douglas County Libraries, received a new logo and branding image, created a new website design and new website addresses for the district and each individual library.
With the plan to open a new library in a Roxborough strip mall, the Bookmobile was closed. However, the developer experienced delays in permitting which postponed construction on the strip mall and the new library in Roxborough. Douglas County Libraries continues to investigate ways to expand library service in the Roxborough community.
In September, Douglas County Libraries opened its largest facility housing the Philip S. Miller Library, the Douglas County History Research Center, the Technical and Support Services departments, Volunteer Services, Adult Literacy Program, Community Relations and all of Administration (including Library Director – Jamie LaRue). Over 4,000 attended the grand opening event, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Dom Testa (Mix 100.3) as the Master of Ceremonies and Reggie Rivers as the Keynote Speaker. Many family activities were offered throughout the day, with an evening community dance in the parking lot featuring Southern Exposure.
StarOffice, a new word processing system, was introduced on patron computers at the Highlands Ranch Library. Plans to implement this new software and Linux at all libraries will occur in 2004.