With a new name and look in place, Douglas County Libraries forged ahead with several new services, programs and events for the people of Douglas County.
The aged library catalog computer terminals were replaced with high-tech models and the Dynix computer system was replaced with a new user-friendly system called Horizon.
Self check-out service is put in place at all of the full-service libraries. Patrons, enjoying a choice between full-service and self-service, make use of the self-checkout machines and a new self-pickup system for holds.
After several construction delays on the Roxborough Library, a new bookmobile motors back into the Roxborough community to provide part-time library service. Bookmobile service is also added to the busy Castle Pines-North neighborhood.
The Castle Rock Community Bandstand is dedicated on May 30, along with Continuity, a terracotta sculpture by Joyce Newman. The sculpture, bequeathed in honor of Genevieve Mead (a keen advocate and supporter of library service in Douglas County,) joined Newman’s Circle Game, a long-time favorite at the Philip S. Miller Library. The American Legion and VFW Color Guard presented a special Memorial Day remembrance, featuring a thirty- six star flag from 1876, the year that Colorado became a state. Generous donations from White Construction Group, Humphries Poli Architects, the Rotary Club of Castle Rock- High Noon, the Rotary Club of Castle Rock, Midas of Castle Rock, M.W. Golden Constructors, Sherwin Williams of Castle Rock, Kent Brandebery, James O'Hern, the Castle Rock Band, Awards with More, the Friends of the Philip S. Miller library, J & L Stanesa Electric Company, Lafarge West, Inc., Rocky Mountain Excavating, Pate Concrete Contractors, S & M Steel Fabrication, Columbine Kitchen & Bath, Castle Rock True Value Hardware, Intermountain Landscape, Sherwin Williams, National Speaker & Sound and Rosemarie Woolston contributed appreciably to the construction of the bandstand. Donations from the Genevieve Mead Memorial Fund and the Friends of the Philip S. Miller helped fund the purchase of Continuity. Douglas County Libraries and the Town of Castle Rock joined forces to make the Bandstand available to arts and culture groups free of charge throughout the year.
The Louviers Library teamed up with Julie Wilson, a Peace Corps volunteer, to bring a hometown library to the school children of Ilian, a village in the province of Dumaran on Palawan Island, Philippines.
Douglas County Libraries partnered with Bonfils Blood Center to provide monthly blood drives at libraries across the county. At an average of twenty-six donations per drive, a total of 262 units of blood were collected, impacting the lives of over 786 patients in need.
The library district’s annual signature events continued around the county. An all-girl band, Forever’s Beginning, takes first prize at the Third Annual Battle of the Bands in Highlands Ranch. The Third Annual Shakespeare Festival offered five free professional performances of The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare at Park at the Mainstreet Center in Parker. A Summer of Evening of Stories moved to the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock and featured Opalanga Pugh, an Internationally recognized storyteller. Douglas County Arts and Culture Day focused on honing partnerships between educators and cultural organizations. Fantasy Fest returned for the fourth year with unprecedented crowds.
Douglas County History Research Center staff makes an eleventh-hour move to save the decades-old Colorado Community Newspaper archives just before the old newspaper building is demolished. The staff is publicly recognized by the Library Board of Trustees for their efforts to save the newspaper archive in a driving snowstorm.
Douglas County Libraries places seventh in the Nation (out of 329 similar library districts) on Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR) scale.
The Year in Review:
New Library Patrons: 32,933
Total Number of Library Patrons: 137,871
Number of Items Checked Out: 3.6 million
Number of Reference Questions Answered: 256,082
Number of People who Visited our Libraries: 2.5 million
Number of Items in our Collection: 653,153 materials
Online Database Searches: 229,707
Total Attendance at Programs & Events: 98,166
Total Signed up for Reading Programs (5 a year): 22,186
Total Staff: 333Volunteer Hours: 19,000
Website Visits: 553,822
Broke circulation records at Douglas County Libraries. Patrons checked out 4,512,496 books, CDs, audiobooks, discovery packs, DVDs and videos in 2005 (a 25% increase over the number of items checked out in 2004). From 2000-05, Douglas County’s population grew by 44%, while circulation (checkout of library materials,) increased by 124%.
In an effort to aid Tsunami victims, Douglas County Libraries donated all fines collected between January 24-30 to the Red Cross. The Douglas County Libraries Tsunami Relief Drive, called “A Fine Idea,” generated $4,167.08 in fines and $1,158.07 in donations. Libraries across the State joined the Douglas County Libraries drive, yielding $15,670.75 total.
The Douglas County Libraries Foundation and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway provided the funding for the Castle Rock Writers’ book Douglas County, Colorado: A Photographic Journey. The book features vintage Douglas County photographs, journals and documents dating from 1861 through the end of World War II. The group went on the road, visiting Douglas County residents in their homes, scanning photographs from family albums and listening to stories passed down from one generation to the next to gather material for the literary endeavor. The writers donated their time and talents to the project, and all proceeds return to the Foundation for future community projects.
Young readers came out in droves to participate in Wild Wonders, the Douglas County Libraries Spring Youth Reading Program. Douglas County Libraries purchased a llama for a needy South American family through the Heifer International/ Read to Feed program, in celebration of the program’s 62% completion rate.
The 4th Annual Teen Battle of the Bands is held at the Castle Rock Community Bandstand; Loose Change, of Parker, won. The 4th Annual Shakespeare Festival culminated with free professional performances of Macbeth at the Lone Tree Rec Center. The Page to Stage literary theatre tour delighted thousands around Douglas County with a fun and educational performance of Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs? Dinosaurs…
Jamie LaRue, Library Director, received an American Library Association/ Association of Library Trustees and Advocates (ALA/ALTA) Advocacy Award, and his name was placed in ALA’s “Advocacy Honor Roll”.
Douglas County Libraries placed third in the Nation (out of 329 libraries) on Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR) scale.
Libraries across the State joined forces to help victims of Hurricane Katrina by dedicating a week’s worth of library fines, as well as additional donations from library patrons, to the American Red Cross Disaster Response Fund. The drive generated $15,505.10. Douglas County Libraries raised $3,793.47.
Douglas County Libraries and the Douglas County School District partnered to launch the Make the Grade library card campaign at area elementary schools. The campaign generated 1,890 new library card registrations. Polls at the schools showed that approximately 80% of all households with an elementary student in residence have a library card.