An interview of PPLD patron Philip Riegert – By Anthony Carlson
When I was growing up in Monument, one of the first things my family did when starting to pack for our annual family trip to the east coast was to visit Pikes Peak Library District's (PPLD) Monument Library. Our family car never needed a DVD player to keep us busy on vacations. The Sisters Grimm, Ranger’s Apprentice, and Harry Potter were just a few of the book series that kept mine and my brother’s minds occupied on the 28-hour road trip to visit family. We’d finish reading our book, then trade with each other to read whatever novel or series the other was finishing up.
,p>PPLD wasn’t just a place we visited seeking entertainment for our family on long trips (and to probably save my parent’s sanity traveling with two young boys!), it was a staple in our lives. My mom and dad moved the family to Monument when I was approximately eight years old. Mom would take us to the Monument Library once a week and we would load up on books, movies, and CDs. It was normal for my brother and I to bring home 30 - 40 books and devour them in a week. Even at a young age, the library catalog system was easy enough that I could check out or put books on hold all on my own. However, access to books wasn’t the only thing that made the library feel like the best place to be. Whether it was puppies visiting the library to play with or craft workshops, there was always something fun and adventurous for a kid to do.
Once I transitioned from elementary to middle school, I found myself at the library daily. It was such a great place to do homework, read a book, and provided a safe place to hang out.
Eventually, I started volunteering at PPLD, helping support my favorite program — the Summer Reading program (now the Summer Adventure program). As a kid who loved reading, there was nothing better than reading a bunch of books and being rewarded for completing the program. The prizes I received as I completed books and worked toward finishing the program really motivated me to keep reading. Frankly, the Summer Reading Program is a big reason why I’m such an avid reader today.
My love of the library has only grown over time. When I was a kid I loved the easy access to books, movies, CDs, and the fun programs the library held for the community. However, today I’ve also grown an appreciation for the impact PPLD has on neighborhoods and families. Books aren’t necessarily the cheapest thing in the world. A new hard-covered book will cost you at least $20. Without the library as a resource, many kids and adults would be deprived of the joy of reading. With its wide range of programs and services, the library makes it easy for families new to town to quickly plug in and integrate into a new community. However, what’s amazing is how accessible our library is today. I have three library-specific apps on my phone and can download books directly to my Kindle. I typically rotate through 15 - 16 books at a time. Our library is accessible to the entire community, regardless of whether you want to travel in person to a location or if you simply want to check out a few books from the convenience of your kitchen table. And this is all available to the public for free!
The library inspired my entire family to grow into avid readers. When I was growing up, it gave me a sense of place and community. If you’re someone just dipping your toes into what PPLD has to offer, I encourage you to start with its summer reading program. There are tracks for kids and adults. After all, we’re never too old to be excited about getting free goodies for completing a few good books!
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