What's New: General

Discovery Kits

Discovery Kits are a collection of interactive items that patrons can check out to explore new topics, hobbies, and interests at home. There are Discovery Kits for all ages, from toddlers to adults. Learn more about the different kits here.

They are currently available at:


Kits:

  • Round Looms
  • Electronic Playground
  • Lego Mindstorms EV3
  • Bee Bots
  • Survive the Quake Engineering Kit
  • Remote Control Gear Bot
  • Ultimate Fort Builder
  • Cubelets Discovery Set
  • Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
  • MAGNA-TILES Building Set
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The Colorado Author Project Writing Contest

The Colorado Author Project Writing Contest as part of the Indie Author Project will accept submissions from Thu., April 1 through Mon., May 31.

The Indie Author Project (IAP) is a publishing community that includes public libraries, authors, curators, and readers working together to connect library patrons with great indie-published books. In addition to IAP’s ongoing curated indie collections, each spring the Indie Author Project hosts local contests trying to find the best indie titles in each participating region.

This contest will accept submissions of adult and young adult fiction, to be recognized as the top indie-published eBooks in the Colorado region. Winners receive career-elevating recognition, as well as amazing prizes. Out of all of this year’s winners identified by librarian judging committees, one Indie Author of the Year will be chosen by a team of industry professionals.

Click here to learn more.

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All Pikes Peak Writes

Pikes Peak Library District is excited to announce the call for submissions for All Pikes Peak Writes 2021! All Pikes Peak Writes is PPLD’s annual fiction writing contest for ages 12+, and seeks to highlight writers in our community through one contest. This year’s contest will have three categories for Middle School and High School (ages 12 - 18), Young Adult (ages 19 - 24), and Adult (ages 25+). Please see the guidelines, rules for entry, and submission form for each category below.

Submissions will be accepted Sat., May 15 through 9 p.m. on Thu., July 15.


Eligibility:
All Pikes Peak Writes is open to El Paso County residents ages 12+.

Judging:
Entries will be judged on quality of writing, use of language, plot development and resolution, believable characters, and correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

Awards:
Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place entries in each category. An award ceremony will be held in mid-August to announce the winners.


Categories & Submissions:

Click on age group for submission information.
Ages 12 - 18
Ages 19 - 24
Ages 25+


Please contact hbuljung@ppld.org or criesenberger@ppld.org for questions or more information.

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Anime Fan Fest

While we won't be having our usual Anime Prom this year, we still want to celebrate anime! Anime Fan Fest, Mon., April 19 through Fri., April 30, will feature a variety of virtual programs for our teen anime and manga lovers. Create a treat at home, break out of an escape room, improve your drawing skills with an instructor from Bemis Art School, learn to draw some Miyazaki characters, and show off your cosplay!


Microwave Mochi

Learn to make a quick and simple, microwaved version of these Japanese rice cakes.

Premieres Mon., April 19 at 11 a.m.


My Hero Academia Escape Room

Celebrate Anime Fan Fest by participating a virtual escape room themed to My Hero Academia! For ages 12 - 18.


Anime Art Class

Anime and Manga artists can share your favorite characters and drawings.

Participants share in the fun, as beginners through advanced artists get tips and tricks for enhancing our drawings from a seasoned art instructor from Bemis Art School and local high schools. All can join in the fun with positive, encouraging ideas for taking the next step in your illustration of your favorite characters!

Register above or join in on Sat., April 24 at 6 p.m. by clicking here.


Learn to Draw Miyazaki Sidekicks

Learn to draw your favorite Miyazaki sidekicks with the help of Penrose Library's very own Young Adult Librarian, Mikaela!

Premieres Tue., April 27 at 11 a.m.


Cosplay Showcase

If you've attended Anime Prom in the past, one of your favorite parts may have been the chance to show off your cosplay and see everyone else's! Knowing we have so many awesome cosplayers, we wanted to make sure it was included in Anime Fan Fest.

Join us for a virtual cosplay showcase. You'll want to make sure your device has a camera and that you'll have the space to get up and show us your creation. You might consider finding an image you can use as your Zoom background to match your cosplay.

A link for the Zoom session will be sent to the email you enter when registering (below). Stop by Library 21c after you register to get a surprise to enjoy during the showcase!


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15th Annual Mountain of Authors

Welcome to the 15th Annual Pikes Peak Library District Mountain of Authors!


Keynote: Lt. Joe Kenda (Ret.)

Join us for the 2021 Mountain of Authors keynote address by author and retired homicide detective Lt. Joe Kenda. Joe will speak for approximately 45 minutes, and then open it up to a question and answer session. Register to attend the program and your chance to win an autographed copy of his new book Killer Triggers.

Lt. Joe Kenda, a twenty-three-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Police Department, spent twenty-one years chasing killers as a homicide detective and commander of the major crimes unit. Kenda and his team solved 356 of his 387 homicide cases, getting a 92 percent solve rate—one of the highest in the country. After retiring from law enforcement, he starred in Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, an American true-crime documentary series that ran for nine seasons on the Investigation Discovery network and was aired in sixty-nine countries and territories worldwide. At its peak, Homicide Hunter averaged 1.9 million viewers in the US. See Lt. Kenda on his new crime series, American Detective, available to stream now on discovery+.


Live Panel

Please join us for this year's live, in-person panel, "Case File Conversations: Crime and the People that Chronicle It." This hour long presentation will complement the virtual keynote address by Joe Kenda on Sat., May 1, 2021, and recorded local author Book Buzz presentations. The panelists will discuss their respective careers, how they became involved in the field of crime writing/solving/reporting, and their experiences with it in the Colorado Springs community.

This year's panelists include:

  • Colorado Book Award-winning author of Black Pearl and police procedural and psychological suspense Donnell Ann Bell.
  • Retired Colorado Springs Police Officer and compiler of the Homicides of the Colorado Springs Area, 1872 to Present index in Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections, Dwight Haverkorn.
  • Hosts of the Colorado Springs Gazette podcast Colorado Cold Case, Olivia Prentzel and Lance Benzel.

Book Buzz

Pike Peak Library District's annual Mountain of Authors program, including the Local Author Showcase, has gone virtual! For our virtual event, local authors have created fun and exciting Book Buzzes (short videos) to share their new books with you. Join us to discover new authors and great books for the fall. View all the videos here and see what the buzz is all about!

Videos premiere Sat., May 1 on PPLDTV YouTube.


Self-Publishing Workshop
Want to publish your own book? Learn more about self-publishing opportunities with the Library, such as Biblioboard and the Indie Author Project. This class is an overview about the self-publishing process, including creating an eBook, distribution channels, and marketing.

Video premieres Sat., May 1 on PPLDTV YouTube.

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Earth Month

Celebrate Earth Month with PPLD!


Family & Children's Services
Learn about Earth Day and celebrate our green planet with fun activities, fascinating facts, and ideas for going green. For ages 6 and up. This video will be available on PPLDTV YouTube on Tue., April 27.

Visit your favorite Library starting Fri., April 30 to pick up materials for this program while supplies last.

Nature Detectives

Join Detective Honeycomb as she solves various mysteries in Colorado Springs Parks throughout the city. Learn about the Leave No Trace Principles and how to be good stewards of the land. Watch the video and discuss the "Leave No Trace" principle that is in the link in each program description.


Young Adults


Creative Services: Visible Mending

Do you have well-loved items in your wardrobe that could use a breath of new life? In this video, you'll learn about visible mending, a technique for fixing up damaged clothes with a little extra flair.

For more information on the techniques featured in this video, check out our Clothing Repair LibGuide. We've curated a list of videos and good books on the topic to get you started.

If you're interested in reserving a sewing machine or using any of the other resources available in our makerspaces, click here.

Jump to some of the techniques we covered in this video:

  • 2:54 - darning
  • 3:36 - patching & sashiko
  • 4:36 - embroidery
  • 6:00 - machine mending

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Library Survey

The Library wants to hear from you! Now that we’re reopening more doors and services, it’s your chance to tell us when and how you want to use your preferred location! Take our short survey (En Español).

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Community Conversation: Evictions

Community Conversations at Pikes Peak Library District is a new series of monthly events that invites the public to discuss current events and issues impacting the Pikes Peak region. We want to promote civil dialogue and greater understanding of different perspectives.

Evictions

Join us for a panel discussion on Evictions and the effect of COVID-19.

  • When: Thu., April 22 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Virtual. Click here to register.

    Panel:

    • Catherine Duarte, Senior Analyst, Community Development Division, City of Colorado Springs
    • Laura Nelson, Apartment Association of Southern Colorado
    • Katrina Brown, Housing Counselor, Brothers ReDevelopment, Inc.
    • Kinsey Hasstedt, State and Local Policy Director, Enterprise Community Partners

    Keep an eye on our calendar to join us for future conversations on timely and relevant topics to the Pikes Peak region. More information to come on locations and times!

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Freedom of Information Day

Celebrate Freedom of Information Day Tue., March 16!

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections. (Read the full ALA's Freedom to Read Statement.)


The Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
  7. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Learn more about Intellectual Freedom with the American Library Association.


PPLD Policies:


International Resources

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Seed libraries and gardens throughout the district can help your green thumb

Did you know Pikes Peak Library District is home to several gardens and seed libraries? Learn more about them below, and use the seed libraries to start gardens of your own!


CARNEGIE GARDEN

The Carnegie Garden is located between two historic buildings of the Penrose Library Campus: the 1905 Carnegie Library and the 1928 Knights of Columbus Hall. Once a parking lot, the Garden is now home to a demonstration garden and a lawn that is perfect for public functions and outdoor gatherings.

Designed by landscape architect Carla Anderson, the Garden opened in 2007.

“The Carnegie had just been renovated, and somebody came to a master gardener meeting and said, ‘Here’s a beautiful building that needs a landscape,’” recalls Anderson. “So I said, ‘Here’s my opportunity to volunteer in the community.’”

Anderson took a look at the space and was interested in the location’s unique microclimate.

“It’s on that southern slope. And it’s surrounded by hard surfaces: walls on three sides and the pavement below, so it gets a lot of heat,” explains Anderson. “For me landscape architecture is all about problem solving, taking a challenge and finding a solution to that.”

Terracing the Garden solved one problem: the slope between the Carnegie Library and the wall below. It also made it easier to view the plants selected for the low water demonstration garden.

“I wanted to make sure we paid homage to our native short-grassed prairie, so there are a lot of grasses that honor that,” says Anderson. “It is a plant select garden, a program by Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University. They select a variety of shrubs, perennials, and grasses and make those selected plants available. Then we report back about what did well, what had problems.”

The Garden has changed quite a bit since it opened 13 years ago, and will continue to do so.

“It’s amazing to me how much it’s grown. It’s very much a Darwinian garden in that we plant things, and what grew and thrived deserved to be there. What didn’t survive got yanked out,” says Anderson. “A garden is a process; it’s not an end product. It’s four-dimensional art. You’ve got the three basic spatial dimensions, and then you have time.”


SUSTAINABILITY TEAM GARDEN

PPLD’s Sustainability Team plans, plants, and harvests vegetable gardens and a pollinator garden at Penrose Library along Pikes Peak Avenue. Fresh spinach, lettuce, radishes, garlic, Swiss chard, herbs, and zucchini from three raised beds are regularly donated to the nearby Catholic Charities’ Marian House. The food is harvested in the morning, and they serve it that same day. Composting is done onsite and comes from the Penrose Library’s employee kitchen. Garden markers were made from recycled ceramic tiles at a library makerspace. The City of Colorado Springs provides mulch for the Garden.


HIGH PRAIRIE LIBRARY GARDEN

In the past, the Garden was maintained by staff of High Prairie Library. Starting in 2020, the Fresh Start Center now plants and harvests the garden. Food from the Garden helps support their mission to “fight hunger, poverty, and joblessness through sustainable agriculture, food distribution, employment programs, nursing support, and case management.”


DR. LOOMIS MEMORIAL IRIS TRIAL GARDENS

The Elmohr Iris Society maintains this garden at East Library. It is the only public, high-altitude trial garden in the world and features new hybrids sent from around the globe.


HIGH PRAIRIE SEED LIBRARY

This seed library encourages a thriving community of gardeners, from beginner to expert, through the process of growing, harvesting, and seed saving/sharing. Seeds can be checked out (three packets per family, per month) or donated to the library. High Prairie Library also provides classes and information to help both newcomers and experienced gardeners develop gardening skills and know-how.


MANITOU SPRINGS SEED LIBRARY

This seed library promotes the development and preservation of landrace heirloom seeds and varieties that are well adapted to high-altitude, arid growing conditions. They also promote a body of local knowledge on how to save and pass on those seeds to future growers. It lends seed and seed-saving skills to growers each year in exchange for new seed from regional gardens.

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Celebrating and Reflecting on 150 Years

A look at Colorado Springs history as the city celebrates a sesquicentennial

Colorado Springs resides on land inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples, including the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Tribes. Artifacts found at Garden of the Gods, one of Colorado Springs’ most beautiful natural attractions, date back an astonishing 3,500 years.

Military expedition leaders such as Major Stephen H. Long and Lieutenant Zebulon Pike later explored the area in the early 1800s.

A gold rush that began in 1858 and peaked in ’59 brought prospectors through the area, but they did not settle here. “The Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush is a deceiving name,” explains Matt Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. “The gold wasn't here. It took 30 more years until the discovery of gold in Cripple Creek.”

“People coming across the country could see Pikes Peak early on and had heard about it for years,” elaborates Pikes Peak Community College Professor of History Katherine Sturdevant. “So they came here and then had to veer north. The ‘59ers were heading to the Central City-Blackhawk area, but the mountain was sort of a beacon for gold seekers.”

Colorado City (now called Old Colorado City) was founded in 1859 as a supply hub for miners heading to the gold field.

However, the city we call Colorado Springs officially began 150 years ago. At 8 a.m. on July 31, 1871, the first stake for a new town was driven at what became the southeast corner of Pikes Peak and Cascade Avenues.


GENERAL AND “QUEEN” PALMER

The founding of the town sprang from the vision of Civil War veteran General William Jackson Palmer. He was traveling between Pueblo and Denver in 1869 when he wrote in a letter, "At Colorado City, the Garden of the Gods, we stopped to breakfast. Near here are the finest soda springs and the most enticing scenery. I am sure there will be a famous summer resort here soon."

Palmer also saw an opportunity for a southward railroad route out of Denver, which was about to be connected to the Kansas Pacific Railway from the east.

“Railroads were his first love,” says Mayberry. “And you can't have railroads as a business venture in the West without having communities to serve. Colorado Springs is part of that formula.”

Soon thereafter, Palmer formed the Rio Grande Railway Company and the Colorado Springs Company. Construction on the railway began in January 1871, the first stake was driven in July, and in October the railway reached the new town.

“Colorado Springs was a product of the utopianism of the Eastern, upper-middle and upper classes,” says Sturdevant, “but it was also a business man's plan.”

“He didn't want this to be a boomtown. He wanted it to be a resort,” adds Mayberry. “Colorado Springs was to be the finest place in the west to build a home.”

Such a place would need parks, and Palmer included a city park (now known as Acacia Park) in the original town plot. He later gifted additional land that became Monument Valley Park and Palmer Park.

His wife, Mary Lincoln “Queen” Mellen Palmer, also played an important role in the town’s early days. “She is deserving of a lot of credit,” says Mayberry. “Especially establishing the school system and creating a sense of place in Colorado Springs.”

Queen Palmer taught at the first free school in town, which she opened on Nov. 13, 1871.


SPENCER AND JULIE PENROSE

“As Palmer is beginning to step off the stage,” says Mayberry, “Spencer Penrose steps on and takes our history into a different phase. He's more of a capitalist than Palmer was. Even though Palmer was an industrialist, he didn't have the same kind of drive for wealth that Penrose did.”

After making a fortune from gold and copper mines in Cripple Creek and Utah, Spencer married Julie Villiers Lewis McMillan in 1906.

Penrose had already built The Broadmoor, Pikes Peak Highway, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo when the El Pomar Foundation was formed in 1936. The Foundation has since distributed over $500 million in grants. “That boils down to the efforts of Julie Penrose making sure that some of that wealth was available for the good of the community,” explains Mayberry.


WINFIELD SCOTT STRATTON

Winfield Scott Stratton also made a fortune in mining, hitting gold in Cripple Creek on the Fourth of July 1891 after spending 20 years as a carpenter. “He's chasing a dream all his life, and then he finally gets it. It's a story of having a wolf by the tail. You can't let go, but you can't keep holding on either,” says Mayberry. “He's plagued by wealth toward the end of his life,” with people constantly demanding money from him.

He donated land for Colorado Springs City Hall and the Mining Exchange building and paid to construct the El Paso County Courthouse (now home to the Pioneer Museum).

He also bought the town’s trolley system and spent $2 million to help Colorado Springs develop one of the top street railway systems in the country. (The streetcar system was replaced in 1931 by the Colorado Springs Bus Company.)

Stratton left a majority of his fortune to build the Myron Stratton Home, a free home for people who are "without means of support, and who are physically unable by reason of old age, youth, sickness, or infirmity to earn a livelihood." The home continues to help people to this day.


THE ARTS

“Art is foundational to Colorado Springs,” says Mayberry. “The scenic beauty of the region attracted photographers and artists like William Henry Jackson and Thomas Moran. And there was economic potential to being an artist in Colorado Springs. You could capture the scenery, and then had audiences to commission that work.”

In 1919, Broadmoor Art Academy opened in the former home of Spencer and Julie Penrose, and soon helped Colorado Springs became nationally known as a center for the arts. In 1936, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) opened at the same location. Alice Bemis Taylor donated art to the FAC collection, which also included works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Picasso.

“We had an influx of people, which you could call an artist colony or literary colony,” says Sturtevant. “They were also friends with Julie Penrose, and she supported this artistic activity.”


POLITICAL ACTIVISM

“Colorado Springs was a place with many forward-thinking women who would make it a center for the women's suffrage movement,” says Sturdevant.

Suffragist Caroline Spencer founded the Women's Club of Colorado Springs and the Civic League. Alongside Alice Paul, she picketed the White House in 1917 and was incarcerated for seven months as a result.

Gretchen McRae is another notable Colorado Springs resident who worked for equality. A Black woman and civil rights activist, McRae wrote and edited publications such as her pamphlet Dedicated to the Lowliest Man and A Free Republic, a national magazine in the late 1930s.

In her own way, Fannie Mae Duncan was also an activist.

“Gretchen is trying in a bold-faced way to be an activist about equality, using the printed word primarily,” says Sturdevant. “Whereas Fannie Mae is trying to run a business.”

That business was the Cotton Club, where a sign famously read, “Everybody Welcome.” At a time when some places still refused to serve Blacks or required they use a separate entrance, customers of all skin colors came to Duncan’s club to enjoy music by such luminaries as Etta James, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington.


MILITARY

Camp Carson opened just south of Colorado Springs in 1942, soon after the start of World War II. In addition to housing and training soldiers, it also held prisoners of war. At one point, Camp Carson held about 9,000 POWs, mostly Italian and German, many of whom were put to work in the nearby agricultural and logging industries. It was renamed Fort Carson in 1954, and has been home to several divisions over the years. Many soldiers have also trained at the nearby Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site.

Also in 1942, an Army Air Base opened near Fort Carson to train soldiers for photographic reconnaissance missions. Its airfield was named Peterson Field.

Ent Air Force Base opened at the site currently occupied by the Olympic Training Center in 1952. When Ent closed in 1975, nearby Peterson Field was designated Peterson Air Force Base.

In 1954, famous aviator Charles Lindbergh was named to an advisory commission to determine the future site of the Air Force Academy. Colorado Springs was on the short list, so Lindbergh went to Peterson Field and “asked to rent an airplane,” recounts Rick Sturdevant, Kathy’s husband and Air Force deputy command historian. “Lindbergh was asked, ‘Well, do you have a pilot's license?’ And he had a pilot's license signed by one of the Wright Brothers. After the guy recovered, he rented the plane to Lindbergh, who flew up and down the Front Range to see what the air currents would be like and if it would be feasible and safe for people to learn how to fly and do a lot of practicing right here along the Front Range.” Colorado Springs went on to become home to Air Force Academy cadets in 1958.

North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, was initially headquartered at Ent Air Force Base in 1957, then was housed in the Chidlaw Building, before moving into a bunker excavated into Cheyenne Mountain. This Space Defense Center and the Combat Operations Center became fully operational in 1967.

In 1985, Falcon Air Force Station (now Schriever Air Force Base) opened and housed the 2nd Space Wing and continues to support space operations, including Department of Defense satellites.

The military presence in and around Colorado Springs has contributed more than the obvious economic impact. “An underappreciated aspect is what it does to changing the diversity of the community and bringing in more diverse residents,” says Mayberry.


THE FUTURE

“Colorado Springs, because of our rather vague founding vision of being a great place to live, we've been required to constantly reinvent ourselves,” says Mayberry. “It’s fascinating to see how we've tried to make ourselves relevant to respond to changes in the economy to look for the next best thing.

“One hundred and fifty years. You don't celebrate that every day. What we need to do, as (Mayor John Suthers) says, is be good ancestors for whoever's coming after us. So, for the 200th anniversary, when somebody is looking back at what we did, they see we've created value and we set the community up to be successful. I don't want (the Sesquicentennial) to just to be about the past. I think it's about evaluating and assessing where we want to go in the future. And then challenging us to make those decisions and go.”


COS@150

In honor of Colorado Springs’ upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary, the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum is exploring our community’s history and through 150 objects.

PPLD Regional History Series

The story of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region is far too interesting and complex to fit into a lone magazine article. Luckily, Pikes Peak Library District has published a series of books examining our rich history. Titles include:

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Kids at Home Art Show

The annual Homeschool Art Show will once again take place digitally! UPDATE: Submission deadline has been extended to Fri., April 30.



All students in grades K-12 across the Pikes Peak Library District are invited to participate, whether they are doing in-person learning, a hybrid model, or are learning at home.


All types of art from paintings, sketches, sculptures, photographs, to fiber works and more will be accepted for this non-competitive event. Please take a photo of the artwork and submit along with the title of the work, artist’s first name, and age.

Learn more HERE.

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Recently, Dr. Seuss Enterprises worked with a group of children’s literature experts to review its catalog of titles and announced that it will end the publication and licensing of six books due to their racist imagery: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.

Pikes Peak Library District does not plan to withdraw copies of these titles from our physical and digital collections. While we continue to stand against racism, the freedom to read is one of the basic foundations of our Library District. We believe it’s in the public’s interest to provide a wide diversity of views and expressions, including those found in historical titles that provide insights into our growth and evolution as a society.

Parents and caregivers can use titles such as these as an opportunity for enlightening and productive conversations with children about the historical context in which these Dr. Seuss books were written, in addition to the problems with the racial stereotypes and prejudice found within them.

As a Library, we are actively working to ensure that a multitude of diverse voices are represented within our collection. We invite you to discover the Library’s collection, which will always include a broad range of human experiences, personal stories, and perspectives.

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Citizens Project, in collaboration with the League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region, the Colorado Springs Independent, FOX21 News, and Pikes Peak Library District, is hosting a series of City Council Candidate forums for each district in our city. Listen to candidates discuss issues that impact you and your community. The schedule is as follows:

  • Wed., March 3: 1 - 2 p.m.: District 3 (Cheyenne Mountain Library, Old Colorado City Library, Penrose Library)
  • Fri., March 5: noon - 1 p.m.: District 2 (Library 21c)
  • 1 - 2 p.m.: District 5 (Ruth Holley Library)
  • Tue., March 9: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.: District 6
  • Wed., March 10: noon - 1 p.m.: District 4 (Sand Creek Library)
  • Thu., March 11: noon - 1 p.m.: District 1 (East Library, Rockrimmon Library)

You can listen in to your district's forum by visiting and joining live.

Not sure which district you live in? Find your City Council district here!


Want more information? Visit our voting resources page!


Who can vote in Colorado?

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Individuals who are 17 years old if they will be 18 years old by election day (but 16 and 17-year-olds can preregister!).
  • People who have lived in Colorado for 22 days or more before election day.
  • People who are not in detention in a correctional facility, jail, or other facility for a felony conviction.
  • People who have finished their sentence for a felony conviction, including any parole, are eligible to vote.
  • If you are on probation or were convicted for a misdemeanor, you are eligible to vote.

Check out our Community Conversation on voting and learn more about future Community Conversations here.

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Vote for Your Favorite Children's Book!

What is your favorite children’s book for children 12 and under? PICK ONE picture book, beginning reader book, chapter book, or children’s non-fiction book!

Anyone may vote but please vote only once. Teachers may return this form with your students' favorite titles but please be sure to indicate how many students are voting for which title. Adult fiction or non-fiction will be excluded. A PPLD reading list of the most popular children's' book titles will be available right here in May, 2021.

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Manitou Springs Library has Relocated

Uniting Manitou Springs’ library and art center to enrich community

The community of Manitou Springs now can find art, literature, creative studios, meeting spaces, and the vast resources and services of the public library all one place! Thanks to a new co-location partnership, Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) has relocated Manitou Springs Library to the Manitou Art Center (MAC).

Building upon a decade of trust and cooperation, PPLD and the MAC transformed the historic building at 515 Manitou Avenue to become a shared space that extends more benefits to local artists, Library cardholders, and the greater community. PPLD can offer more than traditional library resources and services – and in a way that’s accessible – to all in Manitou Springs. The MAC will join us in welcoming more residents to learn, connect, create, and tinker with their already extensive offering of equipment and creative spaces.

Manitou Springs Library officially opened inside of the MAC on Fri., March 5, 2021. Patrons can now safely browse the collection, speak with a librarian, book a computer session, or use the fax, scan, and copier machine. Curbside services are also available at the new co-location.

Get your limited-edition library card while supplies last!

Congratulations to artist Susan Odiam of Manitou Springs! Her original creation will be featured on our limited-edition card to celebrate the relocation of Manitou Springs Library to the MAC.

“We’re thrilled to pair our physical collection and other library services with an organization so focused on serving residents of Manitou Springs,” said PPLD Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears. “Their facilities will immeasurably enhance what we can provide to the local community.”

As the shared spaces expand in the future, Manitou Springs Library and the MAC will offer broader access to on-site meeting rooms, computer labs, makerspaces, art studios, and workforce development opportunities. The new co-location partners look forward to a future with more synergy, right in the heart of Manitou Springs, to support people’s aspirations, foster creativity and innovation, and boost prosperity.

“We’re excited to see what other long-term benefits arise from this venture, like increasing access to the MAC and expanding PPLD opportunities in Manitou Springs,” said MAC Executive Director Natalie Johnson. “We will leverage each other’s strengths of service.”

PPLD’s departure from the historic Carnegie building provides the City of Manitou Springs with necessary time to plan for its future, while still allowing the Library to adequately serve the public right now. PPLD’s leadership welcomes the opportunity to work with the City and return to the historic Carnegie building – if an expansion or facility improvements allow the Library to serve residents of all abilities, and everyone also has the opportunity to take advantage of other common services across El Paso County like access to meeting and study rooms, makerspaces, and more.

In the meantime, PPLD and the MAC looks forward to a strong co-location partnership so both can best serve the community now and into the foreseeable future. It’s beneficial for PPLD cardholders, MAC members, local artists, community partners, taxpayers, and the local economy.

“This is what can happen when we unite to find ways to better serve our community regardless of the circumstances,” shared Andy Vick, Executive Director for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. “I applaud Pikes Peak Library District and the Manitou Art Center for their collaboration, and I hope other organizations are inspired to move beyond traditional community partnerships and consider embracing the shared-space model that capitalizes on existing resources and plays to each other’s strengths.”

“Such alliances can lead to more people and businesses flourishing, which is what we need to strengthen the fabric of our communities for years to come.”

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Call for Authors: Virtual Book Buzz Showcase

Due to continued restrictions and concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Pikes Peak Library District's Mountain of Authors will be a hybrid event.

Our showcase authors and keynote speaker, Lt. Joe Kenda (Ret.), will be virtual; we are currently planning for an in-person panel held at the end of April with a limited audience (more details forthcoming).

We still wish to acknowledge and celebrate the work of the wonderful local authors of southern Colorado and the Pikes Peak Region!

The 2021 Mountain of Authors event will be held on Sat., May 1, and will feature a mix of virtual, live, and pre-recorded presentations. The Virtual Book Buzz Showcase will take the place of the traditional Author Showcase.

What is a Book Buzz? A Book Buzz for our purposes is a short (3 minutes or so) video clip featuring authors talking about their most recent book.

If selected to participate, you will send us a video clip that will air on PPLD's YouTube channel beginning on Sat., May 1. Also if selected, we will reach out with more information about the logistics and detailed information about the content of the Book Buzz.

PPLD will need to receive your finished Book Buzz recording by Thu., April 1.

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We would like to recognize Peggy and Clarence Shivers for their work with Pikes Peak Library District and service to the community of Colorado Springs.

Clarence and Peggy Shivers created the Shivers Fund at Pikes Peak Library District, in concert with PPLD, in 1993. They introduced the Shivers African American Historical and Cultural Collection at PPLD, which continues to expand annually thanks to the Shivers Fund and its many supporters. In addition to the collection, the Shivers Fund at PPLD also provides opportunities for our community to celebrate history, culture, and the arts. The Fund hosts concerts and other events, as well as helps expands educational and cultural opportunities for young people to encourage tolerance and diversity.

Our Library District and Foundation applaud the Shivers Fund for its continued investment to create more tolerance, diversity, and community in the Pikes Peak region.

Learn more about the history and work of the Shivers Fund.

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Tax Time!

It's that time again. Taxes are due on Mon., May 17, 2021. Lucky for you PPLD has all the information you need to file on time. Visit our Tax Information page for more.


Tax-Aide at PPLD
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation services with the help of a team of IRS-certified volunteers.

Appointments will be by reservation only. Please request an appointment by contacting Larry Barnes, Tax-Aide Local Coordinator, at (719) 235-6757. Library 21c is NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPOINTMENTS but Calhan Library is on a limited basis.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, clients will be asked to bring their documents to the Library where AARP Tax-Aide volunteers will scan them and then process the returns virtually.


Resources


Good luck and happy filing!

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PPLD Challenge: Library Lovers Month

Enter your creations in our PPLD Challenges! Randomly selected entries will be featured on PPLD’s websites and social media accounts and one randomly drawn entry will receive a gift certificate and prize pack of curated craft books from the Friends of the Library.

Love Letters to the Library

February is Library Lover's Month! Show us your love by writing us a love letter or note.

Post a photo of your note on Facebook or Instagram any time from Mon., Feb. 15 - 28 and make sure to include the hashtag #ppldchallenge and tag @ppld to be eligible to win. Alternatively, you can send your photo to ppldchallenge@ppld.org and we will post it to social media for you!

Want to post anonymously? Use the webform here.

Rules for participation:

  1. Please participate in good faith.
  2. Keep competitions civil and fun!
  3. PPLD reserves the right to remove inappropriate content, including but not limited to obscene or offensive statements or personal attacks. Learn more about our policies here.
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LENA Start

LENA Start is a 10-week program where parents learn how to increase conversational turns with their babies and toddlers.

Available sessions:

Tuesdays, June 15 - Aug. 17 from 2 - 3 p.m.: Register here!

Thursdays, June 17 - Aug. 17 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.: Register here!


LENA device in vestHave you ever wondered how much you talk to your baby/toddler? Would you like to learn ways to increase talk and get your child ready for school?

This 10-week program will help parents, with children 0-32 months, increase conversational turns. Each week a child will wear a "talk pedometer" to track the number of adult words, conversational turns, and minutes of electronics they are exposed to. We will increase conversational turns by the end of the 10 weeks. We will meet weekly to give you tips on how to increase conversational turns and each parent will receive a free book each week! The child will receive a gift at graduation and three gift cards throughout the program!

For more information contact Milissa Fellers, mfellers@ppld.org.

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Birding 101

Birding is a great way to engage with nature safely, relieve anxiety, and otherwise slow down. Download your Birding 101 guide here!

  • Do not disturb the birds’ habitats - you are an observer.
  • Use appropriate gear! Binoculars, a field guide, and a notebook should suffice for beginners.
  • For those with mobile devices, try the Audubon Bird Guide App for iPhones and Androids!
  • Find a quiet spot to sit and observe. Your backyard can offer quite a selection!
  • Try different times of day.
  • Find other birders in the community!

CHECKOUT THESE LIBRARY MATERIALS FOR YOUR BIRDING ADVENTURES:

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Gardening in the high prairie can be difficult, so the staff at High Prairie Library have created this handy year-long guide to making the most out of your gardening efforts!

Click here to download yours today!

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Check out these stats and our top title of 2020 below.


  • Physical material checkouts: 1,845,866
  • Additions to physical collection:18,000 titles and 58,000 items, plus 15,570 magazines
  • OverDrive:
    • Checkouts: 2,430,575
    • Patrons: 61,278 patrons; an increase of 22%
  • Freegal:
    • Song Downloads: 76,007
    • Songs Streamed: 248,986
  • Kanopy: 58,201 videos streamed
  • Hoopla: 40,813 checkouts, movies and television mostly
  • New cardholders during 2020: 26,215

Top 10 Adult Titles


Top 10 Young Adult Titles


Top 10 Children's Titles

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PowerPass

Knowledge is power. Unlock your potential!

Starting Mon., January 11, every student in HSD2 will have a PowerPass, a digital PPLD card just for students. HSD2 is joining Colorado Springs School District 11 as the second school district in El Paso County to provide this access to each of their students.

The PowerPass is a just-for-students library card from PPLD, granting access to the Library’s digital resources like databases, eBooks, and song and movie downloads. Each PowerPass holder can also check out five physical items at a time from any of the 15 PPLD locations or mobile library services.

  • PowerPass for Elementary Students
  • Elementary students and their parents will benefit from kid-friendly eBook and audiobook access, digital education resources, and in-person classes at PPLD to learn how to write, draw, code, or use makerspace equipment.

  • PowerPass for Middle School Students
  • PowerPass for High School Students
  • High school and middle school students can use their PowerPass for online access to live tutors and online foreign language courses. They can also get help with projects and prepare for the future with practice driving and SAT tests.

Get Started with PowerPass:

If a parent does not wish for their child to use PowerPass, they may opt out at the child's school.

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