What's New: General

17th Annual Teen Art Contest

Our theme for this year's Teen Art Contest is Balance.

Balance can be a physical skill or how we approach all the demands of our life. Can you balance on a tight rope or balance beam? Maybe you balance on a skateboard or ski board. Balance could be how you handle all the different responsibilities in your life - including your own needs and wants with school, family, and friends. Create a piece inspired by the theme that shares your thoughts on Balance or expresses what Balance means to you and enter it to win a prize!

Entries are judged by other teens, along with one award that is judged by Library staff. 

Important Dates

  • Sign up online between Thu., Dec. 1 – Tues., Feb. 13
  • Drop off your artwork from Fri., Feb. 9 – Tue., Feb. 13
  • Awards Ceremony on Tues., March 19th, at 6 p.m. at East Library Community Room
  • Art on display throughout April
  • Art pick up the first week of May

How to enter

Make sure you qualify:

  • Must be ages 12 - 19 at time of submission.
  • Must be an El Paso County resident.

Create your art following these guidelines:

  • Create something that is a 2D form of art!
    • Artwork can be any type of two-dimensional art form, as long as we can safely hang it on the wall.
      • Including but not limited to: Photography, Digital Art, Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media/Collage, prints, crochet, etc.
      • There are no formal size requirements, but it needs to be something we can hang on the wall and also transport in a regular passenger car.

Prepare your art:

  • We highly recommend mattes or foamboard for artwork on paper. This helps protect it during transportation and helps with hanging.
    • Submitting art plain or in a frame is fine, just not preferred.
    • Pieces on canvas don’t need additional protection.
  • Your submission should be able to support being hung in our galley hanging wire system.
    • Ideally this means there is a hanging wire or a spot we can attach a hanging wire to.
    • There are several free or low-cost ways to attach a hook or D-Ring.
    • PPLD will supply hanging wire and attach hooks upon receiving submissions if needed.

Complete the entry forms:

Drop off your submission:

Other Entry guidelines:

  • Only one entry per person
  • Library Staff reserve the right to decline inappropriate entries

Award Categories

Award categories include: 

  • One overall Best in Show
  • Middle School Division: First Place, Second Place, and Coordinator's Choice
  • High School Division: First Place, Second Place, and Coordinator's Choice for High School

Winning participants will be notified via letter in mid-March, with specific awards announced at the awards ceremony on Tues., March 19th, at 6 p.m. at East Library. All entries accepted into the show will be on display in April at East Library, Penrose Library, or Library 21c.


  • Can I submit a photograph/digital art/other type of 2D art?
    Any type of 2D art piece is accepted as long as we can hang it on the wall and it can be transported between libraries. We’ve had digital pieces, photography, crochet, painting, drawing, photographs of sculptures, collage, charcoal, and more!
  • Do you have size requirements for pieces?
    Nothing formal – we have to be able to transport pieces between libraries, so the upper limit on size is something that will fit in a vehicle and will be able to be hung up on a wall.
  • When will I know if I have won?
    We will notify award winners by mid-March. All participants and their friends and family are invited to the Awards Ceremony on Tue., March 19 at 6 p.m. in the East Library Community Room regardless of winning an award.
  • Will my artwork be displayed?
    Yes! You can choose from one of three locations to have your artwork displayed during the month of April. Locations are Penrose Library, East Library, or Library 21c.
  • When and where can I pick up my artwork?
    The first week of May at the library you selected to have it displayed. An email will be sent in April with specific details.
  • What are the prizes?
    We award prizes for Coordinator’s Choice, First place, and Second place for the high school and middle school age groups. We also award a prize for Best in Show, which is the piece that received the highest score out of both the middle and high school categories. In the past, winners received a drawing mannequin and gift card to Meininger’s Art Supply store.
  • What can I do to improve my chances of winning?
    Work with the theme—It doesn’t have to be a literal interpretation, but we do look for pieces that have been inspired by the theme in some way. Your paragraph describing your piece can have a big impact on this.

    Stand out! Whether through subject matter or having an unusual take on the theme, we notice unique entries more. For example, we tend to get a lot of close-ups on eyes, so they tend to not stand out as much.

    Have fun! Don’t view it as an assignment or chore. We can tell when someone submits a piece they are passionate about – so do something that you love!
  • Do I have to have a matte?
    No, but we highly encourage it. Pieces are not judged on having a matte or not, but mattes help protect your artwork during storage and transportation and make it easier to hang your piece. Frames are also accepted, but mattes are preferred.
  • I'm a teacher with an amazing class, can I enter them?
    Yes! If you are a teacher who would like to enter a class of students, you can fill out the Excel Spreadsheet linked here to complete one entry form for all of your students. You will be responsible for communicating with participants about the award ceremony and art pick-up.
  • My question wasn’t answered here.
    Email Becca at rphilipsen@ppld.org
Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest 2024

Poetry creates opportunities for children to explore a variety of topics and emotions through writing, and Pikes Peak Library District’s annual Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest engages 4th and 5th grade writers. Submissions are open from Fri., Dec. 1 – Fri., March 1. This year’s theme is Lost & Found: Poems of Importance. Young poets can reflect on something they have lost or found in the last few years as they work with poetic devices like imagery, form, meter, and rich vocabulary to create an original poem for a chance to win a prize. This contest continues Jean Ciavonne’s legacy of connecting children with poetry and writing.  

Lost & Found: Poems of Importance

What have you lost AND what have you found in the past few years? What makes them important?

Questions to ask yourself as you write your poem:

  1. Can we see, smell, hear, and taste the imagery in your poem?
  2. Have you used rich vocabulary that tells us a story or paints a picture?
  3. Does your poem reflect the theme?

Prizes: Six winners will receive a book and $50 each! The contest is open to all 4th and 5th graders in the Pikes Peak Region.


Open to all 4th and 5th graders in the Pikes Peak Region.

Contest Rules

  1. One entry per student. Teachers are urged to review poems and submit no more than five per class.
  2. Each poem must be the original work of the contestant. 
  3. Poems will be judged on originality, including poem title and adherence to the theme. 
  4. Submit two typed, double-spaced copies of each poem on 8 ½” x 11” paper (no handwritten submissions or illustrations will be accepted.) Include ON A SEPARATE PIECE OF PAPER: name, telephone number, home address, school name and address, and teacher and principal’s names. Poems will not be returned. Please keep a copy. 
  5. Entries must be postmarked by Fri., March 1, 2024. Submission of a poem constitutes full permission to exhibit, use and publish the poem for any purpose – printed or electronic media – and to publish the name, school, and photographs and/or video of the student without compensation. 
  6. Winners will be celebrated at an Awards Ceremony where they will be given the opportunity to read their poem to the audience. 

Entries may be mailed to: 

The Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest
c/o Christa Funke 
Pikes Peak Library District 
P.O. Box 1579 
Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1579 
Or email entries, following guidelines above to: cfunke@ppld.org 

The awards will be announced in April. 

Jean Ciavonne Remembered from PPLD TV on Vimeo.

Congratulations to our 2023 winners!

  • Justin Beasley, 5th grade, Bear Creek Elementary School - "The Ultimate Cure"
  • Emma Briggeman, 4th Grade, The Classical Academy Central - "The World Needs"
  • Piper Gaulke, 4th grade, Mountain Song Community School - “My Gift
  • Taylor Hannan, The Classical Academy Central, 5th Grade - “Would you do it for the world
  • Clara Pavri, Colorado International Language Academy, 4th Grade  - “Marble”  
  • Megan Thorn, 5th grade, Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning - “The Sender Defender” 


Pikes Peak Library District subscribes to a variety of useful databases that serve as valuable resources to our community. We regularly evaluate our subscriptions to ensure that we are good stewards of the funding we put behind each one. After a recent review of databases taking into consideration usage, cost effectiveness, and availability of information through other sources, we decided to discontinue some of our current database subscriptions in 2024. You will still have access to similar information through other databases that we offer.

The following databases will not be renewed upon their 2024 expiration, and we have included suggestions for databases you can use in their place:  

Databases discontinued for 2024  Expiration date in 2024  Alternate sources 
AtoZ Maps  Jan.  CultureGrams, World Almanac for Kids has country maps, PPLD Digital Collections contain historic maps of the Pikes Peak area 
HeritageHub  Jan. HeritageQuest (remote access), Ancestry Library Edition (in library access only) 
Value Line Jan. Morningstar database, print editions (reference) of Value Line at PE and EA 
Resumemaker Feb. JobNow 
VetNow Feb. JobNow for resume and job coaching, Military and Veterans subject guide, Helping Hands subject guide 
Gale Entrepreneurship March Gale Business: Plan Builder and Business Source Premier databases
Find My Past April HeritageQuest (remote access), Ancestry Library Edition(in library access only) 
World Almanac Elementary June World Almanac for Kids, Gale In Context: Elementary databases 
Winter Holidays Instagram Graphic

December is packed with festive celebrations, including Hannukah, winter solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and others. It’s a busy time when you may find yourself decorating, planning or prepping meals and treats, making or shopping for gifts, visiting friends and family, and attending community celebrations. Pikes Peak Library District has all the programs, tools, and resources you need to make the best of the holiday season, including cookbooks and classes, DIY gifts, holiday book lists, and more!


  • New recipes from a vast array of new-to-you cookbooks for all occasions 
  • Movies, music, books, and even a collection of Hallmark movies on Hoopla
  • Audio and video studio equipment for DIY memories 
  • CultureGrams to learn about holiday celebrations from around the world (must have a library card that starts with a 4 to access outside the Library) 
  • Reviews, shopping guides, and more for your holiday shopping experience with Consumer Reports (must have a library card that starts with a 4 to access outside the Library)
  • A wide assortment of holiday films and documentaries on Kanopy
  • Christmas music on Freegal


DIY Gifts



Friends of PPLD Bookstore

Get gifts for your family while supporting your Library! The Friends of PPLD sponsors and supports numerous programs and events to further the enjoyment of reading and love for books by all individuals. They are best known for their volunteerism, their bookstores in each library (you never know what you will find in the ever-changing inventory of previously-read books and magazines) and, of course, the two Big Book Sales each year. 

Stop by the Friends store at the Library and find books, CDs, movies, magazines, and more from $0.25 to $3. Or shop for specialty items online! Purchases made through the Friends of PPLD support library programming and materials. 

Do you love books, reading, and libraries? Have you considered becoming involved in your community? One easy step covers it all! Get involved with the Friends and support your community, one book at a time. 


All you need is your library, but your library needs you too. Support the Pikes Peak Library District but donating.

All you need is your Library. But your Library needs you, too

Libraries are a vital lifeline for the whole community. Job seekers can find resume writing and interview preparation help, career search navigation, and educational opportunities for job skills. Parents and caregivers of young children can find early literacy and education opportunities, hands-on programs, a Toy Library with toys for motor skill development, homework help, homeschool resources programs, and a wide range of other resources to support their children’s growth and development. Teenagers can enjoy resources and services like safe spaces to hang out with friends, gaming consoles, research resources, test and college prep help, and tutoring. And anyone can enjoy our vast collection of books and other media, genealogy resources, no-cost passes to local attractions, classes and community activities, and other services and resources we provide.

In 2023, Pikes Peak Library District enjoyed hosting a wide range of programs to enrich the lives of our community. We took on reading and activity challenges with you during the Winter Adult Reading Program and with local youth during Summer Adventure. We had the honor of hosting the Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibit and a variety of programs centering on this history. In July we started reading The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line with our community, and had the pleasure of hearing from the author, Mari K. Edder, during All Pikes Peak Reads. Local teens submitted outstanding works of art to the annual Teen Art Contest, local 4th and 5th graders submitted thoughtful poems to the Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest, and local writers of all ages sent us a wide range of creative stories for All Pikes Peak Writes. We also hosted art classes, games, book clubs, author talks, and many other programs.

Donations are a vital part of Library funding that allows us to purchase materials and plan programs for our community. We invite you to make a difference in your community with a kind contribution through the PPLD Foundation during the Year End Giving Campaign. We thank you for your support and generosity!  

Homeschool Science Fair

Interested in seeing some amazing experiments from up-and-coming scientists? Visit our annual Homeschool Science Fair to browse and chat with project creators. Kids can fill out a "What I learned" and receive a prize! Come and discover something new, or be inspired for next year!

Our annual Homeschool Science Fair is open to grades K-12! Homeschool students are invited to demonstrate a science project for other families. There are no rules or guidelines for this non-competitive event, and planning is left up to individual families.

Registration required. Students will arrive by 9:15 a.m., and the event will be open to the public from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Need help planning your project? Download our Science Fair How-Tos Document!

The Hall at PPLD

During their monthly meeting in October, the PPLD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to discontinue public use of The Hall at PPLD located adjacent to Penrose Library. Service at the event hall will be phased out over the next six months so that existing reservations can be honored. New reservations can still be made at this time for events that occur before May 1, 2024. Availability is limited.  

Regional History & Genealogy

Pikes Peak Library District’s Special Collections Department, which is located in the historic Carnegie Library building connected to Penrose Library, is changing its name. As of Nov. 1, 2023, this department has been renamed to Regional History & Genealogy.

This section was initially called Special Collections due to the number and variety of “special collections” the department curated – the photo archives, newspaper archives and collections, digital collections, manuscripts, city directories, and genealogy collections, to name just a few. As the genealogy collection and databases grew in number and popularity, the area became more commonly known as Regional History & Genealogy, prompting the name change.

Regional History & Genealogy’s most substantial resource is its knowledgeable, helpful staff who curate the collection and help patrons with their research. The section also houses books, maps, manuscripts and archives, photographs, oral histories, films and videos, government documents, pamphlets, periodicals, a digitized collection of historic regional photographs, and other materials related to the history of the Pikes Peak region. Additionally, it offers extensive family history research materials, covering the entire United States from Colonial times to the present, including books, periodicals, and access to major genealogical databases. Every month, Regional History & Genealogy hosts Virtual Genealogy Basics classes to help anyone interested in compiling their family genealogy to implement successful research strategies and gain familiarity with available research databases and resources.

The official hours of Regional History & Genealogy were recently expanded to better accommodate the needs of our community. Its hours are now:

Tuesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday and Monday: Closed

Click here for more information about PPLD’s Regional History & Genealogy department and its programs and activities.

National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Graphic

In November, Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) joins with people and organizations across the nation to draw attention to hunger and homelessness through education, programs, and events.

Pikes Peak Library District Collects to Share is once again putting out the call to collect hand-crafted items for our community shelters. Starting in November, as part of Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, we will be accepting donations every month for a year. If you have knitted items such as hats, scarves, socks, and blankets that you would like to donate, please bring them to the public desk at any Library location and let staff know that they are for PPLD Collects to Share. Through your hard work and creative generosity, we donated over 120 hand-crafted items to those in need in our community since November 2022. Thank you!



  • Helping Hands Community Resource 
    The Helping Hands El Paso County Community Resources guide is a list of services available in El Paso County.  
  • PPLD Community Resource Officers
    Pikes Peak Library District offers community resources across the District. Our Community Resources Specialists are here to help you navigate and connect with services by providing referrals and information to get the help you need for your specific situation.

Website Links

  • Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week
    Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.
Give Campaign – Make a Difference in your Community, suppor the Library during the 2023 Give! Campaign

Few institutions are charged with serving people of all ages and walks of life with relevant and entertaining programs, community spaces, and materials as is your public library. We are a lifeline to technology, entertainment, online resources for employment, enrichment for all ages, and continuing education for everyone in the Pikes Peak region. Throughout November, make a difference in our community by donating to the PPLD Foundation during the 2023 Give! Campaign. Your contributions will help us continue to serve the unique needs of our growing community in 2024. 

The PPLD Foundation has supported Pikes Peak Library District since 2003, helping to fund programs, projects, equipment, and materials for our community through charitable donations. As they participate in this campaign for the 4th consecutive year, the foundation is honored to be among the 63 worthy organizations in this year’s campaign. The PPLD Foundation invites you to show your continued support of the Library and thank you for your kind donation.


To make a charitable contribution through the 2023 Give! Campaign, please visit the Foundation’s Give! Campaign page

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month Graphic

Embrace a journey of discovery as we invite you to join us in honoring the vibrant and diverse tapestry of American Indian and Alaska Native heritage, history, and culture. Experience a world of traditions, stories, and knowledge through an array of engaging programs and valuable resources thoughtfully curated for you at PPLD!


Why She Writes – An Afternoon Chat with Joy Harjo, Internationally Renowned Performer, Writer, and Poet of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation

United States Poet Laureate and winner of the 2022 Academy of American Poets Leadership Award, Joy Harjo, joins us virtually for a chat about her most recent memoir, Catching the Light, and to discuss her rewarding lifetime as a writer and poet. In Catching the Light, Harjo examines the power of words and how poetry summons us toward justice and healing. In this lyrical meditation about the why of writing poetry, Harjo reflects on significant points of illumination, experience, and questioning from her 50 years as a poet. Learn more and register here. Registration is required to receive the link for the event.  

Heritage Recipe Post Cards

Stop by your favorite Library location and pick up heritage recipe postcards that highlight American Indian and Native Alaskan recipes and culture. These recipes come from Library staff and cookbooks.  



  • Gale eBooks
    (you will need a library card that starts with a 4 to access this resource) - Native Americans
  • Hoopla
    Find eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, videos, and more by searching “Native American” on the Hoopla app. 
  • Kanopy
    Discover videos and documentaries diving deeper into Native American culture and exploring the lives of individuals throughout history.
  • The Horace S. Poley Photographs Collection
    This is a major collection of photographic images of American Indians in the southwestern United States. Included are images of the Fiesta of San Geronimo at Taos, the Snake Dance of the Hopi, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico and the Dedication of the Ute Pass Indian Trail in 1912.
  • Digital Collections
    Search our Digital Collections for more photographs! We recommend using search terms like, “Native American,” “American Indian,” “Indian,” and “Ute.”
  • Reference and Special Collections Materials (Catalog)
    Explore American Indian heritage in reference and history texts found in our physical and digital collections.

Website Links


Veterans Day Graphic 2023

Join Pikes Peak Library District this Veterans Day in celebrating our veterans and their families.


Veterans Day Storytime

Meet some of the veterans in our community as they make Storytime guest appearances in the days leading up to Veterans Day. For ages 3 – 7 and their families and guardians.  

  • Fri., Nov. 3 at 10:30 a.m. – Cheyenne Mountain Library
  • Tue., Nov. 7 at 10:30 a.m. – Monument Library
  • Tue., Nov. 7 at 9 a.m. – Rockrimmon Library
  • Tue., Nov. 7 at 10:30 a.m. – Ruth Holley Library
  • Thu., Nov. 9 at 9:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. – East Library
  • Thu., Nov. 9 at 9:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. – High Prairie Library
  • Fri., Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. – Library 21c
  • Fri., Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. – Palmer Lake Library 

Patriotism in America Past and Present 

Will America ever have another "Greatest Generation?" In her book Unintended Hero, local author Becky Van Vleet explores the question of whether America will have another “Greatest Generation.” Her book delves into her father's up-close and personal battles on the USS Denver in World War II in the Pacific Theater. Join Becky for an interactive book talk about patriotism from the Greatest Generation in World War II to present day.  Ages 16 and up. Registration recommended. 

Veterans Day Poppy Painting 

Learn more about the palette knife painting technique and try it for yourself by creating beautiful poppy designs in honor of Veterans Day. Registration required.

Patrons of Influence: Military Veterans in El Paso County

Celebrate local veterans and hear from a panel of military veterans who are providing positive influences in culture, leadership, and business in the Pikes Peak region. Panelists will discuss their shared interest and experience on how diversity strengthens organizations and communities. There will be a Livestream option for anyone who wishes to attend virtually. A Question-and-Answer session will follow the discussion. Registration is recommended to attend in-person, and required for the Livestream



  • Military & Veterans LibGuide
    • This guide offers local information and general resources for Colorado-based military and veterans.
  • Freegal
    • This guide offers local information and general resources for Colorado-based military and veterans.
  • Freegal
  • Gale Ebooks
    • Search this database using the key word “Veterans” for further reading and information. (Note that this resource is available at the Library or you can access it remotely with a library card that starts with a 4 and your PIN.)


  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
    Learn more about VA resources, the PACT Act, healthcare for veterans, life insurance, memorials, and other crucial information for veterans. 
  • Veterans Day 2023
    Familiarize yourself with Veterans Day history, including why Veterans Day moved from October to November, what Armistice Day was, and why schools close in recognition of this federal holiday. 
  • Veterans Day 2023
    Includes information on the importance, history, and the traditions of Veterans Day
  • Veterans Day
    Read about the history and traditions of Veterans Day.

Family websites for active military and veterans 

  • Sesame Street for Military Families
    Find bilingual (Spanish and English) information and multimedia resources on the topics of military deployments, multiple deployments, homecomings, injuries, grief, and self-expression.
  • Babies on the Homefront
    Military and veteran parents will find ideas for enhancing everyday moments with their baby or toddler.
  • Parenting for Veterans
    Discover parenting help when you need it, on any device with access to the internet.
Community Conservations Hunger and Homelessness Graphic

In recognition of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month, join Pikes Peak Library District for Community Conversation: Hunger and Homelessness Awareness as we welcome local experts and community leaders to discuss homelessness and housing insecurity in the Pikes Peak region. Community Conversations invite the public to discuss current events and issues impacting the Pikes Peak region with the goal of promoting civil dialogue and a greater understanding of different perspectives. After a facilitated discussion session with the panelists, there will be time for questions from the audience.

Thu., Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. — East Library

Click here for the Conversation Guide and panelist questions.

Panelists Include:


Angela Roberts

Angela Roberts (Pikes Peak Community Health Partnership (CHP)

Roberts holds an undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of North Texas and a master’s in public administration with a certificate in grant writing, grant management, and program evaluation from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She served as a Housing Navigator Specialist with CHP prior to accepting her current role of Transformation Manager. In this role, she leads efforts to expand and improve cross-sector partnerships to reduce the number of youth and veterans at-risk of or currently experiencing homelessness in our community. Roberts has volunteered and held internship roles at various nonprofits in the Colorado Springs area since 2010 and has a passion for serving members of the community in need of housing support and assistance.

Beth Roalstad

Beth Hall Roalstad (Homeward Pikes Peak), MSW

Roalstad is the Executive Director of Homeward Pikes Peak. Prior to taking this role in January 2017, Roalstad worked as the Senior Vice President of Engagement at Pikes Peak United Way. She has also been the Executive Director for the Innovations in Aging Collaborative and the Women’s Resource Agency. Roalstad received her master’s in social work from the University of Denver in 2000 and a Bachelor of Science in political science from State University of New York College at Oneonta in 1991. She is a graduate of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute in 2014 and the Denver Community Leadership Forum in 2005.

Since joining Homeward Pikes Peak, Roalstad has expanded programs to serve women and families experiencing homelessness by building community-based services that provide substance abuse treatment and transitional housing. She has also spearheaded the creation of several new programs such as Street Outreach, The Commons, a new permanent supportive housing apartment building complex, and The Bloom House Residential Treatment Center, a new program for pregnant and parenting women with addictions. Under her leadership, Homeward Pikes Peak has grown from serving 150 clients in 2016 to over 1,000 in 2022 and has more than tripled its budget through contracts, earned income, and philanthropy.

In addition, Roalstad serves on numerous community boards and has an extensive list of volunteer work with local non-profit organizations. She combines her passion for legislative advocacy, social work, and community building in all the work she undertakes. For fun, Roalstad hikes, runs, and travels as much as possible.

Crystal Karr

Crystal Karr (City of Colorado Springs)

Crystal Karr is the Homeless Prevention and Response Coordinator for the City of Colorado Springs. She brings the experience of frontline work with homelessness, domestic violence, and families experiencing housing instability and homelessness to the City of Colorado Springs. Karr is committed to collaboration and community-based solutions to make Colorado Springs a safe and beautiful home for all of its citizens.

Joel Siebersma

Joel Siebersma (Springs Rescue Mission), MA. LPC

Siebersma has worked in the fields of addiction and homelessness for 15 years. After graduating from Colorado Christian University with a master’s degree in counseling, he began working at the Springs Rescue Mission. Siebersma has led teams of substance use disorder counselors, case managers, and behavioral health staff toward the goal of person-centered treatment resulting in housing, health, and work. Most recently, as Sr. Director of Transformation and Research, he focuses on identifying innovative trends in homelessness alleviation from around the country and adapting those cutting-edge programs for local application.

Sgt. Olav Chaney

Sgt. Olav Chaney (Colorado Springs Police Department)

Sgt. Olav Chaney has been with the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) since 1991, working in many different divisions and roles.  Sgt. Chaney now leads the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) for CSPD and has been in that role since March 2020.  As the Sergeant for HOT, he focuses on providing outreach and resources to the homeless community, addresses and enforces all camping ordinances as appropriate, works closely with Homeless Outreach Team partners, and coordinates clean-ups with the Neighborhood Services Quality of Life Team and Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful.

Patrons of Influence Instagram graphic

Join Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) and Citizen-Powered Media for Patrons of Influence: Military Veterans in El Paso County as we celebrate patrons who are providing positive influences in the areas of culture, business, and leadership in our community. A panel of local leaders will discuss their shared interest and experiences with the ways that diverse voices strengthen organizations and communities.

A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion.

Registration for the in-person event is not required but strongly recommended.

You must register for the Livestream event in order to receive the access link. You will receive the link to the Livestream after registering.

Wed., Nov. 15 from 10 – 11 a.m. — East Library



Panelists include:

Bethann Richards, U.S. Army Signal Corps, retired

Bethann Richards, U.S. Army Signal Corps, retired 

Bethann Richards is a retired Army veteran who worked within the U.S. Army Signal Corps and is currently a senior systems engineer at Jacobs Engineering Group. She has worked in engineering roles with Jacobs and Lockheed Martin over the last eight years where she was part of a team that supported the U.S. National Security Agency and received an award for her contributions. Fun fact about Richards, she has more take-offs in airplanes and helicopters than she does landings.


Colonel Mark Dickerson, U.S. Air Force, retired

Colonel Mark Dickerson, U.S. Air Force, retired

Colonel Mark Dickerson retired from the Air Force with over 4,500 hours in over 40 types of aircraft. He is a graduate and former deputy commandant of the USAF Test Pilot School and spent seven years as a NASA research project manager where he was the only African American research pilot at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. Dickerson holds a B.S. in engineering physics, an M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, and an M.B.A. He published his second book WARNING: This Book May Get You Killed, and has received the Noel Parrish Award, the most prestigious award presented by the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. where he was the former president of the Denver chapter.


Chief Petty Officer Chris Ortiz, Navy, retired

Chief Petty Officer Chris Ortiz, Navy, retired

Chris Ortiz is a retired Navy chief petty officer who served 28 years of combined active duty and reserve service in many different positions from being a class instructor to senior enlisted advisor for a gun boat platoon in the coastal riverine squadrons. He has been employed at Colorado Springs Utilities for the last 25 years. These two paths have provided Ortiz with many opportunities to grow as a leader, mentor, and as a person who always takes care of the careers and personal growth of his soldiers, sailors, marines, and employees regardless of gender, culture, or ethnicity.

Marsilino ‘Lino’ Calica, U.S. Army, retired

Marsilino ‘Lino’ Calica, U.S. Army, retired

Marsilino ‘Lino’ Calica retired from the U.S. Army after being stationed all over the world. Like many Native Hawaiians adjusting to a changing island, Calica, eight of his siblings, and many family members joined the military in pursuit of greater opportunities. His time in Germany, Honduras, and Korea let him cultivate the leadership skills that he uses in his current position as network systems analyst at Pikes Peak Library District. Calica has championed military personnel and their families through his work with his American Legion Post 209, even serving as the commander. His time is fondly spent with Susanna, his wife of 47 years, and being silly with his family. 

Colonel Cynthia Aki, Air Force Veteran, retired

Colonel Cynthia Aki, Air Force Veteran, retired

Cynthia Chung Aki retired as colonel from the U.S. Air Force after 30 years of service. She began working in public health and administration health services while giving back as a volunteer on numerous boards and committees. In 2022, Aki launched the Golden Lotus Foundation. This nonprofit advocacy group provides intergenerational opportunities for people to experience Asian heritage and traditions, and hosts an annual Chinese New Year celebration. Aki, who is of Chinese descent, has become an informal spokesperson for the Asian community in Colorado Springs and has set ambitious goals for the future of her foundation. 

First Sergeant Carlos V. Gonzalez, Jr., U.S. Army, retired

First Sergeant Carlos V. Gonzalez, Jr., U.S. Army, retired

Carlos Gonzalez served in the U.S. Army for 26 years and retired as a first sergeant. He is the current president of the Widefield School District 3 Board of Education and owner/agent of the local Carlos Gonzalez State Farm Agency. He applies his 30 years of leadership experience as founder/director of the non-profit True North Empowerment Services, Inc., which mentors both adults and youth and is owner of Leadership 360, a leadership training company. Gonzalez holds an M.A. in human resource management and was awarded the Army Bronze Star, five Army meritorious service medals, and a Joint Service Achievement Medal from his service which included tours in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Peggy Shivers Fall Concert Instagram Image

Celebrate 30 years of arts, culture, and fundraising for a cause at the Shivers Concert Series 30th Anniversary – Fall Concert. Enjoy dinner followed by a moving evening of live musical performances by special guests, including cellist Pamela Chaddon, baritone Ivan Thompson, tenor Eapen Leubner, and pianist Susan Grace. Proceeds help the Shivers Fund at PPLD to support opportunities for our community to celebrate diversity in history, culture, and the arts.

The event will be held at the Antlers Hotel (4 S. Cascade Ave.) on Fri., Nov. 17 beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour. Dinner will be at 7 p.m., followed by the concert.


  • 6:30 p.m. - Social hour
  • 7:00 p.m. - Dinner
  • Concert to follow dinner

Tickets are $75 per person and are available for purchase online or by calling (719) 531-6333, x2391 

Help us serve you better – Take our survey!

Your Library wants to hear from you! Take the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) 2023 Community Survey and let us know about your recent Library experience. Share with us your thoughts about current Library locations and services and tell us about your ideas for the future. Your input allows us to continue working toward our 2023 - 2025 Strategic Plan goals and strengthens how we serve our entire community. Even if you don’t have a PPLD library card or regularly use the Library, please consider taking the survey. Your feedback is important to us.

The survey takes 8 – 10 minutes to complete, and your answers will be completely anonymous. Take the survey online today or stop by one of PPLD’s library locations for a paper copy starting Mon., Oct. 9.

The Survey is open through Sun., Nov. 5. Thank you for your time and support!


Spooky Stroll a Story in Old Colorado City

Take a spooky stroll in Old Colorado City and read Trick Arrr Treat by Leslie Kimmelman. Pick up a map at Old Colorado City Library, or print one here, and stop by each location to read the book. The story will be available Oct. 1 - 31. 

Old Colorado City October Strolls

Trick Arrr Treat by Leslie Kimmelman - Download the map!

Voting Resources Graphic

Voting is both a right and a responsibility, and democracy works best when everyone participates. Learn more about making your voice heard with the Library’s nonpartisan Voting & Elections Guide for information about:  

  • How to register to vote or update your voter registration, as well as useful information for first-time voters   
  • How you can vote, including when to expect to receive your ballot via mail, when and how to return your completed ballot, and where you can return your mail-in ballot on or before Election Day     
  • What will be on the ballot, including candidates running for elected office as well as local ballot measures   

This nonpartisan resource guide, compiled and maintained by PPLD librarians, also includes other useful information like finding news sources, fact checking, and identifying fake news. You can also find information on your current legislators and see how political campaigns are financed.  

Here are other ways that PPLD can help you prepare and participate in upcoming elections:   

  • PPLD partners with the League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region throughout the year to ensure residents can easily register to vote or update their voter registration.  
  • There are secure, 24-hour ballot drop boxes outside of East Library and Library 21c. They are accessible by vehicle, bicycle, or on foot. (Fun facts: These are two of 39 total ballot drop boxes across El Paso County. Plus, East Library has the LARGEST ballot box in the state! It had to be specially built and installed due to high use by local voters.)
  • Political literature may be available inside your local library as the general election date gets closer. If space allows, at Library locations, there’s usually a table dedicated to this purpose with clearly marked signage, and anyone can display political information in this spot only. (PPLD does not endorse any political campaigns.) 

For anyone interested in petitioning, hosting a voter registration drive, or conducting other civic engagement activities on any PPLD property, please review our Solicitation Policy.  

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. 
The girls who stepped out of line

Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to announce the selected title for All Pikes Peak Reads (APPR) 2023. This year’s book is The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of WWII, by Mari K. Eder.  

All Pikes Peak Reads is Pikes Peak Library District’s annual community reads program that focuses on celebrating literature, improving community connections, and fostering dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines. Each year, PPLD selects APPR titles that focus on timely topics and plans a variety of community-wide programs. This year’s selected title serves to complement the Americans and the Holocaust Traveling Exhibit being hosted at East Library from September 5 – October 11.  

Author visit

Join Pikes Peak Library District as we welcome General Mari K. Eder to discuss her book The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II, the 2023 All Pikes Peak Reads selection.

Following her keynote address, General Eder will do an audience Q&A and will be available for book signing. Books will be available to purchase during the event. 

When: Sat., Oct. 7 at 3:00 p.m.     
Location: Library 21c     
Click here for more information


Skip the Wait with Freading

Borrow a copy of this year’s book with your library card! Place hold a hold on a physical copy, an eBook, an audiobook, or an eAudiobook (digital copies are available through the Libby app), or get instant access through Freading! The Girls who Stepped Out of Line is always available on Freading.

  • Freading allows for simultaneous access to all of their content, meaning that any number of people can borrow and read the book at the same time without having to wait. Learn more and download the app here.
  • You can have three books a week checked out at one time through the app for two weeks.

More about The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line

From the publisher: 

ScytheFor fans of Radium Girls and history and WWII buffs, The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line takes you inside the lives and experiences of 15 unknown women heroes from the Greatest Generation. The women who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen during WWII—in and out of uniform, for theirs is a legacy destined to embolden generations of women to come.

The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line are the heroes of the Greatest Generation that you hardly ever hear about. These women who did extraordinary things didn't expect thanks and shied away from medals and recognition. Despite their amazing accomplishments, they've gone mostly unheralded and unrewarded. No longer. These are the women of World War II who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen—in and out of uniform. 

Liane B. Russell fled Austria with nothing and later became a renowned U.S. scientist whose research on the effects of radiation on embryos made a difference to thousands of lives. Gena Turgel was a prisoner who worked in the hospital at Bergen-Belsen and cared for the young Anne Frank, who was dying of typhus. Gena survived and went on to write a memoir and spent her life educating children about the Holocaust. Ida and Louise Cook were British sisters who repeatedly smuggled out jewelry and furs and served as sponsors for refugees, and they also established temporary housing for immigrant families in London. 

Retired U.S. Army Major General Mari K. Eder wrote this book because she knew their stories needed to be told—and the sooner the better. For theirs is a legacy destined to embolden generations of women to come. 

About the Author

Mari K. Eder, retired U.S. Army Major General, is a renowned speaker and author, and a thought leader on strategic communication and leadership. General Eder has served as Director of Public Affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and as an adjunct professor and lecturer in communications and public diplomacy at the NATO School and Sweden’s International Training Command. She served in senior positions in the Pentagon, in the Department of Defense, and on the Army Staff.

General Eder is the author of the award-winning The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of WWII.  Her next book in the ‘Girls’ series will feature groundbreaking policewomen; The Girls Who Fought Crime will be released in August 2023. When not writing, lecturing, or traveling, she works with rescue groups and fosters rescue dogs. 

Banned Books Week Graphic

Books unite us. Censorship divides us. Books contain the thoughts and experiences of people from a wide range of different backgrounds. They offer us windows into lives and lived experiences that are the same as or different from our own and allow us to gain new perspectives. Celebrate your freedom to read without censorship during Banned Books Week from Oct. 1 – 7.

Activities and resources

  • Banned Books Week Bookmark Take and Make
    Make up to seven bookmarks featuring your favorite banned books with this take-home craft kit. Pick one up at your favorite PPLD location.
  • Banned Books Scavenger Hunt for Tweens (passive activity)
    Celebrate your freedom to read by learning more about banned books. Match the titles of banned books to the reason why they were banned. All books can be found in the children's area. For ages 9 - 12. Find this passive program at Calhan, Cheyenne Mountain, East, Manitou Springs, Monument, Old Colorado City, Rockrimmon, Ruth Holley, and Ute Pass libraries, as well as Library 21c and the Bookmobile. 
  • Banned Topics Bookmark
    In honor of the Right to Read, during Banned Books Week you can pick up a location guide of where to find topics of the books being banned across our nation. Celebrate intellectual freedom by finding any book you want to read!
  • Child and Young Adult Reading List
    Discover children’s books that have been on The Top 10 Most Challenged lists from the American Library Association.


  • American Library Association
    Learn about censorship, including lists of the top 10 most challenged books by year, information on reporting censorship, and censorship numbers. You will also find fun activities like coloring sheets and graphics you can share. Check out their Freedom to Read Statement as well.
  • Books Unbanned: Seattle Public Library
    In response to recent increases in book challenges and bans, the Seattle Public Library started Books Unbanned. This program grants access to their entire collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks for people ages 13 – 26 living anywhere in the U.S.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted in 2021. They also reported that most targeted titles were written by or about members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.

A note on terminology: A book challenge is when an individual or group recommends books for removal from public schools and/or public libraries and the materials are reviewed. A book ban occurs when materials selected for reconsideration are removed from public schools and/or public libraries and are not allowed to be included in those collections. A book challenge does not always lead to banning of materials.

Here are the top 10 most challenged books of 2022:

1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: depiction of sexual abuse, claimed to be sexually explicit, Equity Diversity & Inclusion content

4. Flamer by Mike Curato
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

5. (Tied for 5th) Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content

5.  (Tied for 5th) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content, depiction of sexual abuse, drugs, profanity

6. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity

9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit

10. (Tied for 10th) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit

10. (Tied for 10th) Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs

10. (Tied for 10th) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity

10. (Tied for 10th) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit

PPLD and Censorship

Pikes Peak Library District does not practice censorship. The materials we select to add to our collection are based on merit for the benefit they will add to our collection in serving our diverse community. Because we serve such a diverse community filled with different perspectives, beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences, we recognize that not all books in our collection are suited to every reader. Visit our Materials Reconsideration Policy page for more information.

Night at the Library

2023 marks the 1st annual Night at the Library, the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) Foundation's signature fundraiser. This first-year event celebrates the PPLD Foundation's 20th anniversary and more than $13 million dollars raised since 2003. 

Guests will enjoy special after-hours access to Library 21c and its first of its kind space that have been replicated by libraries worldwide. The memorable evening begins with a cocktail reception and scavenger hunt, followed by a multi-course seated dinner and program.                            

Purchase Tickets


Event Details

Saturday, October 21                     
5:30 p.m. at Library 21c                      

Your business, group, or family can sponsor this event! Click here for Sponsorship Information. For questions about Night at the Library or to discuss sponsorships, contact Sara Gallagher at sgallagher@ppld.org or (719) 531-6333 x2391.


Our sponsors

GE Johnson
Verkada Logo
Gold Hill Mesa
Colorado Springs Indy Logo
Iheart Radio
Norwood Logo
Moody Insurance Company Logo
Urban Egg Logo
Ingram Library Services
Friends of PPLD
Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority
El Pomar Foundation
Investment Trust Company
Weidner Apartment Homes
Pikes Peak Culture Pass Instagram Square graphic

Beginning Tue., Sept. 19, library cardholders will be able to check out no-cost passes to Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain thanks to the Culture Pass program. Patrons can check out passes to explore this cultural attraction seven-days-a-week through April 30, 2024.

Take in breathtaking vistas from the top of the mountain you call home. Colorado is known for its fourteen-thousand-foot mountains (14’ers), which thousands of people endeavor to climb every year. Pikes Peak’s scenic highway offers a unique opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to experience the beautiful terrain that Colorado’s 14’ers have to offer. Conditions on the Summit can be wildly different than at the base of the mountain, so be sure to plan ahead and check condition and safety information before your visit. 

The pass grants access to the Pikes Peak Highway, and depending on the weather, patrons may enjoy the Summit House and Visitors Center at the top or the many beautiful interpretive stops along the way. With the addition of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, the Culture Pass program offers PPLD patrons 12 cultural attractions throughout El Paso and Teller counties and Denver. For more information about Pikes Peak Culture Passes visit ppld.org/culturepass.

Note on visiting the Summit in September:

Your Pikes Peak Culture Pass will serve as your no-cost admission ticket (for up to two adult admissions and two children’s admissions) to drive on the Pikes Peak Highway. Access to the Summit by personal vehicle is currently on a reservation system through Sat., Sept. 30, which is not automatically reserved by your Pikes Peak Culture Pass. If you want to ensure that you will have a parking spot on the Summit during the month of September, you will need to make a reservation by clicking here.

Pikes Peak Poet Laureate

Poetry is a powerful, flexible form of expression that conveys feelings across generations, and often across cultures as well. Pikes Peak Library District is celebrating poetry in collaboration with Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius and Imagination Celebration with the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Global Poetry Experience throughout September. Join us for this interactive global poetry project and experience poetry and writing like never before!

On select Saturdays in September, Ashley will host poetry workshops from inside of the “Sojourner” Portal, a poetry portal set up outside of Manitou Springs Library this month. “Sojourner” is connected to other poetry portals around the world, and participants will have the opportunity to interact with people in other countries as they explore themes through writing. At the end of the month, Ashley will create a community poem drawing from participants’ experiences, and the poem is planned to be presented in October. 

The workshops presented by the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate include: 

Registration is required for the workshops and space is limited, so sign up today!

Imagination Celebration plans to host programs at the portal on weekdays throughout the month. 

Constitution Day 2023

Constitution Day on September 17 commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave people in 1787 and recognizes those who have become U.S. citizens through coming of age or naturalization. Celebrate this historic day with resources available at the Library!

  • We the People U.S. Pocket Constitutions 
    Celebrate the penning of the U.S. Constitution by picking up a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution from your local library beginning Wed., Sept 13, while supplies last.

Recommended Resources

Use your library card to check out books and eBooks exploring the Constitution and its history through different lenses.

Enjoy a selection of documentaries with your library card on Kanopy, including:

Take an in-depth look at the history of the U.S. Constitution with these web resources:

Hispanic Heritage month Graphic

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Fri., Sept. 15 - Sun., Oct. 15, recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. The Library offers several opportunities to learn and celebrate. Scroll down to explore resources celebrating Hispanic heritage.

Hispanic Heritage Month Recipe Cards

Learn about favorite foods and make recipes from some of the cultures celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month. Available at all locations starting Fri., Sept. 15.