What's New: General

The Penrose Playgroup welcomes newborns- 24 month olds and their parents or caregivers.
This time together includes books, songs, music, play time, and more!

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PowerPass

Knowledge is power. Unlock your potential!

All Colorado Springs School District 11 students have access to the PowerPass, giving students access to research and homework help, academic databases, college application and job search assistance, makerspaces, and more!


The PowerPass gives students access to PPLD’s digital resources, like databases, eBooks, and song and movie downloads, all available at ppld.org. Each PowerPass holder can also check out five physical items at a time from any of the 15 PPLD locations or mobile library services!


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.


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 Fast Facts:

  1. The student has an e-card (i.e. not a physical card)
  2. The student card # is the first five letters of their last name (fewer if the last name has less than five letters) followed by the initials of their first and middle names (if they have a middle name) and then the last four number of their student ID. Ex (John Jacob Jingleheimer student ID 12345678 – id would beJINGLJJ5678)
  3. Student PINs are the two-digit month and day of their birthdate (ex, 0731)
  4. Student cards have the profile of STUDENT
  5. Students are allowed to check out five items and have five holds at a time. However, Interlibrary Loans are not permitted on these accounts.
  6. Student accounts can access CyberShelf and Research resources as well as PCs in the libraries.
  7. Student accounts are blocked at $10 which prevents further checkouts of physical materials and use of OverDrive.
  8. Students can use the self-checkouts’ on-screen keyboard to enter their account IDs and PINs. The onscreen keyboard now displays letters and numbers.

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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Teal background with black lettering states Keep Calm and Love Math

Is math homework getting you down? Are finals freaking you out? Do you need to brush up before the ACT, SAT, GRE, or GED?

Our in-person math tutoring service is suspended at this time. Until we are back, please use our resource guide for Homework Help. There you will find, BrainFuse HelpNow. This is free, live, online math tutoring by experts. They are available from 2-11 p.m. everyday.

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Struggling with your laptop, tablet, or smartphone? Bring your device and a staff member can assist you in troubleshooting the device! Please remember to bring your device!

  • When: 2nd and 4th Tue. of each month from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.

Click here to find a Help Lab and to register.

You must register for one of the five slots available. Program may be cancelled if there are no registrations.

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Questions about using the Internet, email, social networks, a Smartphone, tablet, eBooks, or something else? Get help at Pikes Peak Library District and learn to use technology more effectively. Bring your laptop or device or use one of of ours. This is intended for patrons wanting help beyond PPLD computer classes.

Drop-in Help

1-on-1 Help

Contact location to register for 1-on-1 assistance!

  • East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd.
    3rd Wed., 2 - 4 p.m.
  • Call: (719) 531-6333

For information on computer resources at your library, please visit https://ppld.org/computers

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PPLD.org has received a facelift! Don't be nervous – all the content you know and love is still the same. We’ve made some minor updates to the homepage and header, and refreshed the colors. Take a look and familiarize yourself with the changes. We’ll be going live with the new version soon!

Here is a list of what has changed:

  1. Colors used on the website now follow the PPLD brand.
  2. Our homepage message is now at the top of the page. It will only be active if there is a message to report.
  3. Catalog and My Account links are now on the right side of the header.
  4. The main menu is now below the header.
  5. The search bar is now in the center of the page.
  6. The quicklinks have been removed.
  7. Hours/Locations and Library Locator are now below the slideshow.
  8. The Give and Make buttons are now called Donate and Create.
  9. The Research link has been removed. You can still access Research from the main menu.
  10. Teens, Seniors and Homeschool Hub have all been updated to reflect the new site format.

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Colorado Peak Help

Spend an hour with the El Paso County Department of Human Services learning the new Colorado PEAK online benefits application process. This is a classroom-style opportunity to learn about how to create an account, navigate the site, and finalize an application for benefits.

Sat., July 20, from 10 - 11 a.m. Sand Creek Library, 1821 South Academy Blvd.

Mon., July 22, from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Sand Creek Library, 1821 South Academy Blvd.

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When Shauna Gerritsen was handed a breast cancer diagnosis, she took a look at her life and decided there were still some things she wanted to do.

Breast cancer was going to have to get out of her way.

“When I came in to meet with PPLD [Pikes Peak Library District] about a Career Online High School scholarship, I still had drain tubes and bandages from my surgery,” Gerritsen said. “When they asked me why I wanted the scholarship, I showed them my drain tubes and told them I was going to show my kids that, no matter what you’re going through in life, it’s about finishing the goals you set.”

Gerritsen is a driven individual with a laser focus on realizing her aspirations. After her diagnosis, she created a list of ambitions, and one of them was to receive her high school diploma.

The reason she couldn’t graduate the first time around? Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was very much against having hospice come in for my mom, because I always felt like once hospice comes in, that’s the end,” Gerritsen said. “I switched from a traditional school to homeschooling and got so wrapped up in taking care of my mom. Before I knew it, my senior year was there, and I didn’t have enough credits to graduate.”

This time around was going to be different. Gerritsen was determined to make it so.

“I realized now I’m in my mom’s shoes in my journey, and I had to do this to show my daughter that it can be done.”
In February of 2018, Gerritsen underwent her first surgery. What should have taken just one procedure turned into five because of an infection. Regardless, she began her first prerequisites for COHS in April, just two months later, and was admitted to PPLD’s COHS program on May 8, 2018.

COHS is a program that allows participants to earn an accredited high school diploma, an alternative to taking the GED. PPLD provides the program, which costs about $2,000 per student, at no charge to participants like Gerritsen who qualify for scholarships from the PPLD Foundation. The stipulations to receive a scholarship include completing the program in eighteen months.

As Gerritsen underwent multiple surgeries at the beginning of her COHS journey, the coursework timeline became even more difficult: she found out her family was moving nearly 600 miles away.

“Through all of this, through all of my surgeries, school, everything, my husband came down on orders.”

Gerritsen’s husband was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colo., and got reassigned to Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla. The family had to sell their home and move just a month after Gerritsen’s final surgery.

“His date got pushed back, because I ended up having surgery in June, and the doctor wouldn’t release me to travel with drain tubes.”

So, among all of the family’s challenges, they relocated in July of 2018. Nevertheless, Gerritsen pushed on.

“My husband watched me cry through nights of not feeling good, but knowing I had classes to do,” Gerritsen said. “But I had to finish it, because I set goals. I gave myself exactly one year to graduate.”

And, of course, Gerritsen beat her goal.

She finished her COHS courses on May 1, 2019. She finished her eighteen months of coursework in less than a year. And, she’s in remission. Her body is clear of cancer.

Her husband was so proud of her accomplishment that he insisted the family attend Shauna’s graduation at Library 21c. Though both of them had to work the next day, the Gerritsens—Shauna, her husband, and their two children ages 7 and 4—drove through the night for PPLD’s Celebrate Literacy graduation ceremony on May 30, 2019.

“He told me that I couldn’t miss this, that I worked so hard for it, and that if we had to drive all day and night, we would be here for it,” Gerritsen said.

Gerritsen’s family sat proudly in the audience, snapping photos and loudly cheering, as she walked across the stage to receive her high school diploma. Just a few hours later, they’d head back out on the road to their new life in Oklahoma.
Now that she’s received her diploma, Gerritsen is determined to pursue her master’s degree and become a physician’s assistant. Pity the fool that dares to get in her way.

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All Pikes Peak Reads 2019

Stay tuned for the 2020 selections and theme! To get caught up, check out last year's selections:

All Pikes Peak Reads is Pikes Peak Library District's annual program geared towards improving literacy and fostering dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines. Each year, we select APPR titles that focus on a variety of timely topics and coincide with our planned community-wide programming. In 2019, our titles explored themes of crossings, peace, multiculturalism, identity, friendship, and memory.


Our selected adult title for 2019 was TransAtlantic by Colum McCann.
TransAtlantic
Summary: A tale spanning 150 years and two continents re-imagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass, Senator George Mitchell and World War I airmen John Alcock and Teddy Brown through the experiences of four generations of women from a matriarchal clan.

About the author: Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts. His work has been published in over 40 languages. He is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their three children.


We also selected a book of poetry, Citizen Illegal by Jose Olivarez.
Citizen Illegal
Summary: Citizen Illegal is right on time, bringing both empathy and searing critique to the fore as a nation debates the very humanity of the people who built it." —Eve Ewing, author of Electric ArchesIn this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers like Sandra Cisneros and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in.

About the author: José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is co-editing the forthcoming anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods and a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, & the Conversation Literary Festival. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association and named a Debut Poet of 2018 by Poets & Writers.


Our young adult and children’s title for 2019 was Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh.
Nowhere Boy
Summary: Fourteen-year-old Ahmed, a Syrian refugee, and thirteen-year-old Max, an American boy, are bound by a secret that sets them on the adventure of a lifetime.

About the author: Katherine Marsh is an author of books for children and young adults including Nowhere Boy, which is being published in over a dozen languages; The Night Tourist, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery; Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, a New York Times Notable; and The Door By The Staircase, a Junior Library Guild selection. A former journalist and managing editor of The New Republic, Katherine spent three years in Brussels, Belgium with her family and flock of chickens. She now lives in Washington, DC with her husband, two children, two cats and three chickens.


Every fall we will present a variety of programs to the community including author visits, film screenings, community discussions and panel presentations, theater productions, workshops, music programs, and more. We will be undertaking many of these with our community partners.

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Maker in Residence: Mixed Media Collage Art with Roxanne Lingle

Roxanne Lingle, The Maker in Residence for September/October 2019, is a mixed media artist and teacher. She has been teaching for many years and loves to inspire her students and see them “come alive” when they realize they can do something they never thought possible. She loves mixed media art and all its variety of color, texture, and amazing avenues for creativity. Roxanne has taught many types of mixed media classes in the Pikes Peak region as well as across the United States.

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

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Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest for Children:

Colin Bevan - "Bahamas"
Mayah Bolenbaugh - "The Essence of Warmth"
Eva Goroski - "Bioluminescent Beach at Night"
Brody Karr - "Papayalulu Paradise"
Sally Peterson - "The Mystical Land"
Jana Yuschalk - "Darkling Dwabidisador"


Bahamas
By Colin Bevan

Fisherman rip tonight’s dinner from the ocean
Bloody hands filet the dead fish
Smells of fresh fish turns my head
Salt fills the air rusting old boats
Charcoal beach fires cook todays catch
Warm water surrounds my feet
Small birds run from the waves
Boats dot the horizon for miles
Paradise, I hope I never leave


The Essence of Warmth
By Mayah Bolenbaugh

Firewood receives the spark
Steam rises from the bread, fresh from the oven
Soft snuggle from a purring kitten
Sip a large mug of cider under a changing tree in the fall
Enter a cabin to kick off winter’s freeze
Submerge in hot springs as the snowflakes dance
Comfort and serenity, as the shower pours through your hair
Earth is nourished by the elements
Now the sand takes in the sun
The day’s last hour bathed in dark orange sunshine on a summer’s day


Bioluminescent Beach at Night
By Eva Goroski

Twilight creeps up the coast
Waiting for the moon to come with a gleam
Shells adorn the beach like jewels
Stars twinkle and glimmer like diamonds
Tide pools shine with a radiant beam
The ocean has an eerie glow
Bioluminescent dinoflagellates show off in a chain of lights


Papayalulu Paradise
By Brody Karr

I dream of a land called Papayalulu
It’s a tasty paradise for me and you-you
It’s hard to get to - this is true-true
First you must make a papaya canoe-noe
Row your canoe-noe to the end of the sea
And soon Papayalulu you will see

As papaya trees sway in the papayamint breeze
You can paddle down to the Papaya Juice River with ease
You can even lean over and take a sip
But better take care - your canoe-noe might tip
Look out! What’s that I hear?
It’s Papaya Juice Falls - better stay clear!

Safe at last upon the shore
What’s that sound I cant ignore?
It’s the singing papaya birds high in the trees
A song so sweet my ears it does please
I think I’ll stay a while in this land
Papayalulu is oh so grand!


The Mystical Land
By Sally Peterson

I know a place, not far away
It glistens and it gleams.
I go there every time I sleep
It’s called the “Land of Dreams.”

So when I sleep I don’t count sheep
Or toss and turn in vain.
I just fly to the “Land of Dreams”
In my one-man twinbed plane.

Each night I fly right out the door
And pass the moon and sun.
I’m going to the “Land of Dreams”
To have some dream like fun.

And when I land on snow white sand
A lovely sight I see.
A wondrous civilization is
Stretched out in front of me.

A mountain looms above you
If you look to the west.
On the east there is a river
And a town where you can rest.

There are bubbles in the air
That are floating in the breeze.
You can smell the scent of honey,
And hear the rustling trees.

Then my views were interrupted
By a woman clad in white.
She was the noble Queen
Of this land of truth and right.

“Welcome” she said. “Welcome
Won’t you come to my estate”
And she pointed to a castle
With a shiny marble gate.

“Of course” I said, “how gracious,
How could I refuse?”
We started towards the castle
And she told me all the news.

We walked into the town
Where the buildings stand so tall.
Everything is vibrant
From the big to really small.

The people there wear brilliant robes
Of many different hues.
There are feathers on their hats
And feathers on their shoes.

Aromas that are new
Are wafting towards my face.
I wonder what the food is like
In this amazing place.

We came to a kiosk
Where a man was selling food.
The food was shaped like balls
Some were red and some were blue.

They tasted sweet and juicy,
And suddenly I knew!
They were little berries,
And in the fields they grew.

A woman selling flowers
Gave me a bouquet.
It smelled just like sweet roses
In my wildflower spray.

The red flowers were the largest.
The blue flowers were large, too.
The yellow flowers were tiny.
My favorites were the blue.

We entered a cute clothes shop
Filled with rows of silk,
They were soft and they were comfy,
And smooth and cool like milk.

I chose a robe with red, blue, and yellow
For they would match my blooms.
I got nice shoes and a fine new hat
With fluffy little plumes.

Next we went to a pet shop
And saw a little dog.
He was not like mine at all, though.
My dog is brown like a log.

But this dog had new colors.
This dog was so bright!
So were all the other dogs.
It was a crazy sight!

I thought the cats were normal
Until I heard them speak.
They spoke such perfect English
I fought the urge to shriek!

A bird screeched in the background
And I turned in surprise.
The bird that was behind me
Had creepy human eyes.

The castle was our last stop
And it was getting late.
I was getting pretty tired
When I walked up to the gate.

The gates were swiftly opened.
We ran to a bench and sat.
It was nice to calmly sit there
And hear the robins chat.

Said the Queen “Oh heaven help us.
The feasts about to start”
We raced inside the castle
And I couldn't calm my heart.

I changed my clothes and entered
The room of the great feast.
There were many fruits and veggies
And for meat they had roast beast.

Many fancy people
Were invited here to dine.
Some were very famous.
All were very fine.

They all told me hello
Then sat and ate and ate.
I listened to their stories
As I cleaned off my plate.

A toast was to be done.
I lifted my cup.
Then “beep” went my alarm clock
And quickly I woke up.


Darkling Dwabidisador
By Jana Yuschalk

To bed I went on that ordinary night,
Not knowing in the morning what I may fight.
I woke up on a pile of hay,
Wondering what would fill my day.
Surprised and frightened, I immediately felt.
Suddenly, I wished I could just melt.
It seemed so sunny without any rain.
Smells of sweat hovered over the plain,
From jumping creatures who seemed insane.
The so-called “Dwabis” had a mane.
No animals were there.
Not even a bear.
I was informed, this was Dwabidisador.
Wow, I really need to study by geography more!
The Dwabi’s legs were awfully long.
They jumped then fell, I am not wrong.
The sound of jumping pounded the ground.
Their favorite hobby was jumping. That I found.
The language they spoke was also Dwabidisador.
At least I don’t need to study my languages much more!
“Dwabi fell down,” they said over and over again.
“English without pronouns,” I thought. Until then,
A young Dwabi who was probably only four,
Came up and said, “Why don’t you enter that door.”
I did as he commanded only to find,
A Dwabi whose name was Filabind.
He bought me a cupcake with sprinkles on top,
The smell was so sweet I thought I would pop!
All that was better than the taste, was the smell.
It looked and smelled like sweet caramel.
The taste was Dwabilicious.
Red velvet without mush.
After I finished my delectable cupcake,
I was sure Dwabidisador wasn't fake.
Then we departed and walked a long ways.
We entered a place called “Dwabi’s Good Maze”.
Since Filabind was my guide, he led me through,
A portal that said, “How do you do?”
Filled with wonder and awe, I heard a loud, “MOO!”
Before I knew it, I was back home on our farm.
Lying in my bed was my noisy alarm,
Trying to wake me up from my-dream?
What it was, it filled me with gleam!

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Pikes Peak Library District sparks development, opportunity, and inspiration for everyone across El Paso County. Whether you've got a young one who's learning to read, or you're a lifelong learner looking for a new skill, the library has something for you.

We are excited to share stories of how the Library positively impacts the lives of our patrons.

To tell your story, click here to take our short survey or use the hashtag #shareyourspark on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

INSPIRATION

PPLD sparks inspiration. In this video, hear Price Strobidge's story about how the library helped him become Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak Region.

OPPORTUNITY

PPLD sparks your opportunity. In this video, hear Allan's story about how the Library helped him improve his English language skills and provide him with GED test preparation. Read more about Allan's personal growth and development through the Library in this article from The Gazette.

DEVELOPMENT

PPLD sparks your development. In this video, learn about how our children's areas are free, safe places that encourage development and growth.

Stay tuned to learn how PPLD can spark your opportunity and your inspiration.

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Shirley Dale, PPLD's Maker in Residence for March/April 2019, has been creating in one way or another since childhood, applying this creativity in many different endeavors and careers. The joy of creating and the belief that everyone has the ability to create art have been constants throughout her life. Shirley has worked with many different mediums as a teacher and artist, always finding exciting, creative possibilities with whatever art materials are at hand. She is currently working with acrylics for monotype prints as finished pieces, and also for use in mixed media collage pieces.

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

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Community Conversations: Urban Renewal: Impact on Stratton Meadows and Ivywild Neighborhoods

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.

The City of Colorado Springs has cancelled the Wed., March 18 Community Conversation on Urban Renewal. For more information on this cancellation, click here.


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!
  • April: Fountain Creek Watershed
    • When: Thu., April 16, 6 - 8 p.m.
    • Where: Fountain Library
    • Please join us for a community conversation on the Fountain Creek Watershed. We will host a panel discussion with experts on local water issues and initiatives followed by community dialogue regarding the Fountain Creek watershed.
  • June: Economic Development
  • July: Affordable Housing
  • August: Immigration
  • September: 2020 Election: Concerns and Aspirations
  • October: Police Relations
  • November: Military and Veterans
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Have you heard about auto-renewals? Beginning Mon., Feb. 11, 2019, PPLD will save you the step of renewing your checkouts.

The day before items are due, the library’s system will automatically renew them if there are no holds and they haven’t already been renewed twice.

There are some exceptions to the materials that can be automatically renewed, including:

  • Rapid Read, Rapid View
  • eBooks, eAudios
  • Equipment
  • Interlibrary Loans

Patrons will receive an email notice letting them know what, if anything, was renewed as well as the new due date.

Comments: 10

Overdue books? Fear not. Pikes Peak Library District will no longer charge you for being a little bit late on your returns.

The library will officially eliminate overdue fines Fri., Feb. 1, just in time for a county-wide celebration of Library Lover’s Month. Patrons will no longer be financially penalized for books that are late in returning to the library.

“Our mission as an organization is to eliminate barriers to information and resources, not create them,” said Director of Library Services Tim Blevins. “We had a trial run of eliminating overdue fines and didn’t see longer hold times for patrons, but did see a positive impact on borrowing. It makes perfect sense for us to permanently eliminate these fines.”

Fines, Blevins says, are particularly prohibitive for the community’s most vulnerable families. Plus, overdue fines accounted for less than one percent of the library’s overall revenue in 2017.

There will still be fees assessed for lost or damaged materials. Materials are considered lost if they are 21 days overdue.

Additionally, Pikes Peak Library District will roll out automatic renewals later on in Library Lover’s Month. The day before books are due, the library’s system will automatically renew them up to two times, so long as no other patron placed a hold on the material.

There are some exceptions to the materials that can be automatically renewed, like rapid reads, e-materials, and equipment checkouts.

“What we’ve seen here, and in library facilities across the country, is that by taking these steps to increase ease of access to materials, use of library resources and checkouts is positively impacted,” Blevins said. “We’re here to help people access the resources they need to achieve their goals. This is just one more way for us to do a better job of achieving that mission.”

Comments: 3

We want to celebrate your successes! Pikes Peak Library District is looking for stories about how our resources and staff have helped enrich minds, fuel learning and growth, spark imagination and ideas, build community and connections, and/or achieve goals.

To tell your story, click here and take our short survey.

Comments: 9

For the 27th year in a row, Pikes Peak Library District is being recognized for excellent financial transparency.

The Government Finance Officers Association awarded Pikes Peak Library District the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting this month, the association’s highest award.

“The attainment of this award represents significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” the Government Finance Officers Association said in a press release. “This is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.”

Each year, the association judges government organizations through an impartial panel. According to the association’s website, the program was designed to motivate government agencies to “go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles,” with the goal of encouraging financial transparency by those agencies.

Earning this award illustrates an organization’s commitment to good stewardship of public dollars.

“This award is one of the highest honors a government organization can hope to achieve,” said Pikes Peak Library District Chief Financial Officer Michael Varnet. “To receive an award of this caliber so many years in a row is a testament not only to the finance team, but to the Library District as a whole. The group of people I work with each day truly has dedication to transparency and honorable financial reporting, and I am very proud to be part of such a team.”

Comments: 1
Kathleen Owings

The president of the Pikes Peak Library District Board of Trustees attended her last board meeting after ten years of service to the library.

Kathleen Owings will retire from the board as of Dec. 31, 2018. Owings first joined the board on Jan. 1, 2009, and was board president from 2012-2014 and in 2018.

Her fellow board members, library employees, and library leaders alike reminisced fondly on Owings’ contributions to the Library District and the community during her final board meeting on Dec. 11, 2018.

“While we are saddened to see Kathleen go, we feel very fortunate to have benefited from her leadership over the last ten years,” said PPLD Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears. “Her direction over the last decade has carried the library forward in such a positive way. Kathleen has put us on a path that will help us best serve all of our patrons across El Paso County for years to come.”

Owings is a Principal and Financial Advisor with Westbilt Financial Group. She is also a current and past member of several boards throughout the Pikes Peak Region, including the Children’s Literacy Center, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, and the local chapter of the West Point Alumni Association.

The new president of the PPLD Board of Trustees, Wayne Vanderschuere, will take over the role on Jan. 1, 2019. Terms on the board are five years, and board leadership changes annually.

Comments: 4
Linda Riley

PPLD Maker in Residence for January/February 2019, Linda Riley learned to knit when she was a young girl, taught by her granny when growing up the Chicago suburbs. She continually grew her skills and eventually began creating her own unique patterns. Her original designs have been published in both print and online outlets. Her project portfolio ranges from simple items such as hats and scarfs all the way to full size afghans and cable knit sweaters. Mittens are her favorite item to knit!

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

Comments: 2

Alyssa Rail is one of two Pikes Peak Library District interns through the Inclusive Internship Initiative, a program run by the Public Library Association (PLA) whose goal it is to introduce high school juniors and seniors of diverse backgrounds to librarianship. This year, the internships were funded by donations to the Pikes Peak Library District Foundations. For Alyssa, this was an opportunity to spend more time in one of her favorite places and have an impact on her community.

“I love how the library has always been a second home to me. It's welcoming and even if you're just picking up a hold and leaving, you still can enjoy your time there. I love that I could stay for hours and always find something to do.

"Getting to host my LGBT roundtable in August was the best thing I think I've ever done with my life. Getting to help my community like that was awesome. I've loved being able to teach people about the library, and getting to connect with teenagers from all across the country was incredible (PLA). I learned a lot about myself this summer, and I believe I'm a better person because of it!”

During her internship, Alyssa discovered just how important libraries are to everyone.

“Libraries are integral to a community. They're a place of learning and safety. From basic computer questions to books to the resources for those in need, there really isn't anywhere else like the library. (Plus, the first time I saw the yellow sign saying "safe space" I almost cried. Being the queer teenager I am, I really appreciate it.)”

How can you impact the lives of people like Alyssa?

Give: Make a donation! Big or small - every contribution helps our community.
Share: Share your library experiences with friends and family. Post your story on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, send an email, or share the link above any way you like!
Participate: You can be a part of Pikes Peak Library District and our community by participating in library programs and events!

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Ana Bojorquez was beginning to think she would never earn a high school diploma, no matter what she did. She bought preparation books, enrolled in classes and more, but nothing panned out.

“I’ve been trying to get my diploma for years, ever since I was forced to leave high school,” Bojorquez said. “I was trying everything to do it on my own.”

But then Bojorquez noticed an advertisement for a free program through Pikes Peak Library District that helps participants earn accredited high school diplomas online.

“The fact that it was free, that it was online, those were a big deal for me,” she said. “The GED class schedules just didn’t work for me.”

Bojorquez was brought to the United States from El Salvador as a very small child, and adopted. Her adoptive mother, for reasons unknown, changed Bojorquez’s age on a lot of her documents and in the school system.
“They weren’t a very good family, so I ended up back in the foster system,” Bojorquez said.

After being placed in foster care and re-enrolled into the school system, the school district made a startling discovery.

“The school saw my birth certificate, and they said, ‘Why are you in the 9th grade when you are 17 years old?’”
The district took her out of high school, even though she begged to stay. Bojorquez was enrolled in a GED class at a community college instead.

At the same time, her social workers knew that her eighteenth birthday was approaching; Bojorquez would no longer be eligible for support from the foster care system and needed a job to survive.

“They did provide me with transitional housing at the time, but I had no food, so I had to work. I just did not have time to finish high school.”

After experiencing success as a realtor’s assistant, the thought of a high school diploma faded from her mind until she met her future husband who was determined to support her in achieving her dreams. He finally convinced her to focus on studying full-time for a diploma.

“For a long time, I said no when he told me to leave my job,” Bojorquez said. “I was so used to taking care of myself. Finally I gave into it, and I quit my job. Within a week of me finally deciding to leave my job, he got fired.”

The couple relocated from California to Colorado Springs in search of work, had children, and once again her hopes for a diploma were dashed.

That’s when she saw the advertisement on PPLD’s website for Career Online High School. For Bojorquez, who does custodial work for her church and volunteers at the school her two boys attend, an online program without a huge financial burden was an enticing option.

She applied in March of 2017 and received her scholarship soon after. She then began to work tirelessly toward the goal she had for more than a decade. Less than two years later, Bojorquez celebrated a huge educational milestone. She completed the Career Online High School program and was the proud recipient of an accredited high school diploma at a graduation celebrated on Oct. 10 at East Library in Colorado Springs.

“I am very grateful to the Pikes Peak Library District. I wouldn’t have graduated high school, something I’ve wanted to do for years now, without the library’s help.”

How can you impact the lives of people like Ana?

Give: Make a donation! Big or small - every contribution helps our community. Make your gift today.

Share: Share your library experiences with friends and family. Post your story on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, send an email, or share the links above any way you like!

Participate: You can be a part of Pikes Peak Library District and our community by participating in library programs and events!

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Andi Sperry

Andi Sperry has been a Cheyenne Mountain Library patron for so long that it has become one of her favorite places to spend time with her husband. In her own words, Sperry tells us the library’s impact on her life.

“I participated in the 2018 Winter Adult Reading Program because I love reading and enjoyed the incentives; chocolate, popcorn, and a beautiful coffee mug commemorating the event. My husband and I have also taken several classes for card making, guitar lessons, pasta making, herb and succulent gardening. We enjoy doing these programs because it’s fun to spend quality time together while creating something beautiful!

"Besides the wonderful programs, resources, and patron experiences we’ve received, the library has inspired me to pursue a career in Library Science!”

Sperry hopes to have the same impact on others that the library has had on her. She truly believes that libraries are what help communities grow.

“It is important to support libraries because they are the glue that holds our community together. They offer an evolving environment that celebrates diversity and learning through programs designed for all ages and abilities. Libraries provide resources that may otherwise be inaccessible to patrons and they inspire people, like me, to pursue their lifelong dreams.”

How can you impact the lives of people like Andi and have a hand in the next generation of librarians?

Give: Make a donation! Big or small - every contribution helps our community. There are various ways you can make your gift.

  • Donate Now – click here to make your contribution today!
  • #GivingTuesday – schedule your gift for November 27, #GivingTuesday, click on the link and hit save to put it on your calendar.
  • Colorado Gives Day – Click on the link to schedule your gift for Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, December 4.

Share: Share your library experiences with friends and family. Post your story on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, send an email, or share the links above any way you like!

Participate: You can be a part of Pikes Peak Library District and our community by participating in library programs and events!

Comments: 1
Beau Buren

Beau Buren, a Career Online High School graduate hopes his new diploma will help him excel at a higher level in his career. Buren, a Colorado Springs native, finished the program in less than eight months. He set aside time after almost every full day of work and completed nearly six hours of coursework per day on the weekends.

“I feel good about finishing,” Buren said. “I’m really proud of how hard I worked at this.”

Buren has his sights set on college now that he has received his diploma. Buren is hoping to bask in the glow of his achievement until the end of the year, then reassess his goals and consider going back to school for a business management degree.

“The library was definitely there to help me,” Buren said. “Lacey (PPLD Instructional Designer) was really great. I really appreciated the tuition help, too, because otherwise, I may not have been able to do the program at all.”

How can you impact the lives of people like Beau?

Give: Make a donation! Big or small - every contribution helps our community. There are various ways you can make your gift.

  • Donate Now – click here to make your contribution today!
  • #GivingTuesday – schedule your gift for November 27, #GivingTuesday, click on the link and hit save to put it on your calendar.
  • Colorado Gives Day – Click on the link to schedule your gift for Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, December 4.

Share: Share your library experiences with friends and family. Post your story on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, send an email, or share the links above any way you like!

Participate: You can be a part of Pikes Peak Library District and our community by participating in library programs and events!

Comments: 0

Laurie Frydendall and her family have turned trips to the library into a tradition. Her daughters have grown up at the library and are learning the many ways that libraries can help you in life.

“We started attending library programming when my girls were toddlers and we would come to Storytime each week. It was important to me to instill a love of learning at a very early age and the library was just the place to do that! It was a rite of passage at our house to receive your very own library card when you turned five. As the girls got older we participated in the summer reading program. We have also attended many other special programs offered to kids and families.”

It’s not just with her family that the library makes a difference for Laurie, it’s in her job as well.

“In addition to using the library for unlimited access to personal reading, my family finds that the library helps us in many other ways. I use it as a resource for my work, not only do my teens use the library for research but they also learn HOW to research…”

The opportunities Laurie has found at the library have inspired her to see the library as more than just a place for books.

“The library helps to create and support our community at large. It is an invaluable resource that offers knowledge, technology, and creativity to everyone regardless of age, income level, or background.”

How can you impact the lives of people like Laurie?

Give: Make a donation! Big or small - every contribution helps our community. There are various ways you can make your gift.

  • Donate Now – click here to make your contribution today!
  • #GivingTuesday – schedule your gift for November 27, #GivingTuesday, click on the link and hit save to put it on your calendar.
  • Colorado Gives Day – Click on the link to schedule your gift for Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, December 4.

Share: Share your library experiences with friends and family. Post your story on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, send an email, or share the links above any way you like!
Participate: You can be a part of Pikes Peak Library District and our community by participating in library programs and events!

Comments: 0

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