What's New!

Homeschool Game Day

Homeschool families are invited to an indoor game day! Activities will vary. Come prepared to play! All ages are welcome! No registration is required.
When: Fri., March 8th, from 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Where: Library 21C | The Venue

Click here for more details

 

Call for art! It's time to get creative! 

Homeschoolers can submit one artwork (drawing, painting, sculpture, needlework, etc.) for this non-juried exhibit. Drop off your entry at the East Library Children's Department from Mon., March 18 – Thurs., March 2. 

Click here for more event details

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A boarder of geometric lines decorate the edges of a graphic made to look like a formal invitation. Text reads "Public Input Sessions."

All El Paso County residents are invited to attend one of four upcoming public input sessions to express your thoughts about how Pikes Peak Library District can better serve its community. As we plan for the future of the Library District, your feedback will help us identify ways we are succeeding and in what ways we can continue to grow. If you have used any of our libraries, resources, or services, or have ideas how the Library could help you and your family, join us to share your experiences and suggestions with us. Your input will help shape the future of the Library District.

Mark your calendar to attend the input session that fits your schedule best:

    Wed., Feb. 14 from 2 - 3 p.m.

    Western Museum of Mining & Industry

    225 North Gate Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80921

    Wed., Feb. 21 from 10 - 11 a.m.

    Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado

    2605 Preamble Pt, Colorado Springs, CO 80915

    Registration recommended.

Unable to attend? We still want to hear from you! Share your feedback by completing our online survey. If you took the survey in fall 2023, your feedback has already been received and you don’t need to take it again.

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Chuck Asay Workshop and Exhibit

Announcing an upcoming gallery exhibit at the Library! We are opening our galleries at Library 21c and East Library to the "The Names Change but Issues Stay the Same” exhibit showcasing work from award-winning political cartoonist Chuck Asay starting on Wed., March 6. Asay, who worked at the Taos News, the Colorado Springs Sun, and briefly for The Denver Post, was the featured political cartoonist for The Gazette for more than 20 years, from 1986 to 2007. He retired from The Gazette in March of 2007.

After his retirement, Asay’s art and commentary lived on in syndication for six more years, reaching audiences worldwide through hundreds of newspapers. In 2013 Asay put aside his pens, pencil, and paper after drawing a final cartoon in his lauded style announcing his full retirement in June of that year. 

Colorado Springs entrepreneur Jon Medved and the Medved Family Charitable Fund approached the Library about bringing Asay’s art to the Pikes Peak region. The exhibit highlights his work, applauds his talent, and fosters discussion about the artist’s commentary as a retrospective on the time nearly 40 years ago.

The exhibit will feature more than 30 of Asay’s cartoons through the end of March in the galleries at both Library 21c and East Library. It will be on display at Penrose Library later in 2024.

Stop by to browse the exhibit, and view much of Asay’s work online in our Digital Collections. Over the last few years, Pikes Peak Library District has worked with The Gazette to digitize more than 10,000 cartoons that Asay drew for the paper, archiving them in our digital photo archive housed by our Regional History & Genealogy department. 

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The sign of UCCS in black and white with text that reads "We stand with you."

On behalf of Pikes Peak Library District, we wish to send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends affected by the tragedy that took place this morning on the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs campus. It was senseless, dreadful, and heartbreaking. As we struggle to comprehend this news and the loss of members of our community, please remember that we stand with you.

Below are resources you can access for more information and support.

Websites

  • Colorado Crisis Services hotline: Call (844)493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 to speak with a trained counselor or professional. Counselors are also available at walk-in locations or online to chat between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m. Colorado Crisis Services is the statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering residents mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. Its mission is to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system by providing Coloradans with greater access to crisis services wherever they are at 24/7/365 regardless of ability to pay. They offer walk-in, text, and call-in services for people in crisis.
  • Colorado State Government Behavioral Health resources: Mental health resources from the Behavioral Health Administration of Colorado.
  • Colorado 211: A confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state. No matter where you live in Colorado, you can find information about resources in your local community.
  • Diversus Health: Offers a 24/7 walk-in crisis center for crisis services and counseling for all ages, regardless of ability to pay. You can request an appointment online or visit 115 S. Parkside Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.
  • Medicaid support services: Medicaid-insured members have access to behavioral health services or other supports, and we want them to get the care they need during this time. Call (719)598-1540 to contact them directly, or refer to care coordination via the online referral form.
  • Peak View Behavioral Health Assessment team: Individualized help for mental health treatment and other services. Visit them online or call (719)444-8484.

The Winter Adult Reading Program kicked off earlier this month, and the Library has many easy-to-use recommendation tools to help you accomplish your 30 days of reading and activities. Stop by your favorite Library location to browse our shelves and talk to our staff, or visit the Find a Good Book page on our website. Another great resource you can tap into is BookBrowse, brought to you by the Friends of PPLD.

BookBrowse offers a variety of ways to explore and discover new books based on your reading preferences and includes engaging content to take you beyond the book.  If you’re ready to find your next great read, the Read-Alikes page is a great place to start. Browse the weekly featured Read-Alikes on that page or search the database for your favorite books and authors. The database has recommendations for more than 4,500 contemporary books and 3,500 authors. If the book or author you search is in the database, you will find custom recommendations to other books with similar writing styles or themes. Many books include in-depth reviews as well.

Did we mention that each book includes a link to our catalog, making it easy to find and check out if we have it in our collection?

You don’t need to have a book in mind to find recommendations through this handy Library resource. Click on the Discover page to explore books by genre, theme, setting, or time period. Under the New page, browse lists of new and upcoming books, or cruise through first impression recommendations from other readers. You might also enjoy poking around in the Book Clubs page where you will find book club recommendations, reading guides, and even book club discussions you can join.

BookBrowse has a lot to offer even if you are not looking for book recommendations. Many books in the database have Beyond the Book materials such as articles to take you deeper into the book’s world or topics. Enjoy book discussions of featured books with other users on the Discussions page, or test your literary knowledge under Quizzes. There’s much to discover. Happy browsing!  

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Western Mining Museum Photo

As you arrive at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI), you can see right away that they have a strong commitment to preserving and interpreting the rich mining history of Colorado and the American West. Nestled on the far northern edge of Colorado Springs, WMMI features working machinery, a mining tunnel replica, and panning for gold on its 27-acre campus. The Library’s Pikes Peak Culture Pass Program helps you step back in time and experience how things were done more than a century ago with no-cost access passes to the museum that you can check out with your library card. 

History comes to life at the museum. Seeing fluorescent minerals or a working 19th century steam engine in person does a lot to really connect people with the history of our area. Learn how mining contributed to the local economy, explore the historic Reynolds Farmstead, and delve into the historic role this farm played in northern El Paso County. 

Every third Saturday of the month, WMMI hosts Family Fun Days that support science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Come out and say hello to Pikes Peak Library District during Family Fun Day on Sat., April 20 as we join them to celebrate the arts and sciences. Our Mobile Library Service will be there to explore STEAM with a fun craft you can make and take home.

Our Mobile Library Service has enjoyed partnering with the museum with regular stops at the Reynolds Ranch House. During these stops, we bring Storytime and Library services to the surrounding community. Families look forward to our mobile library visits to participate in Storytime or make a craft to commemorate their visit to the museum.

In February 2024, we are partnering with the museum to host one of our public input sessions as well. Our community is invited to join us at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry on Wed., Feb. 14 from 2 – 3 p.m. to share their Library experiences and discuss how our facilities can continue to meet the growing needs of our community. Join us and help shape the future of our libraries together.

Pikes Peak Library District is proud to partner with the Western Museum of Mining & Industry to continue to offer no-cost passes for patrons to experience the history of the American West through our Culture Pass program. The Western Museum of Mining & Industry is one of 12 Culture Pass partners that you can explore. Use your library card to check out a pass today!

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A selection of several top books from 2023 sit on a book display, including The Sun and the Star; Scythe; The Boys from Biloxi, Front Desk, and others.

The numbers are in, and our community made excellent use of the Library in 2023! From eLibrary use and program attendance, to the most checked out book titles of the year, we feel that this data reflects the vibrant communities we serve. We also had 27,489 people sign up for library cards last year.

As one exciting 2023 achievement, we reached 3 million digital checkouts on Libby and OverDrive. In September 2023, we announced on social media that we reached 2 million Libby/OverDrive checkouts about a month earlier than we had reached the same milestone in 2022. We thought this was the height of excitement until we joined 22 other libraries in surpassing 3 million. Our community made this possible by borrowing eMagazines, eBooks, and eAudiobooks through the Libby app and its parent website OverDrive.

People throughout El Paso County visited our libraries more than 1,878,247 times to check out 2,298,021 physical materials (and 3,096,369 digital materials, but you don’t have to visit for that), use computers 219,885 times, ask 96,218 reference questions, and fill meeting rooms 27,623 times. We saw more than 156,790 people attend our 6,533 program offerings, and 3,180 Pikes Peak Culture Pass checkouts allowed people to visit cultural attractions around the Pikes Peak region and Denver. We are excited to see how you use your Library in 2024!

Here are the top checkouts of 2023:

Top 10 Juvenile Checkouts

  1. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor (checked out 915 times)
  2. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling (checked out 801 times)
  3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (checked out 764 times)
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (checked out 735 times)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (checked out 715 times)
  6. Front Desk by Kelly Yang (checked out 711 times)
  7. City Spies by James Ponti (checked out 698 times)
  8. Rhinos at Recess by Mary Pope Osborne (checked out 607 times)
  9. A Long Walk to Water: A Novel by Linda Sue Park (checked out 584 times)
  10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (checked out 569 times)

Top 10 Teen Checkouts

  1. Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (checked out 425 times)
  2. Scythe by Neal Shusterman (checked out 398)
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (checked out 329 times)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (checked out 275 times)
  5. Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan (checked out 199 times)
  6. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (checked out 189 times)
  7. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (checked out 186 times)
  8. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (checked out 184 times)
  9. The Sun and the Star: A Nico di Angelo Adventure by Rick Riordan (checked out 176 times)
  10. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer (checked out 167 times)

Top 10 Adult Checkouts

  1. The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line by Mari K. Eder (our 2022 All Pikes Peak Reads title, checked out 1,088 times)
  2. Simply Lies by David Baldacci (checked out 954 times)
  3. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (checked out 953 times)
  4. Storm Watch by C.J. Box (checked out 901 times)
  5. Desert Star by Michael Connelly (checked out 829 times)
  6. The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham (checked out 821 times)
  7. Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (checked out 796 times)
  8. Fairy Tale: A Novel by Stephen King (checked out 729 times)
  9. Mad Honey: A Novel by Jodi Picoult (checked out 684 times)
  10. Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes (checked out 669 times)

Join Pikes Peak Library District in celebrating Black History Month! Black History Month is a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout history. This month-long observance is an opportunity to recognize the impact that Black Americans have made on our society. Browse this page to explore Library resources and links to other websites where you can explore this history in-depth. 

 


Virtual Author Visit

Join us for a Virtual Author Visit with award-winning author Jason Mott about his recent novel Hell of a Book on Tue., Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. This magnificent work of fiction is deeply honest, at times electrically funny, and is a book that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole. Register to get the link.


Virtual Genealogy Class: Researching African American Ancestors

Researching your African American ancestors can be a challenging, yet rewarding, process. In addition to research strategies, this class will cover how to use both traditional and unique resources to explore your family tree. Register for the access link.


Resources


Education Resources


Regional History & Genealogy Resources


Websites

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Who Gives A Scrap – A program by PPLD

In collaboration with Who Gives a SCRAP Creative Reuse Center, we are hosting an arts, crafts, and hobby material exchange! Bring in your new, clean/gently used, and unwanted craft materials and exchange them for "tickets" to exchange for new-to-you craft supplies!

Please refrain from bringing items that can be recycled (plastic food containers), bedding, and building waste. Check the Who Gives a Scrap Donation Guidelines for a full list of items that can and cannot be donated.

We will also have a fun up-cycling craft going on, so you can take your time and check for new inventory! No registration required. 

For more information about each event, check our events calendar

  • Sat., March 16 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Sand Creek Library – Calendar
  • Sat., April. 27 from 1 - 4 p.m. at High Prairie Library – Calendar
  • Sat., May 11 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Manitou Springs Library – Calendar
  • Sat., June 15 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Library 21c – Calendar
  • Sat., July 20 from 1 - 4 p.m. at East Library – Calendar
  • Sat., Aug. 31 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Rockrimmon Library – Calendar
  • Sat., Sep. 14 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Old Colorado City Library – Calendar
  • Sat., Oct. 19 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Monument Library – Calendar
  • Sat., Nov. 2 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Banning Lewis Ranch – Calendar

 

 

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The front of Penrose Library, with the Library District logo displayed on the side of the building.

Updates are coming to Penrose Library in early 2024. In a concerted effort to increase the safety and security of Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) patrons and staff, Library leadership has determined that a significant investment in the systems, structures/facilities, and resources in use at Penrose Library is paramount. Staff and community members have asked that the Library District address this location specifically, and leadership has listened to that feedback. After careful evaluation, the Library District determined the most efficient updates that are financially feasible for PPLD and that provide the biggest return on time and funds invested. 

Although Penrose Library will not need to be closed for the majority of the plan implementation (predicted to take most of 2024 to complete), the beginning stages of the plan do require closing the facility. Penrose Library will be closed for approximately two months starting Thu., Feb. 1 in order to complete this stage of updates. During the closure, bookshelves will be shortened and reconfigured to increase shelf space, brighten the area, and increase visibility and accessibility. This process requires removing all of the books, disassembling the shelving units, sending them out for modification, and then reassembling them in their new configuration before reshelving the books. Only this stage will require closing the building, as all other updates are expected to proceed while the building is open. Other elements of this project will require the closure of smaller sections of Penrose Library for shorter periods of time in the coming months. Here are the planned changes that will not require a building closure to complete:

  • Moving the lockers currently located along the wall near our Regional History & Genealogy department to the west entrance and installing another set of lockers at the east entrance for patrons to store belongings during their visit.
  • Installation of boulders in the outdoor areas around the windows of the Children’s section.
  • Interior stairwell fencing installed below the main and west stairwells.
  • A visually appealing steel fence (resembling the one around the Carnegie Garden next to Penrose Library) installed around the premises.
  • Creation of a permanent structure in the back parking lot in which people with large belongings may store their items short-term during their visit.
  • Remodel of the computer lab.
  • Replacing existing tables and chairs with more functional furniture.
  • Removal of outlets and installation of a charging station near the front entrance.
  • Repositioning staff desks to strategic locations throughout the building.
  • Sectioning off the Children’s area to make it its own distinct room.
  • Updating all security hardware throughout the building, including the installation of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant speakers.

PPLD is excited to update Penrose Library to improve safety and security for all patrons and staff. Penrose is a strong part of the downtown Colorado Springs area, and the Library is proud to continue to be a contributing part of this thriving community. Ensuring a safe and secure environment for all to access the Library’s resources and spaces has been and will continue to be at the foundation of Pikes Peak Library District. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Accessing Regional History & Genealogy

While Penrose Library is closed, limited Regional History & Genealogy resources will be available.

Virtual assistance

When needed, patrons can schedule a virtual meeting with Regional History & Genealogy staff for one-on-one help to address specific research needs.

Microfilm

While Penrose Library is closed, Microfilm may be requested from Regional History & Genealogy, in advance, to be sent and viewed at East Library. Patrons will need to give four-days’ notice before the film will be available to them. East Library staff will contact patrons when their film is ready to view. Patrons must view the film at East Library (items do not circulate outside of the library). Microfilm requests from Interlibrary Loan during this time will also be available from East Library.

Database Access

Certain PPLD databases that are only available at Penrose Library are currently available at other locations while Penrose Library is closed.

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Adult Winter Reading Program at the Pikes Peak Library District

Adventure Begins at your Library with the 2024 Winter Adult Reading Program!

Log 30 days of activities from Thu., Feb. 1 - Sun., March 31 to earn prizes! Activities such as attending Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) activities listed below and reading for 30 minutes or more a day. 

To register, sign up for Beanstack or stop by the Library to register in-person (curbside services available). When you register in-person or at curbside, you will receive a Winter Adult Reading Program tote bag (while supplies last). 
 

Click here to sign up for Beanstack.

Winter Adult Reading Program Game Card

You can also use the Beanstack app, available for Android and Iphone.


 

Winter Adult Reading Program Registration Kick-Off!

Join us as we kick off the 2024 Winter Adult Reading Program on Thu., Feb. 1. Register beginning on Feb. 1 and pick up a limited-edition registration tote bag while supplies last. Bags will be available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.  

Prizes

Log 30 days of activities from Feb. 1 – March 31 to earn the annual limited edition Winter Adult Reading Program mug, a certificate for a free piece of chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and an entry into the grand prize drawing. Activities include reading for 30 minutes or more a day, attending a PPLD program, or any of the activities listed below. You can complete the program through a combination of activities and reading.  

Handwashing is recommended for the mug to preserve the logo.  

Grand Prize Drawing.

Complete your challenge for an entry into the Grand Prize Drawing to receive one of five Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership Gift Cards! Take an adventure in Colorado Springs and explore over 170 Downtown shops, restaurants, salons, and venues where the Downtown Partnership Gift Card is accepted. Click here to see a list of participating locations.  

For every additional five days of reading or activities you log, you will receive one additional entry into the Grand Prize Drawing for a total of up to six additional entries. 

PPLD employees are not eligible for the grand prize.  


Programs

Adventure Begins at Your Library with one of the following fun and informational programs. Each program is being offered as a part of the Winter Adult Reading Program.

Birds of the Pikes Peak Region 

Join wildlife biologist and author Joe LaFleur for an audio-visual presentation about how to identify local raptors, hawks, and owls by sight and sound. After the presentation, Joe will have his books and DVDs available for purchase.  

The Great American Solar Eclipse in 2024 

This talk will discuss the historical and modern cultural context of the solar eclipse in society, what solar eclipses are, the basic science of why eclipses occur, and where to see one of these exciting celestial events. We will also demonstrate safe observing practices using common household objects. The Colorado Springs Astronomical Society  will have 100 solar eclipse viewers to hand out at the conclusion of this presentation. Weather permitting, we will also have solar telescopes set up to provide safe, amazing views of the Sun.  

The Astronomer's Guide to the Universe 

Join the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society for an introduction to astronomy and what we can see in the night sky.    

Preserving the Night Sky 

Join the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society to learn more about why the stars in the night sky seem to be disappearing. The cause of this phenomenon is also affecting both wildlife and human behavior. This talk presents the challenges of light pollution, what they're doing about it, and how the community can help.

The Search for Extraterrestrials: The Real-Life Search for Life Elsewhere in our Solar System 

Everywhere on Earth that we look, even in the most extreme environments, we find life. Join the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society for a talk that explores how we’re using our understanding of life on Earth to help us in our search for life on other worlds. We’ll also discuss the Drake Equation and Fermi’s Paradox and how they factor into the possibility of life out there.  

How Telescopes Changed our Understanding of the Universe 

Join the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society to learn how telescopes have helped us understand more about the mysteries of the universe.

DIY Book Nook

Every book is an adventure; make your bookshelf an invitation to adventure with this DIY Book Nook! Use materials and LED string lights to create a work of art to add to your personal bookshelves.

Handmade Adventure Journals

Make a fabric-covered journal to take on your next adventure. You will learn some basic sewing ideas too!


Activities

Need some suggestions for activities? We’re here to help! 


Reading Resources 

Pick up your copy of the winter 2024 issue of the Library’s District Discovery magazine to track your progress, read stories, and more!  


Have Questions? 

Check out our FAQ for more information on our Adult Winter Reading Program

 

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Fine Art Center

Across cultures and generations, the fine arts uniquely capture our imagination in unforgettable ways. The Library’s Pikes Peak Culture Pass program connects Library users with the arts with no-cost passes to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC). For over 100 years, the FAC has been a popular cultural attraction in the Pikes Peak region, offering world-class art, Broadway-worthy theater, and arts education for all ages and abilities. The FAC, as it’s fondly called, has partnered with PPLD to share arts and culture through Pikes Peak Culture Passes since the program first began in March 2020. 

Culture Pass holders can explore an array of permanent and travelling exhibits at the museum but there is so much more under the roof of this 132,286 square-foot facility. The Fine Arts Center is one of the only multi-discipline arts institutes in the nation, offering a museum, theatre, and art school all in one location. The FAC regularly hosts programs throughout the year such as artist talks, First Friday music and events, and annual cultural celebrations such as its Día de Muertos celebration. This spring, the Library is collaborating with the FAC on a local exhibition as well.

“We are excited to partner once again with PPLD this spring for our upcoming Clarence Shivers: Experimenting with Form museum exhibition,” said Kim Sweeney, membership manager at FAC. The exhibition will showcase work by local artist Clerence Shivers. This is a well-suited collaboration, as PPLD has a deep connection to the Shivers Family, hosting many concerts by jazz legend and philanthropist Peggy Shivers over the years. This exhibit opens on Fri., Feb. 2 and will feature over 30 works, paintings, prints, and sculptures that offer an expansive view of Clarence Shivers’ prolific career.

The FAC offers Museum Free days twice a month on the second Saturday and third Friday of each month. If you want no-cost entry on another day that they are open, check out a Culture Pass and enjoy your time exploring this cultural attraction. 

Pikes Peak Library District library cardholders have made great use of the Culture Pass program, checking out 3,192 no-cost passes in 2023 alone! The Fine Arts Center is one of 12 Culture Pass partners that you can explore. Use your library card to check out a pass today! 

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We have a story: Homeless in Colorado Springs

What does a region’s history look like through the lens of people who are often left out of a community’s archived history? Come find out with We Have a Story: Homelessness in Colorado Springs. This powerful documentary project showcases in a gallery the unique perspectives of three young adults experiencing homelessness and a caseworker who serves them through photography that captures this complex and diverse community. Join us at East Library for the reception of the gallery on Sat., Jan. 20 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

Over the course of one month in the Summer of 2023, participants took photos from their perspectives. They learned digital photography skills from a professional photographer and came together to critique and evaluate their photographs. They also met with a historian to conduct oral interviews capturing their experiences.

Each participant selected their four best photographs for the gallery, which will be on display at different PPLD locations each month. A written artist story accompanies each photo to delve more deeply into each individual’s perspectives.

The We Have a Story traveling exhibit will continue traveling in 2024, starting at East Library in January, Rockrimmon Library in February, and finishing at the Manitou Arts Center (MAC) in March. 

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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!

New Year New You Gif


Kick off your New Year’s resolutions with the Library! Whether you want to save more money, learn a new language, get fit, enjoy more family time, or any other resolution for a new you in 2024, PPLD has you covered. To help you stick to your resolution, download the PPLD habit tracker and year-long calendar. They will help you get started on your new habits and track your progress. Use your library card to access PPLD resources and meet your goals head on!


 

Save Money

Save Money

Your library card is your ticket to saving money throughout the year. Here are a few ways you can start saving today! 

  • Get your library card for access to no-cost services and resources
  • Ditch expensive subscriptions, stream TV shows and movies on Hoopla at no cost
  • Skip costly recording studio fees by using PPLD’s studios for video and audio production
  • Learn new skills at no cost by taking video courses on LinkedIn Learning 

Enjoy more Family Time

Enjoy More Family Time

Your family deserves to spend quality time together doing things everyone loves. Here are a few ways that the Library can support your bonding time!


 

Get Fit

Get Fit

Building new health and fitness habits can be tough at first, but you’re not alone. Here are a few ideas to help you get started on your fitness goals! 

  • Get in touch with your body during PPLD’s yoga classes at Library 21C, Rockrimmon Library, and online
  • Develop healthy eating habits with nutrition books
  • Get in shape with dance and fitness videos on Hoopla and Kanopy
  • Level up your workout with no-cost music streaming on Freegal 

Learn A New Language

Learn a New Language

¡Hola! Hallo! Bonjour! Learning a new language is a great way to prepare for a trip, connect with friends and family, or keep your mind sharp. Here are a few resources at the Library to support your learning this year!

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions involve this year, your Library is here to support your efforts. Learn more about what your library card can do for you! 

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2024 Tax Season Assistance Graphic

With taxes due on Mon. April 15, tax time is right around the corner. Save yourself a headache – don't wait until the last minute! PPLD has everything you need to file on time, including live tax preparation help (by appointment only) provided through our partners.


Tax Assistance at PPLD

Get help preparing and filing your 2023 tax returns with IRS-certified volunteers! We are partnering with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) to offer no-cost tax preparation services (geared towards low- to moderate-income taxpayers) on-site at Library locations. These services are by appointment only, and appointments can be made starting mid-January 2024, with the services beginning in February. Appointments are available at The Hall at PPLD, East Library, High Prairie Library, Calhan Library, Library 21c, and Fountain Library.

VITA services (for individuals who earned less than $60,000 in 2023) will be at: 

  • The Hall at PPLD
    • Every Fri. from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. starting Feb. 2 - April 12
  • East Library
    • Every Fri. from 2 - 5 p.m. starting Feb. 2 - April 12 
  • High Prairie Library
    • Sat., Feb. 24 from noon - 3 p.m. and Sat., March 30 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Calhan Library
    • Sat., March 16 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

To make an appointment with VITA services, please call Pikes Peak United Way by dialing 2-1-1 or (719) 955-0742.


AARP Foundation Tax-Aide (available to anyone, especially those 50 years and older or those who cannot afford paid tax preparation services) will be at: 

  • Library 21c 
    • Feb. 6 - April 11
    • Every Tue., and Thu. from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    • Every Wed. from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

To make an appointment with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide at Library 21c call (719) 235-6757. 
 

  • Fountain Library 
    • Every Wed. from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. starting Feb. 7 - April 10
    • Sat., Feb. 3 and Sat., Feb. 17 from noon - 5 p.m.
    • Sat., March 2 and Sat., March 16 from noon - 5 p.m.
    • Sat., April 6 from noon - 5 p.m. and Sat., April 13 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

To make an appointment with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide at Fountain Library call (719) 508-2629 or visit cotaxaide.org/appt/ and select “make an appointment” and sign in to view the schedule.
 

  • NEW LOCATION: Cheyenne Mountain
    • Thu., Feb 8, 22 and 29, 12:30 – 5 p.m.
    • Thu., March 14 and 28, 12:30 – 5 p.m.
    • April 11, 12:30 – 5 p.m.

Call (719) 244-2235 to make an appointment.


Tax Documents and Resources

Although Library staff are not able to give tax advice, our Tax Resources guide is here to help you file on time. Find federal, Colorado, and other state tax forms, tax assistance, FAQs for accessing your IRS account information, and other useful information. Please note that our libraries do not stock federal or state tax forms or booklets, but you can print your forms using Library computers. 

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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.


FAQs

  • 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
     

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 
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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!

Resources

  • 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


 


Websites


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. 


Programs



Dive into the many free online resources that PPLD offers homeschoolers, including a curated guide presenting basic homeschool information and local organizations, online homework help, curriculum-supporting databases, and the eLibrary. Discover an array of valuable resources appropriate for students in Pre-K - high school (and beyond).

 

Homeschooling: Where to Begin

Are you considering homeschooling your students? Have you decided to homeschool and need some tips for getting started? Join Theresa Klinitski, Homeschool Consultant, to find out about the basics and learn from a panel of current homeschool parents about different styles of homeschooling. In addition, find out about the numerous tools and resources PPLD has to offer.

 


Homeschool Curriculum Swap!


 

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Homeschool Book Blast Graphic

Homeschoolers, get ready to tell the world about your favorite book! Prepare a creative book report at home and present it informally to other families in a science fair-style format. What you create to represent your book is up to you. Build a diorama, design a game based on the plot and characters, or make a poster for the movie version. Or you might create a book in a bag project, make a clothes hanger mobile, or draw the story in a comic book format. The possibilities are endless! For homeschool students in grades K – 8. 

Register here to be a book presenter. Registration opens on Fri., Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. and closes on Thu., Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. Please make sure that each participating student registers separately.

If you aren’t ready to present a book report yourself, drop by to support other homeschoolers by browsing the projects and discover your next favorite book!

When: Fri., Dec. 8 from 1 - 2 p.m.
Where: East Library

Need ideas to help you get started? Take a look at our idea file

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All Pikes Peak Makes

Applications to share your makes at All Pikes Peak Makes are now open! Please use the form below to submit your idea. We can't wait to hear from you! 

When:  Sat., April 27, 2024 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Library 21c

A maker is someone who creates – to be innovative, to solve problems, to bring something beautiful into the world, or simply to have fun. They have an idea and they bring it to life. Making can encompass just about anything, from high tech to low tech to no tech, from art to fabrication to artistic fabrication, from needles to table saws to software.

Join us for this event as we spend the day celebrating ingenuity in the Pikes Peak Region – by tinkering, thinking, and, of course, making! Past experiences include:

  • Paper rockets
  • Lego builds
  • Local makerspaces
  • Cosplay
  • Whittling
  • Cardboard creations
  • 3D printing
  • And so much more

Want to share what you make?
The application for exhibitors is now open. 

Submit your application here

If you have any questions, please email us at APPM@ppld.org.

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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.


Eligibility

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” 

 

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picasso

Materials for this December Take and Make will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning December 8, 2023. For more pictures with instructions see pdf file link below.

Materials provided:
paper
Materials you provide: 
crayons or markers, scissors, glue, ruler, black marker

Pablo Picasso is a famous artist from the 20th century. He’s known for co-founding the Cubist movement. In Cubism, subjects and artists are broken up and rearranged in an abstract form. The name Cubism comes from the cubes and other geometric shapes contained in the artwork. Picasso combined different pieces of his subject to make things look very fragmented, often using geometric shapes. ‘A head’, said Picasso, ‘is a matter of eyes, nose, mouth, which can be distributed in any way you like’. He had different styles of Cubism during his life.
Directions:

Papers 1 & 2:
Draw a self-portrait using bright colors. Cut it up and glue it to another paper in an abstract way.
Paper 3:
Use the ruler to divide your paper in quarters – draw a vertical linein the center of your paper and also a horizontal line in the center.
Divide your paper into 4 quadrants again – this time drawing lines from corner to corner, both directions.
Using only straight lines, draw facial features.
Color with crayons or markers. Outline the features with a black marker.