Books unite us. Censorship divides us. Books contain the thoughts and experiences of people from a wide range of different backgrounds. They offer us windows into lives and lived experiences that are the same as or different from our own and allow us to gain new perspectives. Celebrate your freedom to read without censorship during Banned Books Week from Oct. 1 – 7.
Activities and resources
- Banned Books Week Bookmark Take and Make
Make up to seven bookmarks featuring your favorite banned books with this take-home craft kit. Pick one up at your favorite PPLD location.
- Banned Books Scavenger Hunt for Tweens (passive activity)
Celebrate your freedom to read by learning more about banned books. Match the titles of banned books to the reason why they were banned. All books can be found in the children's area. For ages 9 - 12. Find this passive program at Calhan, Cheyenne Mountain, East, Manitou Springs, Monument, Old Colorado City, Rockrimmon, Ruth Holley, and Ute Pass libraries, as well as Library 21c and the Bookmobile.
- Banned Topics Bookmark
In honor of the Right to Read, during Banned Books Week you can pick up a location guide of where to find topics of the books being banned across our nation. Celebrate intellectual freedom by finding any book you want to read!
- Child and Young Adult Reading List
Discover children’s books that have been on The Top 10 Most Challenged lists from the American Library Association.
- American Library Association
Learn about censorship, including lists of the top 10 most challenged books by year, information on reporting censorship, and censorship numbers. You will also find fun activities like coloring sheets and graphics you can share. Check out their Freedom to Read Statement as well.
- Books Unbanned: Seattle Public Library
In response to recent increases in book challenges and bans, the Seattle Public Library started Books Unbanned. This program grants access to their entire collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks for people ages 13 – 26 living anywhere in the U.S.
Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022
The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted in 2021. They also reported that most targeted titles were written by or about members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.
A note on terminology: A book challenge is when an individual or group recommends books for removal from public schools and/or public libraries and the materials are reviewed. A book ban occurs when materials selected for reconsideration are removed from public schools and/or public libraries and are not allowed to be included in those collections. A book challenge does not always lead to banning of materials.
Here are the top 10 most challenged books of 2022:
1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: depiction of sexual abuse, claimed to be sexually explicit, Equity Diversity & Inclusion content
4. Flamer by Mike Curato
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
5. (Tied for 5th) Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content
5. (Tied for 5th) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content, depiction of sexual abuse, drugs, profanity
6. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit
8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity
9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit
10. (Tied for 10th) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit
10. (Tied for 10th) Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs
10. (Tied for 10th) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Reasons: Claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity
10. (Tied for 10th) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit
PPLD and Censorship
Pikes Peak Library District does not practice censorship. The materials we select to add to our collection are based on merit for the benefit they will add to our collection in serving our diverse community. Because we serve such a diverse community filled with different perspectives, beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences, we recognize that not all books in our collection are suited to every reader. Visit our Materials Reconsideration Policy page for more information.
2023 marks the 1st annual Night at the Library, the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) Foundation's signature fundraiser. This first-year event celebrates the PPLD Foundation's 20th anniversary and more than $13 million dollars raised since 2003.
Guests will enjoy special after-hours access to Library 21c and its first of its kind space that have been replicated by libraries worldwide. The memorable evening begins with a cocktail reception and scavenger hunt, followed by a multi-course seated dinner and program.
5:30 p.m. at Library 21c
Your business, group, or family can sponsor this event! Click here for Sponsorship Information. For questions about Night at the Library or to discuss sponsorships, contact Sara Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 531-6333 x2391.
Do you have family history with well-known ties to the southern Colorado arts? Consider sharing their story at the next Story Project: Relatives of Art Royalty! The Story Project brings our community together to hear true, personal stories shared by local storytellers. Regale us with an enlightening, funny, or poignant story about your well-known artist relative alongside other storytellers from the Pikes Peak region.
The rules for participation
- Your story must be true.
- Your story must be personal.
- You must be willing to tell the story within 10 minutes in front of a live audience.
Applications are open now through Sun., Oct. 15, and all participants will be selected by a jury by Wed., Nov. 1. If you are selected, there will be coaching available for you as well as full rehearsals to help you prepare to present your story on Fri., Dec. 8.
Questions? Contact Dustin Booth at email@example.com
Beginning Tue., Sept. 19, library cardholders will be able to check out no-cost passes to Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain thanks to the Culture Pass program. Patrons can check out passes to explore this cultural attraction seven-days-a-week through April 30, 2024.
Take in breathtaking vistas from the top of the mountain you call home. Colorado is known for its fourteen-thousand-foot mountains (14’ers), which thousands of people endeavor to climb every year. Pikes Peak’s scenic highway offers a unique opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to experience the beautiful terrain that Colorado’s 14’ers have to offer. Conditions on the Summit can be wildly different than at the base of the mountain, so be sure to plan ahead and check condition and safety information before your visit.
The pass grants access to the Pikes Peak Highway, and depending on the weather, patrons may enjoy the Summit House and Visitors Center at the top or the many beautiful interpretive stops along the way. With the addition of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, the Culture Pass program offers PPLD patrons 12 cultural attractions throughout El Paso and Teller counties and Denver. For more information about Pikes Peak Culture Passes visit ppld.org/culturepass.
Note on visiting the Summit in September:
Your Pikes Peak Culture Pass will serve as your no-cost admission ticket (for up to two adult admissions and two children’s admissions) to drive on the Pikes Peak Highway. Access to the Summit by personal vehicle is currently on a reservation system through Sat., Sept. 30, which is not automatically reserved by your Pikes Peak Culture Pass. If you want to ensure that you will have a parking spot on the Summit during the month of September, you will need to make a reservation by clicking here.
The free supplies for this September Take and Make will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning September 8, 2023.
Materials and Directions:
Materials we provide:
plastic needle, yarn, styrofoam plates
Materials you provide:
pencil, scissors, tape, scrap paper (optional)
Here are tutorials (https://tinyurl.com/bdfv82kk) for basic sewing stitches. We recommend running stitch, backstitch, whip stitch, and cross stitch for this project. Also, see additional photos in the pdf file provided.
Running stitch and Backstitch – great for sewing straight lines
Whip Stitch – great for adding a border
Cross Stitch – great for adding details
Use your pencil to create a design on your plate by gently poking the pencil through the plate. The holes should be at least ½" apart. (You may want to draw it on scratch paper first.)
Cut a piece of yarn no longer than your arm. Thread it through the needle. It may help to tie one end of the yarn to the needle so it doesn’t come unthreaded. You should have a long end and a shorter end.
Beginning at the back of the plate, sew in and out of the holes you poked to complete your design. Pull the yarn taut after each stitch, but don’t pull too hard and tear the plate. You may tape the end of the yarn to the back of the plate to hold it. When you run out of yarn you can either continue with the same color or begin a new color.
Use the second plate to create a different design.
Poetry is a powerful, flexible form of expression that conveys feelings across generations, and often across cultures as well. Pikes Peak Library District is celebrating poetry in collaboration with Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius and Imagination Celebration with the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Global Poetry Experience throughout September. Join us for this interactive global poetry project and experience poetry and writing like never before!
On select Saturdays in September, Ashley will host poetry workshops from inside of the “Sojourner” Portal, a poetry portal set up outside of Manitou Springs Library this month. “Sojourner” is connected to other poetry portals around the world, and participants will have the opportunity to interact with people in other countries as they explore themes through writing. At the end of the month, Ashley will create a community poem drawing from participants’ experiences, and the poem is planned to be presented in October.
The workshops presented by the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate include:
- “Home” on Sat., Sept. 2 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. with Santos, Brazil
- “Belonging” on Sat., Sept. 9 from 9 - 11:00 a.m. with Erbil, Iraq
- “Connection” on Sat., Sept. 16 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. with Johannesburg, South Africa
- “Joy” on Sat., Sept. 30 from 9 - 11 a.m. with Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Registration is required for the workshops and space is limited, so sign up today!
Imagination Celebration plans to host programs at the portal on weekdays throughout the month.
Constitution Day on September 17 commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave people in 1787 and recognizes those who have become U.S. citizens through coming of age or naturalization. Celebrate this historic day with resources available at the Library!
- We the People U.S. Pocket Constitutions
Celebrate the penning of the U.S. Constitution by picking up a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution from your local library beginning Wed., Sept 13, while supplies last.
Use your library card to check out books and eBooks exploring the Constitution and its history through different lenses.
- A Young Reader's Edition of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story by McClay, Wilfred M.
- Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution by Mystal, Elie
- OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say?: A Non-boring Guide to How Our Democracy is Supposed to Work by Sheehan, ben
- Ordinary Equality: The Fearless Women and Queer People Who Shaped the U.S. Constitution and the Equal Rights Amendment by Kelly, Kat; art by LaRue, Nicole
- For Which We Stand: How Our Government Works and Why it Matters by Foster, Jeff
- eBooks available with your library card through OverDrive or by using the Libby app:
- Two Revolutions and the Constitution by D.R. Philips, James
- The United States Constitution (this title is always available)
- The Great Debate – Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution by Thomas Pangle, The Great Courses
Enjoy a selection of documentaries with your library card on Kanopy, including:
- An American (1775 – 1790)
- Books That Matter: The Federalist Papers, Episode 12: The Future of the United States Constitution
- History of the United States, Episode 14: Creating the Constitution
Take an in-depth look at the history of the U.S. Constitution with these web resources:
- Britannica Kids: United States Constitution
Spark young learners’ curiosity about the U.S. Constitution.
- History.com: This Day in History: U.S. Constitution Signed
Enjoy an overview of the efforts that went into the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
- National Archives: Constitution of the United States – A History
Dive into this in-depth look at the Constitutional Convention and the process of creating the U.S. Constitution.
- National Archives: The First Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Discover some of the first changes made to the U.S. Constitution and learn about the development of the Bill of Rights.
- U.S. History in Context database: Constitution and the Bill of Rights (you must be in a Pikes Peak Library District location or have a library card starting with the number 4 to access).
Explore the creation of the U.S. Constitution and the cultural pressures involved in its development.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Fri., Sept. 15 - Sun., Oct. 15, recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. The Library offers several opportunities to learn and celebrate. Scroll down to explore resources celebrating Hispanic heritage.
Hispanic Heritage Month Recipe Cards
Learn about favorite foods and make recipes from some of the cultures celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month. Available at all locations starting Fri., Sept. 15.
- Kanopy films
- Colorado Experience
Justicia Y Libertad (27 min., NR) 1968 was a pivotal year in American history: The Vietnam War hit its peak, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, and riots shook the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. At home in Colorado, it marked the birth of the Chicano Movement. These pivotal times brought political activist Corky Gonzalez to the forefront as an early pioneer of equal rights for Mexican Americans.
- Regional History and Genealogy
- Archival Collections
- Heidi Vazquez Guy Records (MSS 0408)
The Heidi Vazquez Guy Records consist of two series: Biographical Files and VHS Tapes. Biographical information provided in each file includes: birthdate, parents names, names and number of children, education, careers, and Colorado memories. Most files also include a photograph. The VHS tapes contain oral history interviews of people in the Biographical Files conducted by Heidi Vazquez Guy. See staff in Regional History and Genealogy if you want to find out more about this collection.
- De Donde Eres oral histories
Conducted between the years 2003 -2005, ¿De Donde Eres? was an oral history project organized by Pikes Peak Library District’s Special Collections in an effort to document and promote understanding of the region’s Hispanic community and their many contributions to Colorado Springs. The collection is comprised of 25 individual videotaped interviews which have been digitized into audio-only format. A complete listing of the project interviews is available at the Regional History and Genealogy reference desk and transcripts are available for a few of the oral histories.
- Heidi Vazquez Guy Records (MSS 0408)
- Young Adults:
- Families and Children:
- Enjoy some incredibly colorful costumes and dance from Ballet Folklórico México Danza to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! The music is so energetic you might want to get up and dance with your family! Click here to view the video.
- Children's Materials in Spanish at PPLD
- Color in Colorado Children's Booklist
- PBS Children's Booklist
- eBooks from Libby/Overdrive
- Children’s Booklist from ¡Colorín Colorado!
- Who's who among Hispanic Americans, by Gale Research Inc.
- Early Hispanic Colorado, 1678-1900, by Joseph P. Sánchez
- On the edge of purgatory: an archaeology of place in Hispanic Colorado, by Bonnie J. Clark
- Hispanics in the U.S. Civil War: a compiled list of men who fought for the Confederacy and the Union, compiled and edited by Ricardo J. Rodríguez
- Hispanic pioneers in Colorado and New Mexico, by Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy
- National Society of Hispanic Genealogy Newsletter, by NSHG
- Colorado Hispanic Genealogist, by Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy
- Colorado Hispanic Leadership Profiles: Who’s Who among Colorado’s Outstanding Leaders by Doug McNair
For more titles and information, visit Special Collections or search our catalog! Books are from the Carnegie Library - Special Collections. (Some titles are available for checkout from other library locations.)
- HispanicHeritageMonth.gov Hosted by the Library of Congress, this site provides access to curated arts exhibits and collections, audio and video collections, and resources for Hispanic Heritage Month.
- National Archives – Hispanic Heritage Month
- National Today – Hispanic Heritage Month
- History.com Provides an overview of Hispanic Heritage Month.
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and it’s a perfect time to sign up for your Pikes Peak Library District library card! Throughout September, anyone who signs up for a new library card will be entered to win a $200 SCHEELS gift card (PPLD employees and their immediate family are not eligible). A library card unlocks a world of potential, giving you access to resources for entertainment, learning, research, productivity, and more. Your toolkit isn’t complete without a library card if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, looking for meeting spaces for your small business, interested in 3D printing pieces for your games, testing out video games before adding them to your collection, or just feeding your reading habit.
Now is also the perfect time to share the joy of a child’s first library card. Having a library card gives children a sense of pride and responsibility and fosters their curiosity for learning and reading. A library card also unlocks access to books, homework help resources, live tutoring, research databases for schoolwork, learning kits and activities like robotics, and more! As an added bonus, anyone under age 18 signing up for a new library card in September will be entered to win a $200 SCHEELS gift card and will receive a commemorative pin and a gift certificate for a free children’s ice cream cone and Ferris wheel ride at SCHEELS.
To sign up for a library card, bring your photo ID with current address, or bring photo ID and proof of address (such as a utility bill) if your address on your ID is not current. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian having the above listed information. You can also sign up on our website.
Library Card Sign-up Month New Cardholder Bonus
Adults age 18 and older signing up for a new library card in September will be automatically entered to win a $200 SCHEELS gift card.
Children and teens under 18 signing up for a new library card will:
- Receive a coupon for a free children’s ice cream cone and Ferris wheel rides for the whole family at SCHEELS (while supplies last)
- Receive a commemorative pin celebrating their new library card (while supplies last)
- Be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $200 SCHEEELS gift card
There will be drawings for two separate $200 SCHEELS gift cards, one drawing for adults age 18 and older, and a second drawing for children and teens under age 18.
Public WiFi is about to get a boost at four Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) locations. We are working with Comcast to bring Comcast Lift Zones to Library 21c, as well as Penrose, East, and Ruth Holley libraries. Comcast Lift Zones are a second Wi-Fi network that library users can access at those locations, increasing the number of internet users that the public WiFi can support at one time. This means that users will have faster, more reliable internet that will make it easier to stream, complete projects, get work done, participate in remote classes and meetings, work on job applications and resumes, game, and more.
Comcast selected these libraries as four of only seven libraries in Colorado to have Comcast Lift Zones in order to increase digital equity. Internet access is becoming more and more essential for the social and working worlds. Ensuring that everyone has access to the internet and other digital resources, known as digital equity, aligns with PPLD’s value of providing access for all to pursue their interests, needs, and goals.
To access the Comcast Lift Zone at these four Library locations, users will need to open their device’s WiFi settings and select PPLD Lift Zone. After that, they will need to accept the terms and conditions when prompted, and they will connect to the network.
The installation of these Lift Zones is one of several digital equity projects PPLD is currently working on. Two other projects in the works involve expanding access to digital resources outside of operating hours. The Library plans to expand the existing WiFi network a short distance outside of the building at Cheyenne Mountain, Ruth Holley, Penrose, and Sand Creek libraries, which will provide 24/7 access to Wi-Fi resources. We also plan to install holds lockers at these same four locations to allow patrons to pick up items they put on hold outside of operating hours. Both projects are made possible with funds awarded to PPLD through the City of Colorado Springs Digital Equity Grant Program. We are also working on a project to make a selection of Chromebooks available for patrons to check out and use outside of the library. There is no release date set for these digital equity projects.
Materials for this Take and Make project, for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, August, 11, 2023.
Materials and Directions:
Materials we provide:
Paper strips and circles
Materials you provide:
Glue gun, optional (for adult use)
Directions: click on the file link below to see more information.
1. Cover the back side of a circle with glue and attach 2 of the strips directly across from each other. Add more glue and 2 more strips. Continue until you have all 8 strips evenly spaced.
Put glue on the back of another circle and use it to cover your strips to secure them in place.
2. Do the same with your remaining circles and the other ends of your strips.
3. Poke a hole through the center of each hole. Use a pin to start your hole, if desired. You can also use your pencil to make the bottom hole a little bigger than the skewer.
4. Push the skewer through the bottom hole, up through the center of the spinner, through one of your glue dots, and slightly out the top hole. Secure the point with an additional glue dot. An adult could also secure these using the glue gun.
5. After the glue has dried a few minutes, spin it by rubbing the end of the skewer between your hands.
On October 14, 2023 , a solar eclipse will be partially visible from Colorado Springs. To help you get ready, the Library is teaming up with the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society to provide learning opportunities and eclipse glasses this September and October (while supplies last). Programs are for all ages. No registration required.
Pick up your eclipse viewing solar glasses!* *while supplies last
“What Galileo Saw” – Calendar
Sat., Sept. 30 | 2:30 p.m.
Ute Pass Library
“Galileo Galilei first pointed a telescope at celestial objects in the night sky in 1609. His scientific observations transformed our understandings of the Universe. While we cover his advancements in science from over 400 years ago, we’ll also look at how much astronomical observations have changed over time and what those multi-year observations have contributed to science.”
The Great American Solar Eclipses in Oct. 2023 and April 2024
Sat., Sept. 2. | 4 p.m. – Calendar
Tue., Sept. 19 | 4 – Calendar
Sat., Sept. 23 | 3 p.m. – Calendar
Wed., Oct. 4 | 1 p.m. – Calendar
Old Colorado City Library
Mon., Oct. 9 | 1 p.m. – Calendar
Thu., Oct. 12 | 5:30 p.m. – Calendar
Cheyenne Mountain Library
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 these exciting upcoming celestial events. We will also demonstrate safe observing of these events using common household objects. The Colorado Springs Astronomical Society (CSAS) 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.
Viewing Party with PPLD – Calendar
Sat., Oct. 14 | 9:30 a.m. - noon
Join the Pikes Peak Library District as we view the Great American Eclipse from the beauty of George Fellows Park! We will have games and activities throughout the morning and a limited number of eclipse viewing glasses to give away. Light refreshments will be served just behind the East Library.
Bring your viewing glasses and join us as we experience the solar eclipse together!
- Eclipse America 2023-2024
Explore the information and resources provided by the American Astronomical Society.
- How to View a Solar Eclipse Safely
Learn how to safely view solar eclipses with information provided by the American Astronomical Society.
- Download the How to Safely View the October 14, 2023 Annular Eclipse guide here
- Eclipse Simulator
Search for a city to see detailed eclipse path information and see what time it will pass over Colorado Springs and how it will look when it passes over.
- Colorado Springs Astronomical Society
Find out more about our local Colorado Springs Astronomical Society, including exciting astronomical events happening in Colorado Springs.
- The 2023 and 2024 Solar Eclipses: Map and Data, from NASA
Interested in getting involved as a leader in your community? Pikes Peak Library District’s Board of Trustees seeks applications due to an upcoming vacancy beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
Members of PPLD’s Board of Trustees are appointed by a joint committee of the Colorado Springs City Council and the El Paso County Board of Commissioners. It is a governing board as opposed to an advisory board. Trustees serve without remuneration and must live within the Library District’s service area. They are limited to two five-year terms.
Responsibilities include attending regular board and committee meetings, following bylaws, serving as a community liaison, appointing and evaluating the performance of the Library’s Chief Librarian and CEO, setting policy, performing strategic planning duties, reviewing and approving the annual budget, and more.
Applications for the vacancy close at 11:59 p.m. MST on Sunday, Sept. 10. Applications must be completed and submitted online. Learn more and apply at ppld.org/BOT
All applicants are requested to attend the PPLD Board of Trustees meeting on Wed., Sept. 20, 2023, at
5 p.m. at Library 21c in the Venue, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive. A reception will follow the meeting so that applicants may introduce themselves, meet the current Trustees, and learn more about the position.
Please RSVP for the Sept. 20, 2023, Board of Trustees meeting to Laura Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-531-6333, x6009.
Celebrate Colorado Day Mon., Aug. 1 and enjoy other events throughout the month of August.
Colorado Day: Ed Dwight
Join us as we celebrate Colorado through the life of Ed Dwight, the first African American considered for the NASA astronaut program! The two-hour event includes:
- Mark Dickerson, Col. USAF (Ret), on the confluence of African American and Aviation History
- Rachel English, the Director of the Space Foundation, on the importance of space to Colorado's history
- A screening of the 13-minute documentary The Lost Astronaut, a short film about Ed Dwight.
- Light refreshments will be provided. Registration required.
Genealogy Basics (Colorado Edition)
Are you interested in researching your genealogy, but aren't sure where to start? Join us for an introduction to basic genealogy research strategies including getting started, organizing research, and selecting and searching for records.
In celebration of Colorado Day, this month's Genealogy Basics classes will focus on researching your Colorado ancestors!
- Saturday, Aug. 19 from 2 - 3 p.m. - Virtual - Registration is required.
- Tuesday, Aug. 22 from 7 - 8 p.m. - Virtual - Registration is required.
- Saturday, Aug. 26 from 1 - 4 p.m. - Virtual - Registration is required.
Have you checked out our digital archive? PPLD's Digital Collections features historic photographs, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, oral histories, films and more that highlight the rich history of the Pikes Peak region. The materials come from the Special Collections of Pikes Peak Library District, housed in the 1905 Carnegie Library in downtown Colorado Springs.
Pikes Peak NewsFinder is our local historical newspaper index. This index contains citations to and scanned images of local news articles and obituaries from the Colorado Springs Gazette and other local newspapers from as early as the 1870s!
Need homework help? Check out our Colorado Homework Help page to get started with biographies, databases, and recommended websites.
Check some kids books about Colorado history, learn more.
Visit PPLD’s Regional History & Genealogy page to learn how you can research our local history. We have historic photos, manuscripts, books, and more!
Celebrate 30 years of arts, culture, and fundraising for a cause at the Shivers Concert Series 30th Anniversary concert – An Evening of Inspirational Song and Dance. Enjoy music and dance performances with remarks by Peggy Shivers and honored guests. Proceeds help the Shivers Fund at PPLD to support opportunities for our community to celebrate diversity in history, culture, and the arts.
The event will be held at Packard Hall at Colorado College on Sun., Aug. 6 at 4 p.m., and a reception will follow at 5:30 p.m. During the reception, there will be book signings and participating artists will have art on display.
Concert line-up is as follows:
- Prelude - John Redmon, Piano
- Welcome - Teona Shainidze-Krebs, CEO Pikes Peak Library District
- Introduction of Master of Ceremonies - Peggy Shivers
- Master of Ceremonies - Amanda Mountain, CEO Rocky Mountain PBS
- Deborah Anderson, Soprano with Beth Nielsen, Piano Accompaniment
- Maria Peterson, Dancer
- A Few Words from Dr. Constance Batty, Author and Bryan Lakey, Artist
- Velvet Hills Chorus
- Blair Smith, Dancer
- Colorado Springs Chapter of Gospel Music Workshop of America
- Closing Song - Let There Be Peace On Earth
Tickets are available in advance for purchase online or by phone (719) 531-6333, x2391 through Fri., Aug. 4 at noon, and will be available for purchase with cash/check at the door.
Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) will host the Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibit from the American Library Association and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. We are one of only 50 libraries nationwide and the only library in Colorado to host the exhibit. It will be at East Library from Sept. 5 – Oct. 11.
Learn about this period in American history and explore how people in the U.S. reacted to the Holocaust. Your journey will take you through the many factors impacting the decisions and opinions of the government, news media, organizations, and individuals in the 1930s and 1940s, including the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism, and antisemitism.
During the exhibit’s stay, we will have related programming that will include a workshop for educators, an open reception, and special presentations. We selected this year’s community read book for All Pikes Peak Reads to compliment this exhibit as well. The selected book isThe Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of WWII. Find the full schedule of events on our Americans and the Holocaust page.
Self-guided tours will be available during East Library’s open hours, or find out how to schedule a tour at ppld.org/holocaustExhibit
Celebrate Juneteenth with great, new children's stories.
This rainbow booklist is for all the children who will appreciate seeing various families in great books.
We are pleased to announce the 2023 book for All Pikes Peak Reads, our annual community reads program. This year’s title is The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II by Mari K. Eder. Anyone interested in joining us for this engaging book can stop by any Library location any time starting Wed., July 19 to pick up a copy or access it with our eLibrary resources Libby and Freading (it is always available on Freading).
Several of our library book clubs are also reading the book in September. Find your nearest book club that is reading the All Pikes Peak Reads book together on our book clubs page.
All Pikes Peak Reads improves community connection through literature and fosters dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines. Every year, we select books that center around timely topics, and we pair the community read with related programming. Enjoy craft kits and coloring pages throughout the month, and join us for an author talk with Eder on Sat., Oct. 7 at Library 21c. Keep an eye on our website for information about additional programs coming soon.
This year’s title, which focuses on the women who served, fought, and took action against devastating odds during WWII, compliments a traveling exhibit coming to the Library this fall. From Sept. 5 – Oct. 11, East Library will host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibit from the American Library Association exploring social, financial, and political factors impacting life in the U.S. during the 1930s and 1940s and how these factors influenced the way Americans reacted to the Holocaust.
Detailed information about this year’s All Pikes Peak Reads program is available on our All Pikes Peak Reads webpage.
Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libaries beginning July 14, 2023.
A thaumatrope is an optical toy that teaches persistence of vision.” The name thaumatrope means “wonder turner."
Materials and Directions:
Materials we provide:
Materials you need to provide:
Pencils, crayons, markers
We have provided two options for this activity.
Cut out the circles with the printed templates.
Cut out the blank circles. With one on top of the other, draw an image on the top circle. If youpress firmly with your pencil as you draw, you will be able to see the image on the bottom circle to better align your images. Draw a complimentary image on the second circle.
Tape the end of a straw to the back of one circle. Carefully align and tape the other circle back-to-back with the first one.
Here are some ideas:
Bird in a cage (bird on one side, cage on the other)
Emojis (face on one side, yellow circle on the other)
Butterflies in a jar (butterflies on one side, jar on the other)
Giraffe with spots (solid giraffe on one side, giraffe outline with spots on the other)
Spider in a web (spider on one side and web on the other)
Fish in a bowl (fish on one side and bowl on the other)
Rocket on the moon (rocket on one side, moon on the other)
Dueling lightsabers (one lightsaber on each side)
Spin the Spin the straw between your hands. As it spins, the two pictures will appear to blend into one.
This summer the lawn and landscaping around Library 21c will undergo a turf conversion. This involves replacing non-native, manicured turf (lawn) with grasses native to our region. This is part of an initiative to be better stewards of our water and budget resources.
The landscaped areas of Library 21c currently consist of more than 1.5 acres of Kentucky Bluegrass turf which is a high-maintenance, high-resource using plant material. The cost to irrigate and provide routine maintenance to the lawn continues to increase each year. According to the Library’s water use monitoring, costs to irrigate the existing lawn areas at Library 21c exceed $20,000 annually. Converting the lawn to native grasses could save the Library as much as 60 – 70% of this cost and it will also greatly reduce water consumption. This conversion project will free up future financial resources that may be put to better use helping the community with other programs and services.
Over the next several months the Library will be working with Fisk Landscaping on the turf conversion. In general, the conversion includes adapting the irrigation system to serve the new grasses; killing the existing lawn; planting seeds for the new native “prairie”; watering for establishment and weed control; and installing sod where needed. The whole process is anticipated to take two growing seasons. This summer we will work on getting new native grass seeds germinated and growing, while next summer will focus on promoting healthy growth and establishing the native grass stand.
During the conversion process the Library asks patrons to please heed the warning signs to stay off of the lawn. This will help the conversion proceed as planned without unnecessary disturbance or damage to the new landscaping as it develops. We appreciate your cooperation.
We are partnering with two more Colorado attractions, expanding the Pikes Peak Culture Pass program to 12 local attractions for patrons to explore! Enjoy even more local art and regional history through the Library. Use your library card to reserve passes for no-cost entry into the Michael Garman Museum & Gallery in Old Colorado City, and the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum in Victor. Check below for more information about these exciting attractions and reserve your pass today.
Visit the Michael Garman Museum & Gallery and explore the works of sculptor Michael Garman. His large-scale Cityscape Street Scenes will capture the imaginations of all ages. The gallery features his largest creation, Magic Town, which is a 1/6th scale miniaturized urban neighborhood, complete with dozens of handcrafted buildings, alleyways, and sidewalk scenes. What especially brings these detailed creations to life are the “Magical Elements” that transform the miniature scenes in rooms before your eyes, make alleyways appear to go on forever, and show off other immersive visual and sound effects that bring the town’s stories to life.
At the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum, learn about the colorful history of exploration, ranching, gold mining, and railroading from the legendary Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Rush. You will be transported into the past as you explore the lives and relics of the gold mining era in the Pikes Peak region through artifacts, books, photos, and exhibits depicting life in Victor during its gold mining heyday. Immerse yourself in regional history with hands-on gold panning activities, walking tours, and guided bus tours.
The United States declared independence from England and its monarch on July 4, 1776. We commemorate this occasion with annual fireworks displays and other festivities. The Library is closed in recognition of this federal holiday, but we offer several ways to help you celebrate our nation’s Independence. On this page, explore information and fun resources, including music playlists, booklists, Take and Make kits, and web resources. Visit any Library location beginning Sat., July 1 to pick up a pocket Constitution of the United States booklet and United States flag. We will also be at the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce Independence Day Street Fair in Monument on Tue., July 4. Come see us, and cheer on your Library during the 4th of July parade!
Author Becky Van Vleet – Patriotism in America Past and Present
Will America ever have another “Greatest Generation?” Local author Becky Van Vleet explores that question in her new book Unintended Hero, a book about her father's up close and personal battles on the USS Denver in World War II in the Pacific Theater. She defines patriotism as “Our love for America where we can put aside our differences when we’re called upon to support our country. It’s a spirit of sacrifice and doing whatever it takes. That's what my father did." Join Becky for an interactive book talk about patriotism from the Greatest Generation from World War II to today. This event is being hosted by the Manitou Springs Heritage Center. Pre-registration is required via the Heritage Center’s website. Copies of Unintended Hero will be available for purchase and signing after the program. Learn more in our event calendar.
- Fri., July 7 from 6 – 7 p.m. – Manitou Springs Heritage Center
Take and Make: 4th of July Luminaries
Starting Fri., June 23, pick up a red, white, and blue ribbon, tea light candle, and some twine with instructions on how to make a 4th of July luminary. For ages 18 & up. While supplies last.
Kids Take and Make: Independence Day Firework Crowns
Starting Sat., July 1, pick up supplies to make a fun crown decorated with pipe cleaner fireworks. For ages 5 - 12. While supplies last.
Pocket Constitution Book & United States Flag
Starting Sat., July 1, celebrate Independence Day by stopping by your local Library and receive a pocket Constitution book & United States flag! While supplies last.
- Adult Nonfiction Booklist
- Overdrive & Libby
- KKTV: 4th of July Happenings in the Pikes Peak Region
Find out where you can go to see fireworks and enjoy music from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic this year with this list from KKTV.
- Library of Congress: Today in History – July 4th
Explore Independence Day history and enjoy historic photos and documents in this article from the Library of Congress.
- Old Farmer's Almanac: Fourth of July 2023
Celebrate the 4th of July with history, traditions, and recipes in the Old Farmer’s Almanac. You can also look ahead to see what day of the week our next 4th of July falls on.
- Smithsonian Institute: Independence Day
Take an in-depth look at artifacts from the past as you celebrate the birthday of the United States with this historic gallery from the Smithsonian Institute.
- History Channel: Fourth of July
Watch Videos from the History Channel packed full of 4th of July facts you might not have known, including the first use of fireworks in 4th of July celebrations.
- PBS: A Capitol Fourth
From bonfires and illuminations to picnics and public readings of the Declaration of Independence, learn about historic 4th of July celebrations in this PBS article.
Use your library card to access 24/7 music to add pizzaz to your 4th of July celebrations.
History Subject Guide
Explore history resources at the Library in this Subject Guide, including resources where you can learn more about why our nation celebrates Independence Day.
Use your library card on Kanopy to access documentaries and historic dramatizations that delve into the founding of our nation, the Revolutionary War, the writing of the Constitution, and other key moments in U.S. history.
- American Military History
- American Revolution: The Impossible War
- America’s Musical Heritage: Episode 2, “American Revolutionary and Wartime Music”
- Are We to be a Nation
- Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution
- The History of the United States: Episode 14, “Creating the Constitution”
- Liberty in the Air
- The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen
Gale eBooks: American Revolution Reference Library
In this eBook you will find a timeline of events during the American Revolution, as well as information about historic figures and the roles they played in key revolutionary events.
Gale in Context: U.S. History
Read about the 4th of July, from historic battles and the signing of the Declaration of Independence to celebrations commemorating Independence Day.
“The train screeched to a halt.” What comes next? That’s up to you.
Grab your favorite writing tool and get ready for All Pikes Peak Writes, Pikes Peak Library District’s annual fiction writing contest. Submissions are open now to all El Paso County writers (ages 12+) with a passion for the craft. If you have ever wondered how your writing holds up or want a unique external motivator to get your creative juices flowing, this is the contest for you. Settle in with this year’s writing prompt (in quotation marks above) and have fun!
Writers are separated into three categories by age group this year: Middle School and High School (ages 12 – 18), Young Adult (ages 19 – 24), and Adult (ages 25+). We are accepting submissions from Mon., June 12, through 9 p.m. on Sun., July 23.
Judges will evaluate entries based on their quality of writing, use of language, plot development and resolution, believable characters, and correct mechanics in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. We will announce the first, second, and third place winners in each age category in late August. All participants receive a copy of the judges’ comments after the awards ceremony is complete.
Read the full contest details here.
Whether you’re submitting a story yourself or want to enjoy work by local writers, check back for the collected anthology showcasing the top three contestants in each category. Take a look at last year’s anthology in the meantime!
Supplies for this Take and Make, for ages 5-12, will be available at no cost at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, June 9, 2023.
Supplies and Directions:
Lemonade Slushies are a great way to beat the summer heat! There’s little to no mess. They’re fun for all ages. And you get slushy goodness!
Materials provided: 1-gallon ziploc, 1-sandwich or quart ziploc, lemonade packet
Materials you provide: water, salt, ice, spoon, cup (optional), towel (optional)
Place ice cubes and salt in the gallon sized ziploc bag. Start with 15-20 ice cubes and 1-2 tablespoons salt.
Mix HALF of a lemonade powder packet and 8 – 10 ounces of water in the smaller ziploc. Remove as much excess air as possible and seal the bag.
Place the bag with lemonade into the bag of ice and salt. Seal the large ziploc.
Shake or knead the bags for about 5 minutes until your lemonade has become a slushie. If the bags get too cold, wrap them in a towel.
Carefully remove the lemonade bag from the larger bag. You don’t want to get salt in your lemonade. Pour it into a cup to eat it or eat it right out of the bag.
If it seems to be taking too long, add more salt and ice.
Other beverages also work, so experiment to find your favorite.