What's New!

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Icon of a person reading a book

As part of Pikes Peak Library District’s (PPLD) Facilities Master Plan, we have been working with a consultant since summer 2023 to evaluate PPLD’s current operations and community needs. The goal is to improve PPLD's offerings to its community and to plan for a sustainable future for the Library District.

During the June 19, 2024, Board of Trustees meeting, our consultant presented their preliminary findings based on extensive data collected through multiple means of data collection, including public input through a series of public input sessions, visual dot-board meetings at outreach and Library events, a Community Survey, and input sessions with community leaders. Various options were presented by the consultants, including select branch closures, service hours adjustments, self-service options, and seeking voter approved funding increases. No decisions are being made on any of the recommendations presented at this time.

When the final Facilities Master Plan report is ready, the Board will assemble a committee to discuss the findings and recommendations. Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) supports a diverse community throughout El Paso County, and we strive to be good stewards of Library resources to provide the best resources and services to our community as we can.

The following three recommendations were presented to the Board based on different levels of funding:
 

Option 1 - Level Funding: Maintain current funding levels without change. Operational and capital funding stays at $51 per capita. Average household impact is about $134 per year.

Short-Term:

  • Adjust service hours across Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and Cheyenne Mountain libraries
  • Pilot unstaffed controlled access to Calhan, Palmer Lake, or Ute Pass libraries and reduce hours once adoption has occurred
  • Close Rockrimmon Library at end of lease or after a short extension
  • Close Ruth Holley Library at end of lease or after a short extension 

Mid-Term:

  • Add materials pickup lockers  
  • Open a new location along the Powers corridor
  • Expand High Prairie Library location (15,000 square feet)

Long-Term:

  • Shift Monument Library to a new and larger owned location
  • Light renovations to East Library
  • Upgrades to Sand Creek Library 

Option 2 - Modest Increase: Increase funding to bring PPLD halfway up to the Colorado average. Operational and capital funding would increase to $61 per capita. Average household impact would be $161 per year.

Short-Term:

  • Adjust service hours across Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and Cheyenne Mountain libraries
  • Pilot unstaffed controlled access to Calhan, Palmer Lake, or Ute Pass libraries
  • Seek voter approval on funding increase
  • Add materials pickup lockers

Mid-Term:

  • Shift Ruth Holley Library to a new Powers corridor location  
  • Expand the High Prairie Library location (15,000 - 20,000 square feet)
  • Upgrades to Sand Creek Library

Long-Term:

  • Shift Monument Library to a new and slightly larger owned location
  • Fuller renovation to East Library
  • Shift Rockrimmon Library to an owned location

Option 3 - Higher Level Increase to match the Colorado average funding level. Operational and capital funding would increase to $74 per capita. Average household impact would be $195 per year.

Short-Term:

  • Pilot unstaffed controlled access to Calhan, Palmer Lake, or Ute Pass libraries
  • Seek voter approval on funding increase
  • Add materials pickup lockers

Mid-Term:

  • Add new Powers Corridor outlet
  • Expand High Prairie Library location (20,000 SF)
  • Shift Monument Library to a new and larger owned location

Long-Term:

  • Full renovation to East Library
  • Shift Rockrimmon Library to an owned location
  • Shift Cheyenne Mountain Library to an owned location

You can view the presentation of the preliminary report at youtube.com/watch?v=qDWR6NHrBfI and skip to timestamp 29:13. 

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All Pikes Peak Reads Logo with an author posing with her book "Go As A River"

Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to announce the selected title for All Pikes Peak Reads (APPR) 2024. This year’s book is Go as a River by Shelley Read. (You can also access on OverDrive/Libby

All Pikes Peak Reads is Pikes Peak Library District’s (PPLD) annual community reads program that focuses on celebrating literature, improving community connections, and fostering dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines. Each year, we select APPR titles that focus on timely topics and plan a variety of community-wide programs. This year’s selection is a historical fiction book set in the former Colorado town of Iola that takes readers on a literary journey that is equal parts hopeful and tragic while encouraging readers to rethink their definition of home and family.  

Hosting a book group? Check out the book discussion guide from the publisher. 


Author visit

Join Pikes Peak Library District as we welcome Shelley Read to discuss her book Go as a River, the 2024 All Pikes Peak Reads selection.  

Following the keynote address, Shelley will do an audience Q&A session and will be available for book signing. Books will be available to purchase during the event. Registration is suggested, but not required.  

When: Sat., Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. 
Location: Library 21c     
Click here for more information


Additional Programs

  • Beneath Blue Mesa: Author Talk
    Join Pikes Peak Library District as we welcome author David Primus to discuss his book Beneath Blue Mesa: The Gunnison River Valley Before the Reservoir. David will present a slideshow of the history of the Gunnison River Valley before Blue Mesa Reservoir was completed in 1965. He will discuss fishing resorts, ranches, towns, and the narrow-gauge railroad that now lie beneath the reservoir as remembered by local residents. Copies of the book will be for sale after the program. 
    • East Library: Thu., Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. 
  • Introduction to Canning: Water Bath Canning
    From preserving your garden harvest to putting up locally purchased produce, canning is a great way to preserve the season’s bounty. Home canning requires knowledge of the science behind food preservation. In this introductory class, participants will learn about the risk of botulism, an overview of proper techniques, and a review of the proper tools for canning. 

    After attending this class, you will be able to safely can high acidic foods such as fruit, peaches, salsa, pickles, tomatoes, jams, jellies, and more. Presented by El Paso County CSU Extension. 

    • Sand Creek Library: Thu., Sept. 5 at noon
    • Calhan Library: Wed., Sept. 25 at noon 
  • Peach Cobbler: A Hands-On Nostalgic Experience 
    Join us to create and sample nostalgic peach cobbler, inspired by the 2024 All Pikes Peaks Read selection, Go as a River. Presented by award-winning author Elayne Prechtel from @sharinglifeloveandfood, this "make and take" class celebrates food, community, and storytelling. Don't miss this special hands-on event artfully blending culinary and literary arts. 
    • High Prairie Library: Mon., Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.
    • Library 21c: Wed., Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. 

Learn More about Iola and the Blue Mesa Reservoir 


Book Clubs 

Several of our book clubs will be reading Go as a River together. Check our Book Clubs page to find out which clubs are reading it. Anyone can join our book clubs at any time, even if you have not been part of the group before. We are always happy to welcome new readers who want to have fun discussing books with others in their community. 


More about Go as a River 

From the publisher: 

Go as a river book cover
Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses.  

Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains where she struggles to survive in the wilderness with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland—its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.

Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home—where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river—gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when a river is dammed. 

About the Author

Shelley Read’s internationally bestselling debut novel, Go as a River, is being translated into over thirty languages and has been optioned for film by Mazur Kaplan in partnership with Fifth Season. She was a Senior Lecturer at Western Colorado University for nearly three decades, where she was a founder of the Environment & Sustainability major and the PRIME program for at-risk students. She holds degrees in writing and literary studies from the University of Denver and Temple University and is a regular contributor to Crested Butte Magazine and Gunnison Valley Journal. She is a fifth-generation Coloradoan who lives with her family in the Elk Mountains of the Western Slope. 

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One parchment paper on a table with the words "get to know your family heritage" on the front of the graphic

When you research your family genealogy, you want to have access to a wide variety of sources and tools so that you can find the historical documents you need. Your Library has you covered with a world of useful resources housed in our Regional History & Genealogy department to help you delve into your family’s story. From databases like Heritage Quest to classes and historic newspapers, we have many resource to support your work. 

Classes

No matter where you are in your research process, don’t miss our regularly occurring virtual genealogy classes where you can learn essential research techniques and tools to support your work. You can also find helpful handouts from these classes to get you started before the next class.

Databases

Your library card gets you access to a variety of genealogy databases where you can research your family history. You will need an El Paso County resident card (which starts with a 4) to access these databases remotely, or you can access them at any Library location.

One handy database to explore is HeritageQuest, where you will find a comprehensive treasury of American and international genealogical records rich in primary sources, local and family histories, military records, census maps, and more. In this database, search for your ancestors using US Census records and US Indian Census Rolls, Canada Census records, and other sources.

Other databases include MyHeritage, Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3, American Ancestors, and FamilySearch.

Newspapers

Genealogy databases are not the only place you can look for your family history. Newspaper databases can also provide useful information for your project, especially if your family is local to Colorado. Both PPLD’s microfilm collection and the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection database contain historic newspapers from Colorado and the Pikes Peak region. For a wider selection of news from across the U.S., look in the 19th Century U.S. Newspapers database and the Newspaper Archive database.

Regional History & Genealogy

For more information about how else our Regional History & Genealogy department can support your genealogy needs, visit our Genealogy page