What's New!

Food Industry Training 2022 Cover

Start a new career path today!

Pikes Peak Library District is offering Food Industry Training, a five-week training program that gives you the entry-level skills you need to find or advance in employment as a qualified prep cook or line cook. The program will help you learn basic culinary fundamentals, practice professionalism, explore career opportunities in the culinary industry, and earn your ServSafe Food Handler certification. Gain vital skills to help revitalize the Colorado Springs hospitality workforce and join an industry with unlimited possibilities! Starting pay rates in the Colorado Springs area range from $13 - 14 per hour depending on the position.

No previous experience is required and there is no cost to participate. Participants must intend to pursue a career in the culinary industry. Food Industry Training will be offered multiple times each year. Check back for future dates or contact us to be notified of future dates.

Students must be:

  • Able to attend the scheduled program
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Pursuing a career in the culinary industry
  • 18 or older

Class Dates: Announced in August 2023. Please check back.

  • Time: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Location: Library 21c
  • Address: 1175 Chapel Hills, Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920
  • Applications will open later this year. Please check back for more details
  • Applicants must attend an informational meeting and pre-test before they are officially admitted to the program. This test is purely to determine what additional in-classroom support may be needed. Test results have no impact on whether or not you will be accepted to the program. Sessions will be announced later this year, please check back later.
  • If you are officially accepted into this training program, orientation information will be sent to you.
What you’ll learn:
  • Recipe reading and conversion
  • Proper food handling
  • Product identification
  • Basic stocks, sauces and mother sauces
  • Proper Cooking Methods, from different products to different techniques
  • Appropriate temperatures as related to the industry
  • Professional appearance
  • Resume building
  • Team building

More About the Food Industry:

Wondering if this class is right for you? Learn more about the careers this training will prepare you for:

Any questions, please contact the Adult Education Department at (719) 531-6333, x7225 or clayton@ppld.org.

Junior Ranger Pack

The Junior Ranger Nature pack provides self-guided activities to encourages children and their families to get out, explore, observe, describe, and engage the senses any time during the year. Designed for ages 7-13, and align with Colorado Academic Standards for Science and Social Science. Provided and in partnership with the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Parks, Trails & Open Spaces.

Click here for more information about the Junior Ranger Nature packs.


Bring your completed Junior Ranger Book to a swearing-in ceremony to take your Junior Ranger pledge and receive your Park Expert sticker/Junior Ranger badge! The ceremony will be followed by a Ranger-Guided hike.

2022 Schedule

  • July 2: Red Rocks Canyon Open Space (picnic area) - 3550 W. High St.

  • Aug. 6: Stratton Open Space (Ridgeway parking Lot) - 1602 Ridgeway Ave.

  • Sept. 3: Bluestem Prairie Open Space (picnic area) - 6254 Goldfield Dr.

  • Nov. 5: Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center - 1805 N. 30th St.

2023 Schedule

  • Mar. 4: Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center - 1805 N. 30th St.

  • June 3: Ute Valley Open Space - Ute Valley Trail (HP lot)

  • Jul. 1: Red Rocks Canyon Open Space (picnic area) - 3550 W. High St.

  • Aug. 5: Stratton Open Space (Ridgeway parking Lot) - 1602 Ridgeway Ave.

  • Sept. 2: Bluestem Prairie Open Space (picnic area) - 6254 Goldfield Dr.


Try this easy experiment with the help of an adult.

Supplies and Directions:


  • Bowl
  • Large glass jar
  • Plate
  • 12 ice cubes
  • Water
  • Microwave


  1. Fill the bowl with water and heat it up in the microwave for about 3 minutes. It doesn’t have to boil. CAREFUL – the bowl will be hot.
  2. Pour the water into the large glass jar and cover it with a dinner plate.
  3. Let the plate-covered jar sit about a minute, then put 12 ice cubes onto the plate.
  4. Watch what happens. It will rain inside the jar!
John Spears headshot February 2022

Pikes Peak Library District’s Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears announced his upcoming departure for a new opportunity after more than six years of service to El Paso County residents. He will become head of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library with 36 locations in western New York, beginning in mid-April.

Spears has directed Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) – a library system of 16 locations, three mobile library services and a large online hub of resources, all provided through more than 400 staff and 550 volunteers – since 2016. During his tenure, PPLD eliminated overdue fines for most Library materials, opened Calhan Library to expand access in rural parts of the service area, established a co-location partnership between Manitou Springs Library and the Manitou Art Center, and revived Knights of Columbus Hall as a community space in downtown Colorado Springs.

In addition to those notable successes for El Paso County, the Library District also launched a new food industry training program and student-access partnerships with local school districts. Two new public services were introduced to better serve the community as well. The Library added a social worker on staff to help patrons navigate community resources during difficult times, as well as a new service that broadly focuses on equity, diversity and inclusion to ensure all feel welcome using the Library, including those with disabilities, older adults, people of color and different faiths, and military service members, families, and veterans.

“It’s been a great honor to lead PPLD and its dedicated staff through times of uncertainty, change, growth and opportunity,” said Spears. “With those serving on the Board of Trustees and PPLD’s leadership team, I’m confident there will be a smooth transition and staff will continue to connect people with what they need to improve their lives and the Pikes Peak region.”

Spears also led PPLD through the on-going pandemic, with District-wide efforts ranging from a full closure to reopening all services inside Library facilities, along with launching virtual programs and curbside services. His numerous accomplishments supported PPLD in receiving the prestigious four-star rating from the Library Journal for several years, in addition to being awarded “District of the Year” by the Special District Association of Colorado in 2019.

“The Board of Trustees is beyond grateful to John for his leadership, commitment and achievements during his tenure with our Library District,” shared Dr. Ned Stoll, president of PPLD’s Board of Trustees. “John has positioned us for continued success in the future, where all residents of El Paso County can access information, resources, services and opportunities. We wish him all the best in his new state, city and role.”

Spears’ last day will be Fri., April 1. PPLD’s Board of Trustees will appoint Teona Shainidze-Krebs as interim Chief Librarian & CEO. She currently serves as the Library’s Chief Public Services Officer & Deputy Chief Librarian.

Artist of the Knight is a virtual program presented by Pikes Peak Library District, highlighting creatives who work in a variety of media in the Pikes Peak Region. Each episode focuses on an individual creative and displays examples of their work, as well as a conversational interview with the intent to explore the artist’s creative process. Watch the video anytime after they premiere! Watch here:

Be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates and more! Some videos and galleries contain nudity as part of visual art pieces, and may only be considered appropriate for ages 18+. Viewer discretion advised.


This week: Debra Callan, Visual Artist


Previous artists

Season 1:

Season 2:

Click here to learn more about KCH.

Watch this project from a year ago at https://youtu.be/nNIaTK7sFgA?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies and Directions:


  • A bendy pencil or a straight one will do
  • Feathers
  • A Mad Lib (there is a Mad Lib example seen on the video link above, or make up your own)
  • Glue (preferably a liquid glue like Elmer's)
  • Pencil sharpener


  1. Glue your feathers to the erasure side of the pencil.
  2. Add a little pressure to the feathers around the pencil. This will help keep them in place.
  3. Wait for the glue to dry
  4. Use your Truffula Tree pencil to create a silly story using the Mad Lib! Try not to read the story until you've filled out all the blank spaces. You might need help from a grownup with this.

Native American Beading culture crosses many tribes and has significant meaning in who we are in our tribes as well as what we believe in within ourselves. Join Ela Diel, a Cherokee native, as she shares with you pieces of her culture. Help keep some native traditions alive through beading art.

Community Project

Drop in for open hours helping Maker in Residence Ela Diel create a community-based project in Native American Beadwork!

Ela will guide you on how to contribute beads to a community canvas that will be displayed in the Library in the future.

Artist Biography

Hello! I'm Ela. I'm Tsalagi (Cherokee) native. My Tsalagi name is Unega-Waya, which means Happy Wolf. This is my heritage: My grandmother grew up in Appalachia in what is modernly known as North Carolina. My grandmother moved away from the tribe to marry my grandfather, an Irish-American to live in New York where they had four sons. She passed away when I was only two, however my father passed on our culture and traditions, and I have since reconnected with the tribe. I love art and beading is a great way to express art and keep my family's culture alive. I am autistic, so if I don't look you in the eye or stutter a little please forgive me. Outside of that, let's have some fun, bead and celebrate the Tsalagi culture together! A'ho!

straw propeller

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available beginning Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Learn about air pressure with this simple experiment! You can also find more step-by-step pictures in the pdf link provided below.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide:

  • 2 large straws
  • 1 skinny straw

Materials you provide:

  • Scissors
  • Tape


  1. Use the scissors to cut 2 diamond shaped holes in your skinny straw. Do this by folding the straw in 2 separate places and cutting a triangle. The holes should be in a line on the straw.
  2. Tape one end of the skinny straw closed so that no air will escape when you blow into it.
  3. Bend one of the large straws in half and cut a diagonal hole on each side of the straw.
  4. Squeeze this straw flat and tape the ends closed. The hole should line up with your work surface. If you hold your straw up to look through the holes, the taped ends should be up and down.
  5. Cut notches in the ends of the large straw. The cut should be at the top of one end and at the bottom of the other.
  6. Slide your skinny straw through the holes in the large straw. You might want to place a piece of tape to keep the straw in place over a hole in the skinny straw while still allowing it to rotate freely.
  7. Repeat the process with the other large straw.
  8. Blow into the open end of the skinny straw and watch things twirl. If your straws don’t twirl freely, you might need to adjust the size of the holes.


  • Half a cardboard egg carton
  • Scrap pieces of newspaper or other paper
  • Tape: masking tape, or painter's tape, or scotch tape
  • 7 rubber bands
  • Plastic spoon
  • Pompoms or cotton balls or mini marshmallows
  • Various clean containers


  1. Stuff each section of the egg carton with balled up newspaper.
  2. Close the lid and secure with 2 rubber bands, placed around the body of the carton.
  3. Wrap 2 more rubber bands horizontally around the carton, just below where the lid closes.
  4. Tape a rubber band to the handle of the spoon by attaching a long piece of tape to one side of the handle and inserting a rubber band before attaching the tape to the back of the spoon.
  5. Tuck the handle of the spoon under the rubber bands that were attached horizontally around the carton. The scoop part of the spoon should be facing away from the egg carton.
  6. Stretch the rubber band that's attached to the spoon up and over the spoon and around the back of the carton.
  7. Wrap 2 more rubber bands around the body of the carton so there are 4 rubber bands around the carton helping to keep it closed.
  8. Place a cotton ball in the spoon and shoot!. Place clean containers where you can aim your cotton ball.

To watch the project, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4o4eC5E_Qs

February is Black History Month. Here is the link to PPLD programming going on in February: https://ppld.org/blackhistorymonth The Harriet Tubman Herself presentation looks really cool and is available all month!
Also, check out these additional resources:
Black Voices booklist for Kids
Storytime @ Home: Black Joy!

An abstract tree is illustrated against a calm background. Text reads "Fall 2022 Dinner Concert: The Shivers Concert Series"

On Fri., Nov. 18, the Shivers Concert Series at Pikes Peak Library District presents “Fall Dinner Concert”.

The evening’s musical guests include:

  • Veronica Williams

  • Icy Monroe

  • Marcus King

  • Terri Pederson and the Tidal Breeze Quartet

  • Linda Weise and Adam Haas

  • Susan Grace


    6:30 p.m. – Social hour

    7 p.m. – Dinner

    8 p.m. – Concert


This event will be at the City Auditorium (221 E. Kiowa)


Tickets for this event are $70 per person.

To purchase tickets online, click here.

You may also mail checks to PPLD Foundation (1175 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920), or pay by phone at (719) 531-6333 x5154.

Please RSVP at your earliest convenience.

Musical Workshop

There will be a free Musical Workshop for Students on Sat., Nov 19. at 2 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Hall. Please note that this free workshop is only open to students.

Last updated June 6, 2022

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) is here to serve you, regardless of the circumstances! You’re welcome inside all of our libraries, now with almost all services, resources, and spaces available to you again. Open hours and specific services may vary by Library location, so please check in advance. PPLD continues to prioritize the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and greater community during the ongoing pandemic while making our resources and services accessible to everyone. PPLD has lifted its mask requirements, following CDC and State of Colorado guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. Face coverings (including masks and shields) are now optional inside all of our libraries, but strongly encouraged for those 11 years and older who are not fully vaccinated. (If you need an accommodation, please contact your local Library directly.) Get vaccinated at a Library-hosted clinic in partnership with Governor Polis’ Vaccines for All plan!

What can I expect when visiting the Library inside?

During your Library visit, you can do the following:

Here’s what to expect during your Library visit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Face coverings (including masks and shields) are now optional inside all of our libraries, but strongly encouraged for those 11 years and older who are not fully vaccinated. (If you need an accommodation, please contact your local library directly.)
  • Self-service cleaning stations are available at locations, in which patrons can use supplies to wipe down furniture and equipment before or after use if wanted. Staff will no longer clean such surfaces between patron use. There are sanitation protocols for equipment checkouts, along with public-use areas like makerspaces, studios, and meeting rooms. PPLD’s contracted cleaning service regularly cleans each facility using enhanced flu season protocol.
  • Other areas and items that remain temporarily unavailable with plans to resume soon: Some computers and children’s play area.

Please remember that open hours and specific services may vary by Library location, so please check in advance.

What else can I expect from PPLD?

In addition to services offered inside our libraries, we also offer:

Here’s an overview of what is available – and not available – to our Library cardholders and patrons at this time:

  • Want to return items and pick-up holds? Curbside services are available at all libraries! Use the link to find out more and access your library’s service hours and pickup instructions.
  • There are so many ways to use the Library remotely! Browse our Online Catalog. Stream and download books, audiobooks, comics, magazines, music, and videos. Use our databases to conduct research, access ample resources for kids and teens, and more from your couch.
  • Check out our virtual programs! Our librarians are bringing their services to you, anywhere and anytime.
  • Have a question? Ask a librarian! Our staff are available to help you by phone, live chat, and email. You also can book an appointment with a specialized librarian.
  • Checked out items: Please check your PPLD accounts either through our Catalog or on the PPLD mobile app for return dates, which will be listed by item. (Returns are accepted outside of all libraries as part of curbside services and will no longer be held in quarantine effective Mon., April 5.)
  • Fines & fees: We officially went fine-free for most Library materials in early 2019, as long as they are not lost or damaged. (See above regarding checked out items.)
  • OverDrive: Cardholders can have 20 checkouts for a total of 21 days each with a total hold limit of 30. PPLD will continue to add copies of digital materials to our collection as our budget allows. Some digital checkouts can be returned early so others have opportunity for access. (Instructions for checking out and returning are available here.)
  • Use of meeting & study rooms: Meeting and study spaces are reopening at full capacity across the Library District, with the exception of the community room at East Library, the venue at Library 21c, and the Columbine room at Penrose Library. View what’s available and make a reservation online.
  • Library programs & events: The Library continues to host programs virtually as well as provide at-home options like take and make kits, discovery kits, and Dial-a-Story and TeleGram by phone. Now there are drive-in, outdoor, and indoor options at libraries and other community locations (like Storytime)! View our event calendar for all opportunities right now. More in-person activities hosted by PPLD and held inside of our facilities will continue to be reintroduced safely.
  • Use of creative spaces & services: Cardholders can take advantage of 3D print drop-off services, plus plus check out Studio equipment. Our makerspaces and studios are open, too. These services are only available at select libraries and hours may vary by location.
  • Use of family & children’s spaces: The Educational Resource Center at East Library reopened for public reservation on Wed., April 7. Other children’s play areas remain temporarily closed with plans to reopen soon.
  • Library card signup: Register online and start using your card immediately! If you sign up online during this time, your temporary account will be available for 90 days (instead of the usual 12-day limit), giving you immediate access to OverDrive and other digital resources from home. Bring your ID and proof of address to your nearest Library and they can activate your full privilege account inside or via curbside!
  • Account expirations & renewals: Library card/account expirations will be extended, including accounts that expired in the past 24 months.
  • Interlibrary loans: Due to staffing restrictions based on guidance from local public health officials, maintaining the current number of requests is not feasible. Therefore, we are decreasing the number of Interlibrary Loans requests to three per library card. We expect requests to take longer to fulfill (borrowing or purchasing), with a potential wait time of four to eight weeks.
  • WiFi access: All Library facilities continue to provide open WiFi access, which should be also available outside of most PPLD buildings.
  • Friends of PPLD and book donations: PPLD Friends Bookstores have reopened their bookstores inside of our libraries. Online sales continue with curbside pickup at East Library. Shop our collection now! Have donations for us? Complete the form here to request an appointment to donate your materials.

Our team also continues to work with community organizations, school districts, and other partners to support El Paso County residents with many different needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Information About COVID-19

Vaccinations Vaccines are now available to all Colorado residents 12 years and older! State and local public health officials encourage you to get vaccinated. It’s free, safe, and effective in protecting you against COVID-19; no ID or insurance required. Learn more and find a local provider to book your appointment in El Paso County. You also can call 2-1-1 or text “vaccine” to 667873. Get vaccinated at a Library-hosted clinic! As part of Governor Polis’ Vaccines for All plan, PPLD has been selected to host vaccine equity clinics. Learn more about participating locations, dates, and registration! Have questions about the novel coronavirus? We understand that people may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it may affect them. Please check out the following public resources for more information:

What should I do? To help stop the spread of germs and any contagious illness, local and national public health experts recommend that everyone should take everyday preventive actions and practice good hygiene. Here are some tips from the CDC specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly for those who are not fully vaccinated:

  • Put distance between yourself and other people; at least 6 feet apart.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover whenever inside public settings, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and other crowded spaces.
  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if you cannot wash your hands.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth; avoid touching with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then properly wash your hands.
  • Clean surfaces and personal items, such as cell phones, using household disinfecting products.

What is COVID-19? There is a global pandemic situation involving a respiratory illness named COVID-19, which is caused by a new coronavirus that spreads through coughing or sneezing, much like influenza (also known as the flu). Vaccines have been approved and are being distributed. For current information and updates on the pandemic:


puffy paint

Supplies and Directions

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2-4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Ziploc bags
  1. Mix 1 cup flour, 3-4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough water to make a dough the consistency of pancake batter.
  2. Divide your dough into ziploc bags. (Snack sized ones are ideal!)
  3. Add food coloring to each bag and squish to make the color you like. Squish carefully as to not pop the bag. The mixing could take several minutes.
  4. Snip a tiny piece of the corner and squeeze the paint out the bag through the hole to paint on a piece of paper.
  5. After painting, pop the paper in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. The paints will set and become more solid.
Top Titles of 2021 blog

Check out these stats and our top title of 2021 below.

PPLD donated over 4,100 items to 20 organizations, including several schools, nine assisted living facilities, the Salvation Army shelter, Girl Scouts, Greccio Housing, and the Community Justice Center.

Top 10 Adult Titles

  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  2. Hidden Valley Road : Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
  3. A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
  4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  5. Dark Sky by C.J. Box
  6. Daylight by David Baldacci
  7. A Gambling Man by David Baldacci
  8. The Last Thing He Told Me : a novel by Laura Dave
  9. Anxious People : a novel by Fredrik Backman
  10. Ocean Prey by John Sandford

Top 10 Young Adult Titles

  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  2. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  5. All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey
  6. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  7. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  8. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  9. The Hate u Give by Angie Thomas
  10. Shadow and Bone Leigh Bardugo

Top 10 Children's Titles

  1. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Deep End by Jeff Kinney
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney
  4. Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
  5. A Long Walk to Water: a Novel Linda Sue Park
  6. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  7. Camp Time in California by Mary Pope Osborne
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney
  9. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  10. Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis

Top 10 Movies

  1. Wonder Woman 1984
  2. News of the World
  3. Soul
  4. Tenet
  5. The Courier
  6. Minari
  7. Mulan
  8. Black Widow
  9. F9, the Fast Saga
  10. Godzilla Vs. Kong

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/r6SIFnnWVrU

Supplies and Directions:

  • potato masher
  • funnel
  • 2 small ripe bananas
  • 1 plain biscuit
  • 2 empty bowls
  • 30 ml or 2 T. orange juice
  • 30 ml or 2 T. water
  • red and green food coloring (optional)
  • Ziploc bag
  • one leg from a pair of old tights
  • tray or plate
  • scissors
  1. Place a biscuit and banana into an empty bowl and gently crush with a potato masher. (This represents food being chewed).
  2. Pour the crushed biscuit and banana into an empty Ziploc bag. Add 2 tablespoons of water. (The water represents saliva).
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons of orange juice (stomach acid) into the bag and tightly seal it, making sure there is no air left inside.
  4. Squeeze the bag for about a minute, further crushing up the biscuit and banana. (This represents the stomach breaking down the food).
  5. After about a minute of squeezing, the contents of the bag should feel like a thick liquid. CAREFULLY, cut a small a small hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze the contents into the open leg of the tights. (The tights represent the small intestines).
  6. Add one or two drops of red and green food coloring into the tights. (The red food coloring represents dead red blood cells and the green represents bile that is released by the liver.).
  7. Carefully holding the tights over a tray or bowl, gently squeeze out the liquid. (The liquid is the nutrients that your body absorbs and uses!)
  8. What is left behind… is Poop!

Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. Blog with event text

Join PPLD in welcoming Mr. Isaac Newton Farris Jr. as he commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the topic It Starts with Me!

Isaac Newton Farris Jr., nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia and attended his uncle’s alma mater, Morehouse College where he majored in Political Science. Mr. Farris’s background has given him a unique prospective and real life experience on some of the most pressing issues of our times.

Growing up in one of America’s most socially and politically active families has provided him with a front row seat, witnessing how policy is formulated and implemented.

Mr. Farris has worked with political figures such as Walter Mondale, Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, and the successful County Commissioner election of Martin Luther King III. He’s served as CEO of Clean Air Industries, President and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, and President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization his uncle Martin Luther King Jr. founded.

Mr. Farris currently serves as Senior Fellow of the King Center where he not only continues to write, research, and lecture on the life, philosophy, and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., but also on how Kingian Non-Violence should guide American society as we confront the social, religious, economic, and war issues of America and of the world today.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr.

For almost two years we have endured an ongoing pandemic, in addition to other upheaval in our lives and communities. Yet, during such trying times, I’m reminded again and again how much community matters – and how public libraries play such an important role in connecting people with what they need, when they need it.

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) has been a staple in our community for many years, and we welcome everyone to visit and use our 16 physical locations, three mobile libraries, and ever-expanding online hub (with many resources accessible anywhere and anytime). Whether it’s to succeed at school or work, explore new ideas, connect with others, enjoy some entertainment, or do something else not mentioned here, you can most likely find it through your Library.



But PPLD wouldn’t be able to offer all of these spaces, resources, services, and opportunities without your continued support. It is because of taxpayers like you that we’re able to reinvest your dollars back into the community. Your investment in the Library District bolsters innovation and progress, improves academic success and childhood development, strengthens our workforce and local economy, and reinforces a healthy, thriving community.

With your help, we have been able to do so much for the community this past year. The Library District added equity, diversity, and inclusion as a new public service area to ensure every resident in El Paso County feels that the Library has something for them. The Manitou Springs Library and Manitou Art Center joined forces with a new co-location partnership, giving Library cardholders access to tools and resources unlike anything that we have been able to offer before. We also expanded our offerings in Adult Education, which now include a career navigator on staff as well as use of a new Library kitchen that hosts our food industry training program. Plus, the Library’s annual summer reading program for kids and teens was immensely popular, and we continued to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new ones to better serve the many residents in our growing community.

In looking ahead, our Library team is ready to do even more for our community this year. For example, we plan to continue expanding our PowerPass partnership to more school districts across El Paso County, so even more students can access Library resources and services that further their success in and out of the classroom. The Pikes Peak Culture Pass will add more museums and attractions, meaning more passes will be available for checkout for individuals and families. And the Palmer Lake Library will soon reopen to the public.

All of this would not be possible without the community’s continued support for PPLD and investment in improving the Pikes Peak region for everyone. We are grateful for your trust and help in fulfilling our mission of “providing resources and opportunities that impact individual lives and build community.” The Library team looks forward to serving you throughout this new year!

A newly-forged partnership with Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) will enhance Calhan School District (Calhan) students’ access to needed digital resources.

Starting Wed, Jan. 12, every student in the Calhan School District will have a PowerPass, a digital PPLD card just for students. Calhan is the fourth school district in El Paso County to provide this access to each of their students, joining Colorado Springs School District 11, Harrison School District 2, and Academy School District 20.

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

“PowerPass will provide Calhan students with unprecedented access to information, literature, art, and educational support, as well as an enhanced ability to explore and prepare for the future they envision for themselves,” said David Slothower, Calhan School District Superintendent.

Students can also use PowerPass for online access to live tutors and foreign language courses, to get help with homework and projects, and to access audiobooks and digital education resources. High school and middle school students can also prepare for their future with practice driving and SAT tests.

“Pikes Peak Library District is excited to add Calhan School District to PowerPass,” said Joanna Nelson Rendon, PPLD’s Director of Young Adult Services. “This is the first partnership with one of the more rural school districts beyond the city of Colorado Springs and is giving us [PPLD] the opportunity to expand PowerPass and serve even more students throughout El Paso County.”

Learn more about PowerPass here.

Glen eyrie Culture Pass blog

The Pikes Peak Culture Pass launched in early 2020 to offer museum admission passes and access to cultural institutions free for PPLD patrons. Now Glen Eyrie joins collaborating organizations: the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, The Money Museum, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, Rock Ledge Ranch Historical Site, Space Foundation Discovery Center, and the Western Museum of Mining and Industry to provide in-person experiences that go beyond books.

Nestled next to Garden of the Gods, Glen Eyrie castle is an English Tudor-style castle built in 1871 by founder of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Glen Eyrie offers a range of services including, afternoon tea, overnight accommodations, special events, and retreats.

Historic castle tours are approximately 90 minutes long and include a brief video, and a guided walking tour through the Carriage House and the first and second floors of the Glen Eyrie Castle with trained Tour Guides will entertain you with stories of the Palmer family, Glen Eyrie Estate, the unique architecture of The Castle, surrounding landscape, and Colorado Springs history.

Patrons with a valid PPLD library card can book a pass online for Glen Eyrie castle tours available Monday through Thursday at 2 p.m. Each pass is good for up for four people.

Step back in time and discover the history of Glen Eyrie Castle.

ice lantern

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries starting Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Watch this project (a favorite from last winter) at: https://youtu.be/1spsamOSMtg?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu/


  • Plastic cups in 2 sizes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pompoms and other doodads or baubles or other items of your choice
  • Battery operated tea light candle
  • Tape
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Paper towel
  • Additional baubles or doodads
  • Weights, like rocks


This is an engineering challenge! For more step-by-step pictures of project, open pdf link below.

  1. Twist your pipe cleaners up the inside of the larger cup.
  2. Slide the smaller cup inside with the pipe cleaners in between the large and small cups.
  3. Carefully push pompoms and/or other baubles or doodads between the 2 cups also.
  4. With the tops of the cups even, crisscross two pieces of tape across the top of the cups.
  5. Placing cups on a paper towel, gently fill the larger cup with water until it’s about 1 inch from the top. You do not want water to go into the smaller cup. You may need to add something to weigh down the smaller cup.
  6. Place in the freezer until it’s frozen solid. This could take about 5 hours.
  7. Observe your creation! You may notice that the smaller cup is higher as is the water/ice level. This is a great illustration of how water expands as it changes states from a liquid to a solid.
  8. Remove from freezer and let sit about 10 mins., carefully remove the smaller cup (and tape). Then remove the larger cup. You may need to cut the cups off.
  9. Turn on the battery operated candle and place it in the center of your lantern. Put your lantern outside to admire!

Based on https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/activities/engineering-ice-lantern-s…

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

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

Purchase Tickets


Event Details

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

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

At home calapult

Create a catapult using things from around the house. This project is only limited by your imagination and the things you find around the house!

  • Cylindrical object (sturdy cardboard tube, soup or other can, sturdy plastic bottle, rolling pin)
  • Stretchy hair elastic or rubber band
  • Spoon (wooden, metal, or combination)
  • Something to propel (ball, marshmallow, pompom, wad of paper, etc.)


  1. Wrap the hair elastic or rubber band around your cylindrical object twice.
  2. Slide your spoon under the elastic where it meets in an X. It should be perpendicular to the cylindrical object.
  3. Load a projectile in the bowl of the spoon. Apply force to the opposite end of the spoon and watch it fly.
  4. Experiment with a variety of objects. What combination propels your object the farthest?
Shirley Martinez, Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) blog

Shirley Martinez’s Road to Becoming PPLD’s First Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

When I was a kid, I used to be a "library girl." I used to sit in the library for days during the summer. I would pick out 10 books to read there and then 10 more to take home! Today, my job is making sure PPLD is a welcoming place for everyone.

I was born in my father’s hometown of Waycross, Georgia. My dad joined the Air Force after I was born and through my father’s service, we were afforded the opportunity to see the world. We were stationed in Japan, Hawaii, Delaware, and upstate New York.

My family returned to Georgia in 1967 and this is where I was first made aware of the civil rights movement and racial inequality. I remember there were still restrooms that read “colored” and “white,” and people were marching. Through these experiences, I really got an eye-opening, front-seat lesson in the different racial disparities and the civil rights.

Eventually, my family settled in rural Washington. My dad spent a lot of time overseas as a B-52 mechanic. In high school I had worked to become the head cheerleader and captain of the track team. I had dreams of becoming a nurse. However, I quickly made up my mind that particular career wasn’t for me after a harrowing experience at a military hospital. Instead, I enlisted into the armed forces myself by joining the Navy.

The Navy afforded me the opportunity to see the world, try my hand at several different jobs, and is where I met my husband, Paul. After Paul left the Marines, I decided to join the Army and was a journeyman welder for five years, including two summers spent at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. I did maintenance, I could change your transmission for you. I could cut off the top of your vehicle and replace it. I did body repair and supervised a platoon at the age of 24 and was the only female out of 300 people in my Combat Support Group.

Eventually, the Army brought us back to Washington where we were stationed at Fort Lewis. Here, while pregnant with my fourth child, I joined Judge Advocate General (JAG), the legal branch of the military. I loved working with the JAG department, but once my kid was born, I had to report back to my unit.

Later, my unit was ready to deploy for Desert Storm. I'd gotten all my shots, I was packed up, and then I was pulled out of ranks two days before we were supposed to leave. I had orders to go to court-reporting school. They needed top secret court reporters. So, I had to go tell my husband, “I'm not going to Afghanistan. I’m now going to Newport, Rhode Island!” Just a slight difference…

My work as a court reporter, and also as chief legal noncommissioned officer, took me to Germany, then Fort Irwin, California, and finally to Fort Carson and the Colorado Springs area. Upon leaving the military, I went to work with Colorado Springs Utilities and got involved with the Colorado Springs Diversity Council.

My diverse set of life experiences and time serving our country in the military made me uniquely qualified to become Pikes Peak Library District’s first-ever Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). In a lot of ways, I feel like serving in this role at PPLD has brought my life full circle beginning with those former days of reading at the library!

Click here for more People of the Pikes Peak Region stories!

All you need is your library. But your library needs you, too! Support Pikes Peak Library District by making a charitable gift to the PPLD Foundation. Click here to make your donation today. Thank you!

Announcing the 2021 Winners of All Pikes Peak Writes!

All Pikes Peak Writes is PPLD’s annual fiction writing contest for ages 12+, and seeks to highlight writers in our community through one contest.This year the challenge was to write a story, up to 2,500 words, set in Colorado Springs to mark the city’s 150th birthday in 2021. Stories can be set in the past, present, or future.

Download the Anthology here.

  • Ages 25+
    • 1st Place: Aurora, by Robert Boumis (story not included at author’s request)
    • 2nd Place: Lost Paradise, by Sierra Hess
    • 2nd Place: The Fifth Marathon, by Tatiana Rudolphi
    • 3rd Place: The Capemaker of Comeuppance Alley, by Leigh Gaddy
    • 3rd Place: Harlan’s Holes, by Benjamin Wretlind
  • Young Adult (ages 19-24)
    • Honorable Mention: Yesterday’s Forest, by Kimmie Mason
    • Honorable Mention: Saying Goodbye, by Rebekah Hire
  • High School
    • 1st Place: A Dying Demise, by Emerald Cordova
    • 2nd Place: The Cost of Old Dreams, by Audrey Brooks
    • 3rd Place: Tell Me the Problem, by Melony Lomeli

Please contact hbuljung@ppld.org or criesenberger@ppld.org for questions or more information.