What's New!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kathleen Owings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hot Cocoa Mix:
Materials Needed:

  • Glass Jar (We use a Starbucks® Frappuccino® Jar)
  • Twine
  • Gift Tag
  • Ziploc bag (optional)

Ingredients:

  • Hot Cocoa Mix
  • Mini M&M’s®
  • Chocolate Chips (Mini)
  • Peppermint Swirl Candies
  • Marshmallows

What to Do:

  1. Pour two servings of Hot Cocoa mix into the jar. (Depending on your mix, you’ll require different amounts.)
  2. Pour 1 Tablespoon of M&M’s and 1 Tablespoon of mini chocolate chips into the jar.
  3. Put your peppermint candies and ¼ cup of marshmallows into a bag, and carefully squish into the jar.
  4. Seal up the jar.
  5. Use twine to attach a gift tag.
  6. Your mix is ready for gift giving!

Note: If you don’t mind a little mix on your marshmallows and candies, you can leave the bag out.
For an added look, you can paint your caps. Just make sure they dry before you try to seal the jar up!

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Line Dancing

Learn basic line dance steps with Patti. Each week we will review steps taught in previous classes in addition to learning new steps.

  • When: Wednesdays from 2 -3 p.m.; Jan. 9 - Feb. 20, 2019
  • Where: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
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Linda Riley

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

She will be teaching classes throughout Pikes Peak Library District and hosting Meet the Maker in Residence sessions in the Atrium at Library 21c.

Knit a Flat Striped Scarf

Have you always wanted to learn to knit, but never found the time or teacher? Here’s your opportunity! Maker in Resident Linda Riley will show participants how to get started with common knitting stitches and how to read a scarf pattern, so you can practice your new skill with yarn and needles to take home! Ages 16 and up. Registration is required. Please help ensure that other patrons have the opportunity to participate in this program by only registering for one session. Please note that registration opens at 10 a.m. on the Monday two weeks prior to each class.

Meet the Maker in Residence in the Atrium at Library 21c
Visit with Maker in Resident Linda Riley to chat about her craft and see her work on a large knitting project.

  • Sat., Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Sat., Jan. 26 from 2 - 5 p.m.
  • Sat., Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Sat., Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Sat., March 2 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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

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PPLD Kids

Choose a country you will magically arrive in, real or imaginary. Then use your best sensory details to describe your first impressions in the form of a poem. Think about landscape, people, animals, foods, even emotions and ideas you have as you begin to orient yourself.

Think about all of your five senses. What do you sense around you in this new place?

You are allowed to research your country to learn a little about what you might encounter, or simply to use your imagination to describe a real or imaginary place. Include the name of your country in the title of your poem.

We will select six winners, who will receive $50 each, a book, and a Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration poster!

Eligibility
Open to all fourth and fifth graders in the Pikes Peak region.

Entries may be mailed to:
The Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest
c/o Nancy Maday
Pikes Peak Library District
PO Box 1579
Colorado Springs, CO 80901

Or, email entries to Nancy Maday at nmaday@ppld.org

Questions? Call (719) 531-6333, x6074.

Winners will be announced in April. An award ceremony will be held April 13, 2019.

Rules

  1. One entry per student. Teachers are urged to review poems and submit no more than five per class.
  2. Each poems must be the original work of the student.
  3. Poems will be judged on originality, including poem title and adherence to the theme.
  4. Submit two typed, double-spaced copies of each poem on 8.5” x 11” paper. No handwritten copies or illustrations accepted. Please include on a separate piece of paper: name, phone number, home address, school name and address, and teacher and principal’s name. Poems will not be returned. Please keep a copy.
  5. Entries must be postmarked by Sat., March 2, 2019.

Submission of a poem constitutes full permission to exhibit, use and publish the poem for any purpose – printed or electronic media – and to publish the name, school, and photographs of the student without compensation.

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Are you thinking about retiring in the next few years? Are you unsure about how health insurance and Medicare will affect you once you turn 65? Are you helping your parents navigate their Medicare coverage? Join us to learn about Medicare and your health insurance options. Come get unbiased information from AAA Senior Insurance Team to help you successfully navigate your transition to Medicare and retirement.

Registration is required.

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Show us your take on this year’s theme, Opposites Attract!, by entering Pikes Peak Library District’s 12th Annual Art Contest! Mix mediums or subject matter to show the theme of Opposites Attract! Prizes are awarded to top finishers.

How to Enter

  • Fill out this entry form
  • Print and sign our Artwork Agreement Form
  • Bring the Artwork Agreement Form and your artwork to a drop-off location on Tue., Feb. 19 or Wed., Feb. 20 during open library hours. Drop-off locations are East, Fountain, Library 21c, Monument, Old Colorado City, Palmer Lake, Penrose, Rockrimmon, or Ruth Holley.
  • Guidelines

    • Must be in grades 6 - 12 in March of 2019.
    • Must be an El Paso County resident.
    • Only one entry per person.
    • Jurors reserve the right to decline inappropriate entries
    • Entries must be two-dimensional and no more than two inches deep, including frame. Any textural elements (glued-on items such as pencils, pennies, etc.) must be inside a frame to prevent damage.
    • If you want to display at Library 21c, art must be able to be displayed in a way that is compatible with a wire hanging system.
    • Since we have to transport the artwork between locations, frames or matting are highly encouraged for the protection of all pieces. We are very careful, but frames and matting help protect your pieces even more!

    FAQ

    When will I know if I have won?
    We will notify participants by mid-March if they have won an award. All participants and their friends and family are invited to the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. at Library 21c in the Venue regardless of if they won an award.

    Will my artwork be displayed?
    Yes! You can choose from one of three locations to have your artwork displayed during the month of April. Locations are Penrose, East, or Library 21c.

    When can I pick up my artwork?
    The first week of May at the library you choose to have it displayed at. An email will be sent in April with specific details.

    What are the prizes?
    We award prizes for Coordinator’s Choice, 1st place, and 2nd place for the high school and middle school age groups. We also award a prize for Best in Show, which is the piece that received the highest score out of both Middle and High School. In the past, winners received a drawing mannequin and gift card to Meininger’s Art Supply store.

    What can I do to improve my chances at winning?

    • Work with the theme—It doesn’t have to be a literal interpretation, but we do look for pieces that have been inspired by the theme in some way. Your paragraph describing your piece can have a big impact on this.
    • Stand out! Whether through subject matter or unusual take on the theme, we notice unique entries more. For example, we tend to get a lot of close-ups on eyes, so they tend to not stand out as much.
    • Have fun! Don’t view it as an assignment or chore. We can tell when teens submit pieces they are passionate about—so do something that you love!

    Do I have to have a frame?
    No, but we highly encourage it. Pieces are not judged on if a frame is present or not, but frames help protect your artwork during storage and transportation.

    My question wasn’t answered here.
    Email Becca at rphilipsen@ppld.org or comment on this blog post!

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

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

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

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

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

How can you impact the lives of people like Alyssa?

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

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It’s already nearing the end of the 2018…a year filled with fun picture books! Just in case you’ve missed them, here is a list of a few books you can find at the library. Snuggle up and share them with someone you love! Click on the link below to see the booklist:

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The 26th Annual Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest is open to all 6th through 12th grade students (public, private, and home schools) in El Paso County or areas served by Pikes Peak Library District. The deadline for receipt of entries is February 23, 2019.

This contest is sponsored by the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District.

For entry forms and more information, visit writingcontest612.info.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can you impact the lives of people like Ana?

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

  • Donate Now – click here to make your contribution today!
  • Colorado Gives Day – Click on the link to make your gift through Colorado Gives Day.

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

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

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Andi Sperry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beau Buren

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

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

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

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

How can you impact the lives of people like Beau?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can you impact the lives of people like Laurie?

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

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

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

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Power Tiles Circuits

Experiment with light, sound, motion, and more using our Power Tiles Circuit Kit! Interchangeable circuit tiles snap together in every direction for endless exploration. Design your own circuit or create a night-light, a beeping alarm, and more! This kit is available at our Educational Resource Center.

For ages 6 and up.

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Mirror Discovery Cubes

Create countless mirror mazes with our new set of Mirror Discovery Cubes! Great for the scientific exploration of reflections and angles for kids ages 3 and up. This set is available at our Educational Resource Center.

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PPLD's AppDownload the new Pikes Peak Library District app! Our brand new app is fast and easy to use. It offers streamlined management of your library card account, and access to all the online resources your library card has to offer! You can:

  • Place holds
  • Track checkouts
  • Manage your account
  • Access ebooks, music, and other online resources
  • Access PPLD research databases
  • and so much more!

Download now at:

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The 2018 Teen Fiction Anthology is here!

Click the link below to read the award winning stories from the 2018 Teen Fiction Writing Contest.

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Gay Houghtaling

PPLD's Maker in Residence for October/November 2018 was Gay Houghtaling. A decade ago, she saw an art exhibit made up entirely of suitcases filled with found objects. This exhibit introduced her to the art of assemblage, the art of displaying a collection of objects in a way that expresses a meaning or idea. Gay works with Who Gives a Scrap, a local creative reuse store, to provide craft swaps and classes through the Pikes Peak Library District. Gay has an eclectic teaching background that includes Kindergarten in an overseas classroom, language acquisition and cultural studies for children moving overseas, fourth grade art, and reentry programs for tweens and teens. She currently homeschools her 12 year old grandson.

She taught classes throughout Pikes Peak Library District and hosted open studio hours at Library 21c.

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

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To make your own LEGO prints, all you need is:

  • Paint
  • LEGO bricks
  • Paper

Dip your bricks into the paint and stamp them onto your paper. It’s best not to over saturate the bricks. Experiment with different designs. Try using all sides of the bricks.

LEGO PrintsLEGO Prints

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Grab a few of these delicious picture books and create a healthy snack or meal that you can all enjoy! (Find cookbooks in J 641.5). Click link below to see booklist.

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PPLD Board of Trustees

Get to know – and get help from – Pikes Peak Library District’s Board of Trustees

On the evenings of Wed., Oct. 10 and Tue., Oct. 16, members of the PPLD Board of Trustees will be shadowing our library employees at seven different branch locations. Board members will be working everything from circulation to security to helping our patrons! They’ll be available for library related assistance, and be there to answer any questions you may have about PPLD. Make sure to stop by and see our board members at your favorite library branch!

Wed., Oct. 10

Tue., Oct. 16

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Just as every person is unique…every book has a unique story to tell. You may like it – or you may not… but in America, the author is free to tell his or her story for all to enjoy. Our public library proudly includes them in the collection. We invite you to read these picture books with your child, and encourage you to have a discussion. You may be surprised to discover some old favorites…and may actually make some new “book friends”.
Here is a list of Banned and Challenged Picture Books. Some are non-fiction, while others are on the picture book shelves. Ask your friendly librarian for help. Click link below for list:

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Light and Sound Touch Circuit

Teach your child electricity concepts with our new, hands-on Light and Sound Touch Circuit. By simply grabbing hold of the handles, the energy flows and sets off colorful LED lights and fun sounds! This game is available at our Educational Resource Center.
For ages 3 and up.

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