What's New!

Repair Café Volunteers Needed

PPLD's Repair Café is in need of BIKE fixers! Fill out a volunteer application at ppld.org/repair-cafe or stop by your local library!

Repair Café is a neighborhood initiative that promotes repair as an alternative to tossing things out. At a Repair Café you’ll find the tools and materials needed to repair your broken items, as well as knowledgeable volunteers who will show you how to do it. Repair Trainers will offer a diagnosis and suggested remedy for broken items, repairing items when possible and otherwise explaining what parts you may need to obtain to complete the repair.

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Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi
Release: March 2018
Percy Jackson fans rejoice! There’s a new hero in town and a new mythology to explore in Aru Shah and the End of Time. Aru Shah’s tendency to stretch the truth has landed her in some hot water after she lights a cursed lamp and sets things in motion that will be difficult to undo. Chokshi’s new series is part of a new imprint of titles handpicked by Rick Riordan himself.
See Also: The Serpent’s Secret, by Sayantani DasGupta (Release February 2018)

Legends of the Lost Causes, by Brad McLelland
Release: February 2018
After Bad Whiskey burns down his home, Keech finds himself on the path of finding the Char Stone, a legendary stone of massive power. Can he and a band of orphans outlast against undead outlaws, and find the stone?

The Last Grand Adventure, by Rebecca Behrens
Release: February 2018
A journey to find her grandmother’s sister, might just make Bea’s summer a lot more bearable. But any epic road trip is bound to have some bumps along the way.

The Ambrose Deception, by Emily Ecton
Release: February 2018
Three students are chosen to participate in the scavenger hunt of a lifetime. Winning could mean a scholarship that would make a lot of things better. When the three start the hunt they find themselves running around Chicago, chasing down leads, but the scavenger hunt may have more in store for the three than a simple scholarship.
See Also: Spin the Golden Lightbulb, by Jackie Yeager (Release: January 2018)

Winterhouse, by Ben Guterson
Release: January 2018
When orphan Elizabeth Somers is sent to the Winterhouse Hotel, she finds a lot of things charming, like the library. But as she continues to live at Winterhouse she stumbles upon secrets and she starts to think that maybe she’s connected to the house and it’s family in a way she can’t really explain.

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Charlie Mussi

PPLD's Maker in Residence for January/February 2018 was Charlie Mussi, an award-winning retired photojournalist whose work has appeared in national newspapers, international magazines, and table-top books. In 2001, he was recognized as one of the world's 125 finest photographers and set out on a unique global photographic essay to record "A Day in the Life of the U.S. Armed Forces." Since retiring, Charlie has rediscovered the fun of photography and enjoys teaching, coaching, and conducting photography workshops. In 2015, Charlie started the PPLD Community Photography Contest to recognize the amazing photography talent in the region.

Charlie taught Digital Photography as Art & Play classes throughout the Library District, as well as hosted studio hours at Library 21c, where patrons could talk to him about his work.

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

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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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Safe Place

Pikes Peak Library District and Urban Peak Colorado Springs have launched a first-of-its-kind initiative in the state. Aimed at helping teen runaways and youth experiencing homelessness to find help sooner, the project makes libraries in the District part of the National Safe Place Network.

“Local libraries are already hot spots for young people who seek a safe place,” says Shawna Kemppainen, executive director of Urban Peak Colorado Springs. “When the Library approached us, we knew this collaboration could mean more runaway and homeless youth get help before falling into the crisis of street life.”

That help could include safe, temporary shelter, basic needs such as food or clothing, and potentially entering Urban Peak’s full range of services including counseling, healthcare, employment and housing services.

“Becoming sites for the National Safe Place Network was an easy choice for the Library. We already provide services and resources to help the residents of El Paso County and welcome all through our doors,” says Antonia Krupicka-Smith, Adult/Teen Services Manager at Library 21c. “Extending the reach of the crucial services provided by Urban Peak Colorado Springs to our youth is yet another way that we support the community that we are all a part of.”

How Safe Place Works:

  • A young person enters the library and asks for help.
  • The library staff finds a comfortable place for the youth to wait while calling Urban Peak’s Safe Place Line: (719) 339-0509.
  • Urban Peak dispatches a Safe Place trained volunteer to the library within 30 minutes. The volunteer will speak with the youth and then provide transportation to Urban Peak’s facility.
  • Once at Urban Peak, counselors meet with the youth and provide support to see what’s needed. That could mean shelter, or getting the teen connected to next safe steps.

Information about Safe Place will go out to local middle schools and high schools and other youth-serving organizations.

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Best Workplaces 2017

At an awards ceremony on Mon., Nov. 27, 2017 at the Antlers hotel, Pikes Peak Library District was named Best Workplace by The Gazette in the Extra Large Company (300+ employees) category.

According to The Gazette, PPLD "ranked high among its employees in social responsibility, providing meaningful work, confidence in leadership, being a place workers would recommend to others for employment and operating with strong values and ethics."

Here is a video The Gazette created, which was shown at the ceremony.

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The ManitouSprings_Portal, presented by Imagination Celebration and PPLD, is located in front of the Manitou Art Center, Create Café, and Manitou Springs Heritage Center.

Portals are gold spaces equipped with immersive audiovisual technology. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in a distant Portal live and full-body, as if in the same room.

For current schedule and booking experiences, visit sharedstudios.com/pikes-peak.

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East Children's has a new giant magnet wall for kids! Come see if you can put the skeleton together and add accessories too.

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Charles and Tauni Orndorff

PPLD's Makers in Residence for November/December 2017 were Charles and Tauni Orndorff. The Colorado Springs natives have been making costumes and props for over 15 years. Their skills include sewing, fabrication, 3D design, and much more. They are currently instructors at the Pikes Peak Makerspace where they teach resin casting, silicone molding, and vac-forming.

They taught classes about creating silicone molds throughout the Library District, as well as hosting studio hours at Library 21c.

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

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National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15, here are some great J-Fiction and Nonfiction for you to read. All six of these books can be found in our collection!


Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan


Esperanza travels with her mother to the United States in the middle of the Great Depression, seeking opportunity after the death of her father. Not used to the hard labor of farming, Esperanza has to discover what it means to her herself in this new environment.


The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, by Pablo Cartaya


Summer in Miami has never been so different for Arturo Zamora. A new girl in the apartment complex has captured his heart and he’s putting in some hard work at his family’s Cuban-American restaurant. When a land developer comes to town and threaten Abuela’s restaurant, Arturo Zamora is ready to fight for his family and community.


Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones


When Sophie Brown and her family leave Los Angeles for her Uncle Jim’s Farm, she’s tasked with taking care of some unusual chickens. As a means to adjust, Sophie begins to write letters to her Uncle Jim and dear Abuelita about what it means to be a poultry farmer, and to be one of the few hispanic people in town.


The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, by Robin Yardi


When two raccoons steal his sister’s tricycle, fourth grader Mateo is left to blame. In a quest to retrieve the trike from the thieving raccoon’s, Mateo discovers that they can talk! Can Mateo get the tricycle back and clear his good name, or with the talking raccoons have the last laugh?


Bravo! Poems about Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez


Featuring Latino people from different countries and backgrounds, this collection of poems celebrates the likes of Ceaser Chavez, Roberto Clemente, and librarian, Pura Belpré.


Funny Bones, by Duncan Tonatiuh


José Guadalupe Posada was the brilliant mind behind the festive skeletons that would become known as Calaveras. This book covers his history and how he came to create the dancing skeletons that have become synonymous with Dia De Los Muertos.

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Congratulations to the winners of our first All Pikes Peak Writes, PPLD's adult fiction writing contest. You can read the winning entries by clicking here.

1st Place
"I Don't Blame Him for Dying" bu Andrew Beasley

2nd Place
"Puddle" by Andrea Malcom

3rd Place
"The Photograph" by Jacqueline Peveto

Honorable Mention
"Apostrophe" by Ariane Peveto

Honorable Mention
"Dr. Luckwood" by Jill Long

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Read a Banned Book!

September 24 - 30 is Banned Book Week! Pick up a children's book that someone has tried to ban. In other words, the complaint was meant to rid the library of that particular title...forever! Go to http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/childrensbooks for a list of banned books and get reading!

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CNC machine

Learn how to take your business from hand tasks to a CNC machine. Program it once, duplicate it over and over again. Transition your small business into a machine involved workflow. What is the best option for production and what do you do with a proof of concept? Come learn the next step after the design process.

Registration is required.

  • When: Sat., Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. - noon
  • Where: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
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Study Buddies has begun for the school year! Teens have been specially trained to help elementary kids with their homework. This program is held at the East Library every Tuesday evening, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. It's a drop-in program, so you'll be asked to sign your child in at our children's information desk. A volunteer will spend 20-30 minutes helping your child. Come check it out!

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American Flag

Path to Citizenship classes are designed to assist individuals preparing for the U.S. citizenship exam. Classes are facilitated by volunteers and follow USCIS provided curriculum focused on American Government, History, and Integrated Civics. Path to Citizenship classes also provide individuals with an opportunity to improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills as they relate to the citizenship test.

  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. - noon starting Sept. 16 at Crossing Church, 2323 E. Boulder St.
  • Wednesdays from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. starting Sept. 13 at East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd.
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Is math homework getting you down? Are finals freaking you out? Do you need to brush up before the ACT, SAT, GRE, or GED? Our experienced math tutors can help you improve your grades and take the stress out of math. Tutoring for all ages and levels.

No appointment necessary, just drop in!

keep calm and love math

AfterMath won't take place during library or school holidays. Times and dates are subject to change. If the school district or library closes because of snow or weather, AfterMath is cancelled.

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Ravi Suryanarayanan calls himself “fresh off the boat”, in other words, he and his family have just moved to New Jersey from India. Ravi is starting 5th grade and is excited to show off his mastery of many skills, English and Math, to name two. EVERYTHING goes wrong for Ravi those first days in 5th grade. Meanwhile, Joe who sits behind Ravi, has his own set of problems that are just as mountain-sized as Ravi’s. The two boys move through their struggles as if moving up the opposite sides of the same circle. They meet at the top. Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan is a powerful portrayal of overcoming bullies and cultural misunderstandings. In the end, acceptance wins out.

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Library Express

On Wednesday, August 30, the Library Express facility at the First and Main Town Center will be permanently closed. The library material return drops will remain at that location indefinitely. Library Express items may be returned to any PPLD location, including the drops at First and Main.

The decision to close Library Express was made because the limited usage it receives no longer justifies the cost and time of maintaining the facility.

Library Express opened in in February 2011 to provide our patrons an access point on the busy Power Corridor. PPLD will continue to explore options for providing Library service to that area.

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The 2017 Teen Fiction Writing Contest Anthology is here! Compiled are the Honorable Mentions and Winners from the 2017 Teen Fiction Writing Contest. Click on the link to download and view!

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Deb Bartos

PPLD's Maker in Residence in August/September 2017 was Deb Bartos, who has always been fascinated with new discoveries in the natural world and has been hiking and exploring for as long as she can remember. Rediscovering creative expression in painting as an adult has enhanced her learning to see even more in nature. Her work is best categorized as realistic impressionism, as she captures light and color often on location in oil. To see some of her work, visit DebBartos.com.

She will be taught Painting in Water-soluble Oils classes throughout the Library District, as well as hosting studio hours at Library 21c, when she discussed her work.

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

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A big thank you to all our participants, and congratulations to our winners!

Middle School Division:
1st: "Unexpected" by Claire Deeds
2nd: "After Dusk" by Jessana Crouse
3rd: "Copperstar’s Nine Lives" by Shanleigh Glide
Honorable Mention: "Fox and Wolf" by Brinley Ruesch

High School Division:
1st: "Mayhem in Paradise" by Kristen Kater
2nd: "The Monster’s Come Out at Night" by Sariah Smith
3rd: "Fugitive" by Nicole Eiland
Honorable Mention: "Aiko’s Blue Moon" by Sapphire Esquibel

The winners were announced at the Award Ceremony on Thursday, July 27, after remarks from Evangeline Denmark. Winners were chosen by staff judges who read without knowing who wrote the pieces.

The stories by the winners listed above will be compiled into a digital anthology that will be posted on the blog by the end of the month. Please let rphilipsen@ppld.org know if you have any questions!

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PPLD Kids Create: Towers, Bridges, & Mazes, Oh My

PPLD Kids built incredible towers, bridges, and mazes! We designed our own marble mazes with paper plates. Next, using only 20 binder clips, 20 paper clips and 30 tongue depressors, we tested our mettle building the tallest tower and the strongest bridge. Our tallest tower was 13 inches and our strongest bridge held 16 books! This is definitely something you’ll want to try at home. Do you think you can beat Palmer Lake Library’s record?

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High Prairie Library Birdhouses

Build a Bird A Better World: Get crafty with stuff around the house to build a bird home or feeder for your back yard. Check out these cool creations made by High Prairie Library kids.

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Messy Art

On the first Wednesday of every month, you can find "Messy Art" happening at the Manitou Springs Library. Messy Art is designed to provide children opportunities to experience open-ended, creative exploration of art away from home. We encourage children to get messy and focus on the process of creation rather than the final product. Please contact Manitou Springs Library for more information.

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Knights of Columbus Hall (KCH)

Pikes Peak Library District is proud to announce a partnership with local community collectives of DIT (do-it-together) arts professionals, offering building space for their free and low-cost community programs in the Library District’s Knights of Columbus Hall (KCH). Located on the Penrose Library Campus at 25 W. Kiowa St., the historic building is experiencing a renaissance as home to a wide variety of arts events such as music and art shows, zine and printing workshops, dance instruction, and artist conferences.

The principal partner in the opening phase of these experimental programs is Flux Capacitor, a supportive, engaging, all-volunteer community of teens through adults who actively plan and attend arts-centered events. Flux staff have been hosting concerts and arts events in Colorado Springs for more than a decade, and in the last two years, have hosted over 500 music and art shows. Also using the facility during this experimental stage are Peach Press and the Non-Book Club Book Club.

Events are currently limited to 49 attendees until a reevaluation of the building’s CSFD Occupancy Rating is completed and renovations to the building can be completed. Entrance to all KCH events are from the lower Penrose Library parking lot, where parking is plentiful and free after 6 p.m.

For more information, check out the recent press coverage of this new partnership:

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