Join Pikes Peak Library District in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and welcome Carlotta Walls LaNier as she takes us through her journey as one of the Little Rock Nine. In 1957, at age 14, Mrs. LaNier and eight other students integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. This act of courage became the catalyst for change in the American educational system. The Little Rock Nine, as they would eventually be called, became ‘foot soldiers’ for freedom. In 1999, members of Congress and former President Bill Clinton bestowed upon Mrs. LaNier and the other members of the Little Rock Nine the nation’s highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal, for their sacrifice and contribution to the cause of equality.
Mrs. LaNier will share her story with us at the upcoming presentation, A Mighty Long Way, and introduce her new book A Mighty Long Way, My Journey to Justice, at Little Rock Central High. Please join us in-person or on the livestream. Registration is encouraged.
Library 21c: Tue., Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. - noon
Chilly winter days are perfect for curling up with a good book or entertaining yourself with new experiences. Join Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) for this year’s Winter Adult Reading Program! Participants log 30 days of activities from Wed., Feb. 1 - Fri., March 31 to earn prizes. To participate, you can log 30 minutes or more of reading time each day or do activities like join a PPLD Book Group, stop by a Little Free Library in your area, read a new author or genre, explore the NOAA website, and more. You can also choose to attend selected PPLD events, which include fun activities like handmade hand warmers, bleach textile art, and card making.
Participants who log 30 days of activities during the challenge will earn the annual Winter Adult Reading Program mug, a chocolate bar from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and an entry into the grand prize drawing.
Registration opens on Wed., Feb. 1. Register in person or at curbside and receive a tote bag with everything you need to help you participate in the reading program. Bags will be available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
Food industry careers are rewarding and challenging but can be difficult to break into without prior experience or training. Pikes Peak Library District offers Food Industry Training that is perfect for anyone wanting to enter the food industry or advance their career. We offer this training multiple times per year. Registration is currently open for the next session that runs from Mon., Feb. 13 - Fri., March 17.
The Food Industry Training is a five-week training program at the Library that teaches participants the entry-level skills they need to find or advance in employment as a qualified prep cook or line cook. The program helps them learn basic culinary fundamentals, practice professionalism, explore career opportunities in the culinary industry, and earn their ServSafe Food Handler certification.
Participants learn proper food handling, recipe reading, product identification, team building in a food industry setting, cooking methods and techniques, and other essential skills.
No prior experience is necessary, and there is no cost to participate. Participants must be eligible to work in the U.S., be able to attend the scheduled classes, be pursuing a career in the culinary industry, and be age 17 or older. Applications for this session close on Sun., Jan. 29.
Reflecting on 2022 and looking ahead
As we welcome 2023 and what’s to come, I want to take a moment and reflect on the past year for Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD).
The Library has been a staple in our community for more than 130 years, evolving to become a public institution that offers physical and digital spaces for belonging, personal growth, and strong communities. Thanks to the investment from El Paso County taxpayers, we can provide residents like you with access to 16 facilities, three mobile library services, and a large online hub of resources and services that are inclusive and welcoming to all.
Because of you, we were able to do so much for the community this past year. PPLD connected hundreds of thousands of people with services, resources, and spaces to help them achieve their goals. Many patrons visited one of our libraries, whether to browse our collection and check out an item, attend a program, use a meeting or study room, create something in a makerspace or recording studio, or use a computer, copier, scanner, or something else they needed. Library cardholders checked out more than 4 million physical items, and we surpassed more than 2 million digital checkouts via OverDrive and Libby by the end of September 2022.
We hosted another year of successful programs that strive to improve literacy like the Winter Adult Reading Program, Summer Adventure for kids and teens, and All Pikes Peak Reads this past fall. PPLD expanded the PowerPass partnership program to include Calhan School District and Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, providing more students with access to Library resources and services to help further their success in and out of the classroom. And we also added a few new museums and attractions to the Pikes Peak Culture Pass, meaning individuals and families can check out even more cultural experiences right here in our community and beyond.
In the spring of 2022, PPLD also announced its new vision, mission, and values. This became the starting point to develop a three-year strategic plan, which was publicly released in December and officially kicks off this month.
The plan for 2023 - 2025 was informed by staff and public input. Last summer, our team hosted multiple opportunities for Library patrons and other community members to engage with us as part of the planning process, and nearly 1,200 participated, whether online or in-person at one of our libraries. With rich qualitative data from the public and 400-plus staff, we uncovered several common themes – and those helped guide a strategic planning committee of staff, Board, and community representatives in identifying PPLD’s six areas of focus. If you want to find out more and see where, why, and how the Library District will reinvest taxpayer dollars back into the community through 2025, please visit ppld.org/strategicplan.
It's because of the community’s continued support for PPLD that we have been able to do all of this in 2022 and what we’re planning for 2023. Your investment, trust, and patronage truly are an investment into improving the Pikes Peak region for everyone.
We look forward to serving you throughout this new year – and using our new strategic plan to fulfill our mission, uphold our values, and aim to achieve our vision for this great community!
Teona Shainidze Krebs
Chief Librarian & CEO
Pikes Peak Library District
Get ready for a weekend of epic sports history! PPLD and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum have teamed up to offer a discount weekend at the museum for library cardholders. Share your library card (or card number) to enjoy interactive exhibits and an immersive and accessible look into the journey of Team USA’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
- Sat., Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Sun., Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m
Present your library card at the museum for $10 admission. The PPLD Bookmobile will be on-site for library card registration and will also put on a special Storytime Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
- Sat., Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. – noon
- Sun., Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. – noon
From a small reading room established 136 years ago, PPLD continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our sprawling community. Our service area covers 2,070 square miles of El Paso County with a population of nearly 700,000 – people of all ages and backgrounds with varying views and interests.
Thanks to taxpayer funding, we can continue to provide residents with access to 16 facilities, three mobile library services, and a large online hub of resources and services, all of which are inclusive and welcoming to everyone. The Library team strives to make its physical and digital spaces safe and respectful for diverse voices, perspectives, and pursuits; to foster community dialogue and connections; and to help people achieve their goals and dreams in life.
Overview and Process
In the winter and spring of 2022, our Board of Trustees and staff revisited PPLD’s mission statement and developed a vision statement and organizational values that best reflect our public library system and growing community in El Paso County.
This became our starting point to develop our new strategic plan for 2023 - 2025. After months of input from the public through surveys and in-person meetings, PPLD staff, Library patrons, and other community members and government officials, PPLD used the rich qualitative data it received from more than 1,600 responses to develop a new strategic plan for 2023 - 2025. Below are the six areas of focus the team identified that became the foundation of the plan.
Strategic Plan: Areas of Focus
PPLD is an access point for everyone to engage with resources, services, and spaces as they choose.
PPLD is accountable to all stakeholders through fiscal responsibility, continuous evaluation, and by sharing findings with the public.
PPLD invests in and elevates community awareness of its resources, services, and spaces.
PPLD builds community through relationships and partnerships to connect people to relevant resources, services, and spaces.
Physical and Virtual Spaces
PPLD provides equitable access to physical and virtual spaces in safe and inclusive environments.
PPLD values, trusts, and invests in staff.
PPLD publicly released this plan in detail on Dec. 6, 2022, so everyone could see where, why, and how PPLD will reinvest taxpayer dollars back into the community through 2025. We look forward to using our new strategic plan to fulfill our mission, uphold our values, and aim to achieve our vision for this great community.
View the complete plan here:
Pikes Peak Library District is excited to bring you Virtual Author Visits in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. Join us and hear from bestselling authors and thought leaders on a range of topics, from puzzling science to epic fantasy to decluttering your home. Whether you are an avid or occasional reader, there is nothing quite like listening to insightful talks by authors you have read or plan to read soon. You never know what will catch your interest. Attend these events at no cost from the comfort of home.
In January join us for an action-packed online conversation with Namina Forna, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Ones Series in a discussion about her second installment in the series, The Merciless Ones.
Next, you are invited to start your new year calm and collected by learning how to become better organized and clutter-free with Dana K. White, creator of the popular podcast and blog, A Slob Comes Clean, as she imparts tips from her books Organizing for the Rest of Us and Decluttering at the Speed of Life.
At the end of January, please join us for what is sure to be the most fun-filled hour of your day as we chat online with Randall Munroe about his new book What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions.
Learn more and see upcoming authors at libraryc.org/ppld
Upcoming author visits
Free materials for this Take and Make will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Dec. 9, 2023.
Materials you provide:
Markers, if desired
Directions: (see additional pictures in the pdf link below)
1. Use markers to decorate the spool, if desired.
2. Push the rubber band through the center of the spool. Use a toothpick to help poke it through if needed.
3. Break a toothpick, slide it through one rubber band loop, and secure it to the spool with tape.
4. Slide the washer onto the rubber band loop at the other end of the spool.
5. Insert a toothpick through the loop.
6. Wind the toothpick.
7. Set it down on a smooth surface and let go. Watch it race or spin!
8. Experiment with how you can adjust it to make it go straighter or farther. You can also race your friends.
How does your brain understand how far away something is? This experiment shows how your eyes work together to perceive distance.
Our eyes both face the same direction. Because they do, they produce slightly different views of the same object. Our brains are able to use this overlapping information (retinal disparity) to figure out how far away an object is. (If our eyes were on the sides of our heads like some animals, we would have poor depth perception.)
Try this: Close one eye and focus on a nearby object. Switch which eye is open and focus on the object again. You should see the object shift. Try it again with a faraway object. When you use just one eye, your brain can’t use feedback from both eyes to discern depth perception.
Pipe cleaners – use half for each
1. Cut your full pipe cleaner in half. Use ½ pipe cleaner for each.
2. Bend the end of a pipe cleaner so you have a circle that’s slightly bigger than a pencil. Twist it to secure.
3. Use a bit of clay to make a stand for the pipe cleaner.
4. Make 2 more pipe cleaner stands with slightly bigger circles. You should have 3 pipe cleaners on stands.
5. Test your depth perception – Place the pipe cleaner with the largest opening on a table in front of you so you cannot see the opening. Close one eye and try to put the pencil through the hole. Try it again with both eyes open. Which is easier? Try it with each sized hole and see the difference.
6. If this is too easy, try getting a needle and thread and threading the needle with one eye closed!
The shooting at Club Q on Sat., Nov. 19 was a senseless act of violence against the LGBTQ+ community that claimed the lives of 5 individuals, physically injured 18 others, and impacted many more. Our hearts go out to those lost and injured in the shooting, as well as those of our community who have lost friends and family. Our community, like others across the nation, is hurting following this tragedy.
Our mission is to cultivate spaces for belonging, personal growth, and strong communities, and our values include bringing people together. We understand that diversity, inclusivity, and equity are pillars of a strong and thriving community and we strive to support our entire community. PPLD joins the efforts of all whose interests are focused on building a strong community free of hatred and intolerance.
Below are resources you can access for more information and support.
- Colorado Crisis Services hotline: Call (844)493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 to speak with a trained counselor or professional. Counselors are also available at walk-in locations or online to chat between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m. Colorado Crisis Services is the statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering residents mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. Its mission is to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system by providing Coloradans with greater access to crisis services wherever they are at 24/7/365 regardless of ability to pay. They offer walk-in, text, and call-in services for people in crisis.
- Colorado State Government Behavioral Health resources: Mental health resources from the Behavioral Health Administration of Colorado.
- Colorado Springs resource page: Community resources posted by Colorado Springs in support of the community following the shooting at Club Q.
- Colorado Public Radio: Resources and information on finding help and helping following the Club Q shooting.
- Colorado 211: A confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state. No matter where you live in Colorado, you can find information about resources in your local community.
- Diversus Health: Offers a 24/7 walk-in crisis center for crisis services and counseling for all ages, regardless of ability to pay. You can request an appointment online or visit 115 S. Parkside Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.
- Inside Out Youth Services: Provides support and resources for LGBTQ youth and are coordinating vigils for people to gather.
- Medicaid support services: Medicaid-insured members have access to behavioral health services or other supports, and we want them to get the care they need during this time. Call (719)598-1540 to contact them directly, or refer to care coordination via the online referral form.
- Mental health provider resources: A list of mental health providers offering therapy for those impacted. Many are providing sessions free or at a reduced charge.
- One Colorado: One Colorado is the state’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families. They effectively advocate for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families by lobbying the General Assembly, the executive branch, and local governments on issues like safe schools, transgender equality, relationship recognition, and LGBTQ health and human services.
- The Trevor Project: A resource and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ+ young people. The Trevor Project offers crisis services, peer support, and other services.
- Peak View Behavioral Health Assessment team: Individualized help for mental health treatment and other services. Visit them online or call (719)444-8484.
Colorado is fortunate to have many talented published authors that are willing to share their stories and provide insight into their lives. Every quarter, the Friends are pleased to bring one of those authors to East Library.
12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Join us to hear from celebrated Children's Author
Dian Curtis Regan
This family friendly event is sure to dazzle all who attend - from the young to the young-at-heart! Light snacks will be provided.
Free for all Friends of the Library Members and only $5 for non-members. Children 17 and under are free. Ms. Regan will have a selection of her books for purchase and to autograph; she is kindly donating 100% of the proceeds to the Friends.
Homeschoolers, get ready to tell the world about your favorite book! Prepare a creative book report at home and present it informally to other families in a science fair-style format. What you create to represent your book is up to you. Build a diorama, design a game based on the plot and characters, or make a poster for the movie version. Or you might create a book in a bag project, make a clothes hanger mobile, or draw the story in a comic book format. The possibilities are endless! For homeschool students in grades K – 8.
Register here to be a book presenter. Registration opens on Fri., Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. and closes on Thu., Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. Please make sure that each participating student registers separately.
If you aren’t ready to present a book report yourself, drop by to support other homeschoolers by browsing the projects and discover your next favorite book!
When: Fri., Dec. 8 from 1 - 2 p.m.
Where: East Library
Need ideas to help you get started? Take a look at our idea file.
What does our city look like through the lens of someone experiencing homelessness? Come find out at the "We Have a Story" exhibit.
We Have a Story
“We Have a Story: Homeless in Colorado Springs” is a documentary project completed in 2022 by people experiencing homelessness. This project captures the unique experiences of these individuals through photos and stories. The four individuals who participated in the project present their distinctive perspectives of this complex and diverse community, which is not easy to define.
Participants took pictures over the course of a month in the spring of 2022. They met as a group with a professional photographer to discuss and critique their photographs. Participants also sat with a historian to conduct an oral history interview. At the end of the project, they each selected three images and wrote an accompanying artist story. The photos and narratives will be displayed throughout Pikes Peak Library District.
The photos, narratives, and oral histories will also be accessible online through Special Collections at Penrose Library, which preserves the stories and records of the Pikes Peak region. “We Have a Story: Homeless in Colorado Springs” contributes to the region’s history by documenting the stories of contemporary residents who are typically overlooked in a community’s historical record.
- November - Penrose Library
- December - Manitou Springs Library/Manitou Arts Center
- January - Cheyenne Mountain Library and Rockrimmon Library
- February - Library 21c
- March - East Library
Join Pikes Peak Library District’s Regional History and Genealogy (RH&G) department as they release the latest book in their Regional History Series: Military Matters: Defense, Development, & Dissent in the Pikes Peak Region.
There will be a presentation by the RH&G staff members about the multitude of ways the military has shaped, contributed to, and transformed the Pikes Peak region.
This will be followed by a panel discussion with three retired veterans living in the region:
- William Thomas, Retired Army Chief Warrant Officer
Terrance D. McWilliams, Retired 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson Command Sergeant Major
Christine Martinez, Retired U.S. Army Flight Medical Aidman and Air Force Reserves
When and Where
The book release and panel discussion will be on Thu., Nov. 17 from 1 - 2:30 p.m. at Penrose Library. Military Matters: Defense, Development & Dissent in the Pikes Peak Region will be for sale to all attendees at a discount.
PPLD is looking for two makers for the 2023 Maker in Residence Program.
What is a maker? A maker can be an artist, a techno-wizard, an inventor, a crafter, and lots more!
But specifically, we seek makers who…
- love their craft and possess skills to teach and share
- are curious about the world around them and enjoy tinkering
- enjoy collaborating with others
The Maker in Residence will teach classes to our patrons and envision, develop, and create a large-scale community project. Since 2014, the Maker in Residence program has hosted over 30 creative individuals, who introduced the El Paso County community to a wide range of projects and ideas including the following:
- bookbinding & papermaking
- drawing and painting (acrylics, watercolors, oils, alcohol ink)
- stop motion / animation
- songwriting and dancing
- polymer clay
Applications will be taken through Mon, Nov. 21.
You will also need to complete and attach these two forms to the application linked to above:
You can learn more about the Maker in Residence program here.
Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries on Oct. 14, 2022.
Supplies and Directions:
Materials we provide:
Materials you provide:
Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils
Color your template. Glue the template to the cardboard. Cut out around your template.
Cut a small slit in the center of the circle to insert the penny. The slit needs to snugly hold the penny.
Spin. As it spins, note what you see.
The Science Behind it: Something in motion stays in motion unless a force acts upon it. In Penny Spinners, the friction between the penny and the surface slows it down and eventually causes it to stop. This project also shows color mixing as the colors combine when the spinner spins.
PPLD is co-sponsoring the 2022 Pathways to Progress Seminar: An Invitation to Inclusivity with speakers from Mariposa Professional Services, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Rework America Alliance, City of Colorado Springs, and The Independence Center.
When: Wed., Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Where: Library 21c and Virtual
Calvin Can't Fly: An ASL Event
Join us for this story presented in ASL, voiceover, enhanced text, music, sound effects and animation followed by a fun, interactive ASL lesson!
When: Sat., Oct. 1 from 1 – 2 p.m.
Where: Library 21c
Join us for a fun and interactive Storytime that is specially created for children on the autism spectrum or with sensory integration challenges. For children ages 3 - 7
When: Fri., Oct. 7 from 10:30 – 11 a.m.
Where: Library 21c - Children’s Room
ASL Storytime & Playgroup
Join Pikes Peak Library District and The Colorado School For The Deaf and The Blind (CSDB) for a bilingual Storytime and Playgroup! Books will be read in American Sign Language and English. An interpreter will be available for English and ASL translation.
When: Wed., Oct. 12 from 10:30 a.m. - noon
Where: East Library - Children's Activity/Story Rooms
Trauma-Informed Yoga and Meditation
Join a certified yoga therapist for a specific low-impact trauma-informed yoga class. This class will lead you through specific postures and practices that will help ease anxiety and tension and cultivate an environment for healing process to begin.
When: Mon., Oct. 17 from 10:15 – 11: 15 a.m.
Where: Rockrimmon Library - Meeting Room
Once Upon a Sign: ASL Storytime
Come and join us for a fun Storytime featuring early literacy activities and stories signed in American Sign Language (ASL) by a Deaf role model, and spoken aloud in English!
When: Tue., Oct. 18 from 9:30 – 10 a.m.
Where: Library 21c - Children's Room
When: Tue., Oct. 18 from 10:30 – 11 a.m.
Where: Library 21c - Children's Room
Virtual Once Upon a Sign: ASL Storytime
Come and join us for a fun virtual Storytime featuring early literacy activities and stories signed in American Sign Language (ASL) by a Deaf role model and spoken aloud in English!
When: Tue., Oct. 25 from 9 - 9:30 a.m.
- OverDrive Booklist
- Disability Resources Subject Guide
A compilation of national, state, and local resources for individuals with disabilities, their families, and friends. Topics include advocacy, assistive technology, caregiver resources, emergency preparedness, employment & housing, recreation, and more.
- Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
DVR provides services which can include vocational guidance and counseling, short- or long-term training, job seeking skills, job development and job coaching, assistive technology, and needed accommodations to participate with DVR and on the job.
- The Independence Center
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
The Job Accommodation Network is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues.
- Pikes Peak Workforce Center – Accessibility to Services
The Pikes Peak Workforce Center connects businesses with work-ready job seekers and employer-driven services. We help residents of El Paso & Teller Counties with career transition, whether they are unemployed, underemployed, or employed.
- Rocky Mountain ADA Center
- Special Kids Special Families
SKSF was founded in 1998 to provide respite and care for children and adults with disabilities. Programs offer community support services to families that are designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities throughout their life span.
The Independence Center provides information, resources, and support to help people with disabilities live, learn, work, play, and participate in civic life as equals.
The Rocky Mountain ADA Center provides information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tailored to meet the needs of individuals and organizations in our region.
This October, arts and culture takes center stage across the Pikes Peak region as our community celebrates Arts Month! And you’re encouraged to have one new cultural experience with family or friends sometime this month.
Art is for everyone, and we’re offering opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels! To kick off the month, we will be offering Take and Make kits at participating Library locations that you can pick up and enjoy doing at home (while supplies last).
There are also several Library programs happening throughout October like workshops and open paint nights. Come celebrate Arts Month with us this October.
Here are a few options:
Bad Art Night – For Adults
Multiple dates starting Wed., Oct. 5
All of the fun of making art with none of the pressure! Join us to create the most ridiculous pieces of art you can think of - from painting to collage to sculpture - while enjoying snacks and refreshments. At the end of the night, there will be awards for the most over-the-top bad artwork! All supplies will be provided. Come celebrate Arts Month with us in a judgment-free and glitter-heavy zone!
Mini Pumpkin Decorating – For Tweens
Multiple dates starting Thu., Oct. 6
Transform a mini pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece! We will have everything you need to decorate a pumpkin for fall. For ages 9 - 12. Registration required.
Pikes Peak Live! – For Teens and Adults
Sat., Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. at The Hall at PPLD (formerly known as Knights of Columbus Hall)
Pikes Peak Live! is an all-day event that consists of performing art workshops that will conclude with a talent show by the participants for the public. The day will start with a series of workshops where participants can choose to attend either poetry, music, or comedy workshops. Participants then will come together to present their works (panel style) where they’ll learn some tips and tricks on performing on stage. The day will conclude with a talent showcase where participants can take part and test the water by performing in front of an audience. The showcase is open to public viewing.
View all Library programs and activities during Arts Month.
To find out what else is happening around the region, check out the calendar of events at ArtsOctober.com.
We partner with the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region throughout the year to encourage residents of El Paso County to engage with their community through arts, culture, and other programs and experiences. PPLD is a proud partner of #ArtsOctober and PeakRadar.com.
An inside look at the 2022 All Pikes Peak Reads' Adult Selection
- Interview by Heidi Buljung and Anthony Carlson
The adult selection for this year’s All Pikes Peak Reads program is The Library Book written by acclaimed author, Susan Orlean. PPLD Senior Librarian Heidi Buljung recently had the opportunity to chat with Susan about her latest book, the value of libraries to communities, how it felt to be portrayed by Meryl Streep in a movie, and what Susan learned about libraries while writing The Library Book.
Heidi: The Library Book has been chosen as Pikes Peak Library District's All Pikes Peak Reads' adult selection this year. Every year, the program has a theme, and this year’s theme is “reinvention.” In what ways do you think libraries are places of invention and reinvention for people and patrons who visit them?
Susan: I think I can answer the question in two ways. To begin with, libraries have always adapted to the moment. For many centuries, they were primarily repositories of books. They were really in the vanguard of seeing other forms of media as being appropriate for being in their collections. So, the library of today is different from the library of 20 years ago, and that was different from the library 20 years before that. It's been a constant and ongoing process of reinvention. I think libraries have been remarkable in that regard. They have really never seen themselves as museums of books, but rather, these living, breathing information centers, and whatever form information comes in, libraries have embraced it. I think that's why they've remained vital.
I think another way of looking at this, though, is that libraries are also tools of reinvention. And in their earliest iteration, one of the main missions of a library was to educate people, and to give them the tools to reinvent themselves. In a sense, they were sort of an open university, and that has really remained a constant. We see this now with libraries offering GED programs and citizenship courses. There are all these different ways that a library makes itself available for an individual to say, ‘I want to learn about something new,’ or ‘I want to expose myself to a new set of information.’ You know, libraries, at their core, have always been about that transformational property.
Heidi: On a little personal note, I'm a librarian because my mom took me to the library when I was a kid. Getting to the book, you talked about going on those trips with your mom to the library; those memories were stirred for you when you took your son to visit the Studio City Library. Can you share a little bit about why those childhood visits to the library were so important, and how they helped to shape who you are today?
Susan: There is a way that they figured in my memory and my emotions as a kid that just defies explanation. There was something magical about going to the library. Even as a little kid, I had the kind of freedom to pick what I wanted and make my own choices. The actual act of going with my mom just felt full of mystery. I can't explain it other than to say that books have some magic and libraries have some transformational quality that, even as a kid, you sense. It made me an avid reader. And there's no doubt in my mind that being an avid reader led to me being a writer. I have no doubt that that's where the seeds were sown.
I think going to the library and seeing this incredible array of books is quite different from going to a bookstore or going on Amazon and ordering the book you want. And, you know, browsing a library has different qualities. I think it's even different from browsing a bookstore, because you've got old books, you have books that have long since been out of print, and you have obscure oddball books that might not appear in a bookstore. In a library you really dive in and see the extraordinary range of curiosity. I think that really inspired me. That changed the way I looked at the world and made me appreciative of the range of stories and interests that a library presents.
Heidi: The Library Book has been described as a love letter to libraries. How does that make you feel to hear that?
Susan: It's absolutely wonderful! When I wrote the book, I had begun with the idea that I wanted to write something about libraries. I just felt like they're such interesting institutions and they've endured. Do you know why? When you think about how much society has changed since the first library was founded, it's so interesting that we still make libraries, and we still care so deeply about them. I just instantly thought, well, this is a subject that I'm really curious about.
Then the story of the fire, which was a very dramatic story really interested me. I didn't go into it thinking “I'm going to write a tribute and a love letter.” Yet, of course, the whole reason I did the book is because I love libraries. So, it almost came as a wonderful surprise to me to in retrospect to say “Oh, of course. Of course, it's a love letter!” These are remarkable things that we humans have created and preserved, and the way they function is truly good in this world. But I have to say, not to sound too cynical, there's something really amazing about thinking of a place, particularly a public institution, that you feel like it's just good. It's full of goodness. And that made me really happy.
Heidi: I want to ask about the cynical expression that you have when someone has died, his or her library has burned. And you explain a little bit of that in the book. Can you just explain that, again, for purposes of this interview, why that quote, that expression is so poignant?
Susan: Well, it operates on many levels. On one level, it suggests that we each contain in our minds and hearts, a sort of library of a lifetime of stories, experiences, images, memories that our minds have sort of organized, like libraries. Everything we know, all the knowledge we have, as well as all of the memories and more personal information we have, disappears when we die. But the poignancy also is that libraries themselves exist almost like a communal soul. Everything that a culture knows, values, thinks, and cares about is contained in a library. And, if an actual physical library burns, you've lost this entire sense of a culture.
Heidi: Awesome. And we have one final question. So, Jeremiah, who's in internal communications with the Library District, is a big fan of [the movie] Adaptation. He wanted us to ask you specifically how it felt to have Meryl Streep play you in a movie?
Susan: Well, it's wonderful. I mean, if you're going to have the weird experience of being portrayed in a movie, which is, in itself, a very bizarre life experience… If you're going to have somebody do it, Meryl Streep would be the person you'd want. And you know, it doesn't make it any less weird, but it made me feel that I was having brain surgery by a highly trained surgeon, as opposed to being hit by a truck. And I love the movie. So, you know, my feelings about it are very positive.
Heidi: This was so much fun! I know PPLD is really excited to feature your book as part of All Pikes Peak Reads this year. Thank you so much for the time today, and we really appreciate the opportunity to connect and talk about your book.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of District Discovery.
Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 joins Colorado Springs School District 11, Harrison School District 2, Academy School District 20, Calhan School District, and District 49 as the sixth and latest school district to join Pikes Peak Library District’s (PPLD) PowerPass program since its initial launch in the fall of 2019.
PowerPass is a digital library card just for students with the goal of providing access to PPLD’s digital resources, like databases, eBooks, and song and movie downloads to students as a supplement to existing school district resources.
Learn more at ppld.org/PowerPass.
Origami has been around for over 1000 years. Let’s look at origami under a different light. The art of paper folding was once considered a child’s activity, but now it attracts mathematicians, designers, engineers and artists all over the world. It only requires paper, but the possibilities are endless. In this workshop participants will learn to fold oversized and standard-size modular origami then use the pieces to build a large-scale community installation to be displayed at the PPLD libraries.
El origami ha existido por mas de mil años. En este workshop me gustaría que el público a vea éste arte bajo una luz diferente. El arte del plegado de papel una vez fue considerado una actividad infantil, pero ahora atrae a matemáticos, diseñadores, ingenieros y artistas de todo el mundo. Solo requiere un pedazo de papel, pero las posibilidades son infinitas. En este taller los participantes aprenderán a plegar el origami modular de gran tamaño y luego utilizarán las piezas para construir una instalación de gran escala.
In this workshop, participants will learn how to fold large modular origami and then use the pieces to build a large-scale installation.
Registration is required; please click on link to sign up.
- Wed., Sept. 21 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Rockrimmon Library
- Sat., Sept. 24 from 2 - 5 p.m. at Sand Creek Library
- Thu., Sept. 29 from 4 - 7 p.m. at Sand Creek Library
- Sat., Oct. 1 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Old Colorado City Library
- Fri., Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Manitou Springs Library
- Tue., Oct. 11 from 4 - 7 p.m. at Library 21c
- Sat., Oct. 15 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Library 21c
- Mon., Oct. 17 from 1 - 4 p.m. at Rockrimmon Library
- Sat., Oct. 22 from 2 - 5 p.m. at Ruth Holley Library
- Sat., Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at East Library
Join Gabrielle Oshiro as she constructs a large-scale modular origami piece to be displayed in Library 21c. Participants may help with a variety of tasks such as folding origami, connecting pieces together into modules, pasting decorative papers, and more. Come learn from one of our community’s incredible makers all while being a part of a large-scale art installation!
This is a drop-in event; registration is not required.
- Thu., Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Library 21c
- Fri., Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Library 21c
- Thu., Nov. 3 from 1 - 5 p.m. at Library 21c
- Mon., Nov. 7 from 1 - 6 p.m. at Library 21c
- Wed., Nov. 9 from 1 - 6 p.m. at Library 21c
- Fri., Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Library 21c
Gaby Oshiro was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Treviso, Italy. Gaby got her love for visual arts and music from her parents. After fine arts school in Treviso, Italy, she started her own research through music, painting, and macrophotography and merging it all together in art installations in Italy, South America and the United States. She is always looking for that elusive hidden beauty that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries, beginning Sept. 9, 2022.
Materials you provide:
Cup of Water
(See pdf link below for additional pictures of this project.)
1. Stack your coffee filters. Use the template to trace a leaf on the top one. (If you’d prefer, just draw your own leaf.) Cut the leaves out through all the coffee filters.
2. Use a washable marker to draw a thick circle in the center of each coffee filter leaf. Do not fill in the center of the circle or color the entire leaf.
3. Fold the leaf 3 times (in half, in half again, and in half again). You should have a point in the middle of your circle.
4. Carefully dip the point of the leaf in the cup of water and hold it there until the leaf is saturated. It may need a minute or so. You will probably want a new cup of water for each leaf.
5. Let the leaves dry on a surface that can get color on it. Once they are dry, carefully unfold them.
What better way is there to instill a sense of pride, responsibility, independence, and ownership in your child than getting them their first library card? September is Library Card Sign-up month and PPLD is encouraging adults to bring their little ones to a PPLD location to get their first library card and begin a relationship that will last a lifetime and bring them hours of adventure, fun, knowledge, and enjoyment.
From Sept. 1 - 30, PPLD will present each new children’s library cardholder with a button that reads “I got a library card!” and a gift card for a free child’s meal at Raising Cane’s!
Also, your child will be entered to win a family 4-pack of tickets to either Blue’s Clues (on Fri., Nov. 18) or Disney Junior Live! (Wed., Nov. 30) courtesy of Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts. (Only children 12 and younger are eligible. While supplies last. Some restrictions may apply)
The new card must be in the child’s name, so bring them into any location and get them signed up today!
If you prefer to apply for a card online, visit tinyurl.com/PPLDLibraryCardApp, then bring your child in to pick up their prizes.
Give your child a gift that lasts a lifetime… All they need is their Library!
This STEM project is a favorite from our quarantine days of virtual programming.
Large jar (24 oz. spaghetti sauce jar or a large mason jar)
Water - 2 1/2 cups water (or until it reaches 3/4 of the way up the jar)
Oil - 1/2 cup
Sprinkle in as much salt as necessary but you'd need about 1/4 cup total
Food coloring (optional)
Pour water 3/4 to the top of a mason jar. Stir in optional food coloring.
Pour oil into jar. Allow water and oil to separate.
Sprinkle salt into jar. Watch the reaction occur and make observations.
Watch this project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3qhs9SW-RA
Our APPR title for grades 4-6 is The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor.
Homeschoolers: Register your homeschool group, or children for a live Zoom visit with the author, October 20 at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. at https://ppld.librarymarket.com/events/month/2022/10. We will send you the link a few days before the program. Registration begins August 15.
Schools: Please contact Barbara Andros to register at email@example.com
If you are not able to make the live session, a recording of the program will be available for 30 days. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Book description: Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard.
An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.
Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground haven for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin and, eventually, Benny.
But will anyone believe him?
Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including two ALA Schneider Family Book Award winners, Waiting for Normal and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, which was also selected as a National Book Award finalist. Her other books include All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Crunch, and The Things You Kiss Goodbye. She lives in the Connecticut woods with her family and three rescue dogs. You can visit her online at www.leslieconnor.com.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District