What's New!

April is Earth Month, and this project introduces the idea of upcycling. Upcycling occurs when you transform something that you no longer use into something useful. In this instance, we’re upcycling our unused summer adventure T-shirts into very useful shopping bags that you can be used again and again! It’s called upcycling because the value of the item is increased. (There are no Take and Makes as mentioned in the video since this is a post from 2021 but you can use any old t-shirt at home!)

 

Supplies: (see pdf link below for additional pictures)

  • Old summer adventure T-shirt (in kit)
  • Scissors (supplied at home)

Please note: Younger children may need help cutting and tying knots.

Directions:

  1. Lay the T-shirt flat. Cut off the sleeves at the seam, and then cut out the collar. Cut a second semi-circle or rectangle below the cut-out collar (the shoulders of the T-shirt will become the handles, and this will make them deeper). See red lines in photo for where to cut.
  2. Next, you will cut strips out of the bottom of the T-shirt. You might want to cut off the bottom hem of the T-shirt to make cutting the strips easier. Hold the back and front of the shirt together so you are cutting both sides at the same time to form an equal number of strips. Strips should be about one-half to one inch in width.
  3. Now, tie the strips together (front side to back side) using an overhand knot. The overhand knot is the knot you tie first when you are tying shoelaces. Check out a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwdJ5op25SM. You might want to double knot for a stronger bag. Tie overhand knots until all the strips are knotted and the bottom of the bag is closed. Ta da! You made a bag!

Optional: Use the handles as they are, or cut apart the shoulder seam and then tie the two ends together using the overhand knot. This is basically a decorative element as the sleeve holes can be used as handles without this step.

 

 

 

Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May! See two booklist links below, one for picture books and the other for kids' chapter books:

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 3-5, will be available at area PPLD libraries starting Friday, April 30, 2021.

Mix and match straw "beads" to create a colorful bracelet. For ages 3-5.

Directions and Supplies included in kit:

  • Pipe cleaner
  • Straw “beads”

Directions:

  1. Bend one end of the pipe cleaner, so that the beads do not fall off.
  2. String beads on pipe cleaner. Note: Leave about 1” of pipe cleaner on both ends so that you can connect the bracelet at the end.
  3. When your child is finished stringing beads, twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together to close the bracelet and then tuck them inside the beads.
  4. Enjoy your beaded bracelet!

Beading is a fun activity for children of all ages. As children are placing beads on the pipe cleaner, they are developing their pincer grasp and eye hand coordination. Beading also provides an opportunity to work on patterning, naming colors, and counting!

Patterns are arrangements of things that repeat in logical way (color, size, shape, etc.). Patterns help children learn how to make predictions. As they learn more about patterns, children begin to understand what comes next, how to make logical connections, and how to use reasoning skills. These skills are important in learning to read and in math.

Try out these beading ideas:

  • Thread Cheerios onto pipe cleaners.
  • Thread egg cartons onto pipe cleaners. (Cut egg carton into 12 pieces and use a hole punch to punch holes on two sides of each piece.)
  • Cut shapes out of heavier paper or cardboard. Thread the shapes onto pipe cleaners, ribbon, or a shoe string. Tip: When threading on ribbon or a shoe string, tape one end to a table so the beads don’t slide off.

Have fun making patterns:

  • With toys, such as blocks and cars. (Block – Car – Block – Car – Block - Car)
  • By doing something. (Jump – Clap – Clap – Jump – Clap – Clap - Jump)
  • With stickers. (Animal Sticker – Shape Sticker – Animal Sticker – Shape Sticker)
  • With items you find on a nature walk. (Rock – Stick – Leaf - Rock – Stick - Leaf)

What other items can you make patterns with? Vary the patterns, making them harder as your child has more experience doing this.

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Regional History Symposium - 2022

Pikes Peak Library District is excited to announce our 19th annual Regional History Symposium: Resilience, Resistance, & Restoration. Our speakers will explore the challenges and triumphs of the people and communities of the Pikes Peak Region over the course of two program sessions.

 

To register, click on the session below you would like to attend:


PART I Sat., Jun 11 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. East Library

Schedule

Sponsored by Friends of PPLD

  • 9:30 a.m. | Doors open
  • 10 - 10:10 a.m. | Welcome and introduction
  • 10:10 - 11:15 a.m. | Presentations (3) - Each presentation is scheduled for 20 minutes
  • 11:15 - 11:45 a.m. | Coffee Break - (Coffee and refreshments provided)
  • 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Presentations (2) - Each presentation is scheduled for 20 minutes
  • 12:30 - 1 p.m. | Questions and Answers

PRESENTATIONS:

Barry Binder: Heathen Chinee: China Jim, Dr. Chung Sing, and the Chinese Question in Colorado’s Press (1869-1915)
For most Coloradans, the press was the dominant, and often sole source of information on and about Chinese migrants at the turn of the 20th century -- the “celestial” others depicted in black ink by white journalists. Relying on hundreds of newspaper articles from the period, this talk examines the lives and experiences of two Chinese migrants in the Pikes Peak region: China Jim, an entrepreneur in Colorado Springs, and Dr. Chung Sing, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine in Pueblo. Further, this talk challenges much of the existing historiography and the prevailing narrative of Chinese migrants in the American West as voiceless victims silently acquiescent to discriminatory actions aimed at limiting their success.

 

Julie Haverluk : Silver Fox Farming in El Paso County, 1920-1950: The Rise and Fall of an Industry
The name of Fox Run Regional Park is one of the last vestiges of an industry that once thrived in the region from the 1920s to 1950s but has left few traces. The rapid rise and dramatic decline of silver fox farming brought surprising prosperity to struggling ranchers and hardy investors for several decades before national and international market forces and cultural change led to its abrupt decline.

 

Milly Mollica: Dominic Mollica: A Remarkable Man and Legacy
This talk will explain how Dominic Mollica’s legacy lives on in the Colorado Springs community. It will summarize Dominic Mollica’s life, providing context about the kind of man Mollica was and how Colorado Springs provided him with opportunities to leave a respectful legacy. It will also examine the value he added to the Air Academy District 20 community and analyze the accomplishments and awards Mollica received. This presentation blends family history with community history.

 

Eric Metzger: A Decision at Stones River: Henry McAllister’s Loyalty to Palmer and to the Union Cause Amidst the Civil War
Early in the Civil War, Colonel Palmer, Commander of the 15th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, was captured by Confederate troops and imprisoned. The loss of their commander sent the 15th into a general state of chaos and confusion that came to a head outside of Nashville, Tennessee as they were preparing to go into battle at Stones River. In the days prior to the battle at Stones River, the men of the 15th were each making an important decision in their military lives, to participate in the battle at Stones River or lay down their arms and refuse a direct order to march into battle. Henry McAllister, at the time a 1st Sergeant of Company L, also made a decision that day, to remain loyal to the Union cause and march into battle. McAllister was wounded in battle and survived. Two months later Palmer was released from captivity and rejoined his men in Nashville, where he quickly promoted McAllister to 1st Lieutenant. The two would remain close for the rest of their lives, eventually partnering to build a railroad and a town in Colorado.

 

Eric Swab: Rocky Mountain Reforestation
Faced with the need to reforest over-harvested national forests, the U. S. Forest Service began a tree nursery in the region. They first attempted growing trees at three sites on Pikes Peak. All three failed, but a site near the town of Monument successfully produced 72,000,000 trees during its 58-year history.

 

Click here for complete Part I program and presenter biographies


PART II Sat., Jul 9 | 10 a.m. - noon Virtual

Schedule

  • 10 - 10:05 a.m. | Welcome and introduction
  • 10:05 - 10:45 a.m. | Presentations (2) - Each presentation is scheduled for 20 minutes
  • 10:45 - 11 a.m. | Break
  • 11 - 11:40 a.m. | Presentations (2) - Each presentation is scheduled for 20 minutes
  • 11:40 a.m. - noon | Questions and Answers

PRESENTATIONS:

Katherine Scott Sturdevant: “Sanitarium City” Meets COVID: Colorado Springs as a Crisis Community
One of Colorado Springs’ less attractive nicknames was “Sanitarium City,” because such institutions sprang up in it like wildflowers when people “chased the cure” for tuberculosis. Colorado Springs has faced its share of historic disease epidemics as well as natural and man-made disasters. The city’s familiarity with disease and focus on curing it might have sparked an extra degree of alertness, as well as attracting a substantial population of medical professionals and institutions. Indeed, in its Gazette newspaper, earlier Colorado Springs seems somewhat obsessed that every ailment of man or beast might become an “epidemic.” Preparedness also fosters a high level of “resilience,” resists defeat, and seeks restoration. Whether Colorado Springs’ responses are typical or unusual, they are patterned, interesting, and historical.

 

Pat Musick: The Depression and the New Deal: Regional Resilience and Restoration
New Deal programs aided the citizens of the Pikes Peak region in integrating qualities of resilience, resistance, and restoration during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The legacies of these programs still serve this region in the form of roads, parks, buildings, art, forests, and flood control. The response of the people to the devastation of the Depression can inspire 21st century citizens.

 

John Putman: Colorado Springs Together (CST): Facilitating the Mountain Shadows Waldo Canyon Fire Recovery
This talk will revisit the story of the Waldo Canyon Wildfire recovery based on the speaker’s front line role in helping that recovery. It will explore the incredible resilience of the residents as well as the community synergy to maximize and facilitate as complete of a recovery as possible. With the increasing wildfires in the western United States, it is important to understand the important human endeavors to create good recovery outcomes. From all indications, the Waldo Canyon Wildfire recovery is a benchmark which very few communities achieve after such catastrophic losses.

 

William Schultz: God’s Country: How the “Foreclosure Capital of America” Became “Jesus Springs”
This talk explains how a real estate disaster transformed Colorado Springs into “Jesus Springs.” Cutbacks in military spending and the bursting of a real estate bubble shattered the city’s economy in the mid-1980s. The local business community sought to rebuild by courting evangelical ministries. Many of these ministries were swayed by the chamber of commerce’s promise of cheap property, low taxes, and a large, low-wage labor pool. The result: dozens of Christian ministries, ranging from one-person operations to multi-million-dollar enterprises, moved to the city between 1985 and 1995.

 

Click here for complete Part II program and presenter biographies

Take and Makes for this project for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, April 23, 2021.

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/u08_xD4-Ok4?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies and Directions:

Step 1.
Gather your supplies.
Provided in your bag: clothespin, coffee filter, pipe cleaner
From home: you will need glue, scissors, washable markers, other coloring materials (optional), water (a spray bottle makes this easier), and something to lay your butterfly on while it dries.

Step 2.
Decorate your coffee filter with colorful designs using washable markers. Once complete, place the coffee filter on a cookie sheet or plastic bag to protect your work surface. Mist the coffee filter with the spray bottle filled with water. Watch the colors blend! Set aside to dry.

Step 3.
Decorate clothespin with markers or other coloring materials. Make any design! Set aside to dry.

Step 4.
Once the coffee filter is dry, fold it in half. Take your scissors, cut the filter into a football shape starting at the crease and cut out to the edge (you may need a grownup’s help with this). Unfold coffee filter. Cut-outs should be on the sides of the filter when lying flat on your work surface. Pinch the top and bottom of the filter to meet in the center. Open the clothespin and place the coffee filter inside.

Step 5.
Curl your pipe cleaner into antennas and put inside the clothespin. Use glue to secure it all. Take your completed butterfly and enjoy it outside, in your room, and share it with your friends!

Discovery Kits are a collection of interactive items that patrons can check out to explore new topics, hobbies, and interests at home. There are Discovery Kits for all ages, from toddlers to adults. Learn more about the different kits here.

 

They are currently available at:


Kits:

  • Round Looms
  • Electronic Playground
  • Lego Mindstorms EV3
  • Bee Bots
  • Survive the Quake Engineering Kit
  • Remote Control Gear Bot
  • Ultimate Fort Builder
  • Cubelets Discovery Set
  • Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
  • MAGNA-TILES Building Set

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning this Friday, April 16, 2021.

The video instructions are available at: https://tinyurl.com/PPLDVirtualSTEM

Supplies and Directions:

Materials included: Cork, two 12 inch bamboo skewers, toothpick, modeling clay, googly eyes
Materials needed: glue, paint or markers (optional)

  1. Push the pointy end of a skewer into one side of the cork at a 45 degree angle; repeat on the other side just opposite the first skewer.
  2. Push the toothpick in the center of the bottom of the cork. (*The skewers should be pointing down.)
  3. Roll two equal-sized balls of clay and press them onto the bottom ends of the skewers.
  4. Glue the two googly eyes on the cork. You’ll need to allow time for glue to dry. If you want, you can use paint or a marker to add more details to the face.
  5. Place the tip of the toothpick on your finger and see if it balances. If it leans too much to one side, adjust the angle of the skewers one at a time until the cork stands upright when balanced on the tip of your finger.

Now, have some fun! See if you can gently spin your Balancing Buddy on the tip of your finger. Try walking around the house while keeping the Balancing Buddy in place. Can you balance Balancing Buddy on your elbow? Your knee? What other experiments can you do with your Balancing Buddy?

balancing buddybalancing buddy

The science behind the project:

Everything has a center of gravity, which is the point at which its mass is evenly distributed. The clay balls are heavier than the cork, so they bring the center of gravity to the bottom of the toothpick. That’s why the bottom of the toothpick will balance on your fingertip!

Welcome to the 15th Annual Pikes Peak Library District Mountain of Authors!


Keynote: Lt. Joe Kenda (Ret.)

Check out the 2021 Mountain of Authors keynote address by author and retired homicide detective Lt. Joe Kenda. Joe spoke for approximately 45 minutes, and then opened it up to a question and answer session.

Get your signed book from PPLD Friends HERE!

Lt. Joe Kenda, a twenty-three-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Police Department, spent twenty-one years chasing killers as a homicide detective and commander of the major crimes unit. Kenda and his team solved 356 of his 387 homicide cases, getting a 92 percent solve rate—one of the highest in the country. After retiring from law enforcement, he starred in Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, an American true-crime documentary series that ran for nine seasons on the Investigation Discovery network and was aired in sixty-nine countries and territories worldwide. At its peak, Homicide Hunter averaged 1.9 million viewers in the US. See Lt. Kenda on his new crime series, American Detective, available to stream now on discovery+.


Live Panel

Please join us for this year's live, in-person panel, "Case File Conversations: Crime and the People that Chronicle It." This hour long presentation will complement the virtual keynote address by Joe Kenda on Sat., May 1, 2021, and recorded local author Book Buzz presentations. The panelists will discuss their respective careers, how they became involved in the field of crime writing/solving/reporting, and their experiences with it in the Colorado Springs community.

Recording coming soon

This year's panelists include:

  • 2020 Colorado Book Award finalist (Thriller Category) for Black Pearl and author of police procedural and psychological suspense fiction Donnell Ann Bell
  • Retired Colorado Springs Police Officer and compiler of the Homicides of the Colorado Springs Area, 1872 to Present index in Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections, Dwight Haverkorn.
  • Hosts of the Colorado Springs Gazette podcast Colorado Cold Case, Olivia Prentzel and Lance Benzel.

Book Buzz

Pike Peak Library District's annual Mountain of Authors program, including the Local Author Showcase, has gone virtual! For our virtual event, local authors have created fun and exciting Book Buzzes (short videos) to share their new books with you. Join us to discover new authors and great books for the fall. View all the videos here and see what the buzz is all about!

Videos premiered Sat., May 1 on PPLDTV YouTube.


Self-Publishing Workshop
Want to publish your own book? Learn more about self-publishing opportunities with the Library, such as Biblioboard and the Indie Author Project. This class is an overview about the self-publishing process, including creating an eBook, distribution channels, and marketing.

Video premieres Sat., May 1 on PPLDTV YouTube.

Celebrate Earth Month with PPLD!


Family & Children's Services
Learn about Earth Day and celebrate our green planet with fun activities, fascinating facts, and ideas for going green. For ages 6 and up. This video will be available on PPLDTV YouTube on Tue., April 27.

Visit your favorite Library starting Fri., April 30 to pick up materials for this program while supplies last.

Nature Detectives

Join Detective Honeycomb as she solves various mysteries in Colorado Springs Parks throughout the city. Learn about the Leave No Trace Principles and how to be good stewards of the land. Watch the video and discuss the "Leave No Trace" principle that is in the link in each program description.


Young Adults


Creative Services: Visible Mending

Do you have well-loved items in your wardrobe that could use a breath of new life? In this video, you'll learn about visible mending, a technique for fixing up damaged clothes with a little extra flair.

For more information on the techniques featured in this video, check out our Clothing Repair LibGuide. We've curated a list of videos and good books on the topic to get you started.

If you're interested in reserving a sewing machine or using any of the other resources available in our makerspaces, click here.

Jump to some of the techniques we covered in this video:

  • 2:54 - darning
  • 3:36 - patching & sashiko
  • 4:36 - embroidery
  • 6:00 - machine mending

Take and Makes for origami fun, for ages 9-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, April 9, 2021.

Supplies:

Take and Makes will supply assorted Origami paper
Optional supplies needed needed from home: Scissors and a pen, pencil, or marker

Directions:

Star Wars X-wing Starfighter
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/GyOw1JMO4hI and see pdf below for pictures.

  1. Fold Paper in half.
  2. Fold paper in half again to create a small square.
  3. Fold the square into a triangle.
  4. Unfold paper completely. Fold sides into each other to create a large triangle. You may want to watch the video for this step.
  5. Fold bottom corner of top side down to the crease. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Flip paper over and follow step 5.
  7. Fold bottom corner of one side up so that it creates a new triangle with a flat side on top. Repeat on other side. Flip paper and repeat.
  8. Fold the bottom edge to top of new triangle edge. Repeat on 3 other sides. This will complete the wings.
  9. Fold wing tips down to create guns on the wings.
  10. Enjoy your finished X-wing fighter!

See directions below for a cool Tortoise project also!

Community Conversations at Pikes Peak Library District is a new series of monthly events that invites the public to discuss current events and issues impacting the Pikes Peak region. We want to promote civil dialogue and greater understanding of different perspectives.


Keep an eye on our calendar to join us for future conversations on timely and relevant topics to the Pikes Peak region. More information to come on locations and times!

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 2-5, are available starting April 2, 2021 at area PPLD libraries.

Brighten up a wintry day with a tissue paper "stained glass" decoration. Hold your finished project up to a window or a light and let the colors shine through! For ages 2-5.

Supplies:

Included in kit:

  • 2 pieces wax paper
  • 4 strips construction paper (for frame)
  • 2 pieces of tissue paper

Supplies you provide:

  • Glue stick or tape
  • Child-safe scissors, Optional

Directions:

  1. Cut or tear the tissue paper into smaller pieces.
  2. Glue tissue paper to one of the pieces of wax paper until the wax paper is filled, or the design is complete. Don’t worry about the tissue paper being over the edge. It will be trimmed later. NOTE: It is easier to spread the glue on the wax paper and then lay the tissue paper on the glue.
  3. Take the 4 strips of construction paper and glue them to the edges to create a frame.
  4. Trim the frame.
  5. Glue the 2nd piece of wax paper onto the tissue paper and frame.
  6. Find a window to display your “stained glass"!

Your child can use child-safe scissors to cut the tissue paper. However, when a child tears pieces of paper, they improve hand strength in the small muscles in their hands. These small muscles are important in many fine motor skills – coloring, handwriting, buttoning buttons, building puzzles, and more! Tearing paper also improves hand-eye coordination and the ability of hands to work together. Both skills are needed to write and to use scissors.

What other works of art can you and your child create with torn paper?

Take and Makes for this homeschool experiment for ages 6-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries starting this Friday, April 2, 2021.

Introduction:

How do seeds transform into plants? What happens when a bean seed begins to grow? Watching a sprout emerge from a dry seed is nothing short of miraculous. You will plant beans inside a plastic bag to watch roots form and leaves emerge right before your very eyes. You will also compare how beans grow in light and dark environments.

Supplies Included in Take and Make Kits:

  • 2 plastic zipper storage bags
  • 10 uncooked pinto beans (remove from bag)
  • 2 paper towels
  • Data Sheet for Light Experiment
  • Data Sheet for Dark Experiment
  • Bean House Template

Supplies from home:

  • Water (in bowl or sprayer)
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper to label beans with date
  • Scotch tape or glue stick
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Crayons or marker
  • Ruler

Safety Tip: Dried beans are chocking hazards for small children. Adults will need to supervise this activity.

For This Experiment:

  1. Experiment Light: choose a sunny window where the seeds will get plenty of light, but won’t be blasted by intense sun all day.
  2. Experiment Dark: Find a closed drawer or closet that is dark and not opened very often.

Directions:

  1. Fold paper towels so they will fit inside the bags.
  2. Dampen paper towels with spray bottle (not too wet!) and place inside bags. You will need to add water to paper towels when they dry out over time.
  3. Put 5 beans into each bag on top of paper towels (leave room between them to grow!) and zip closed.
  4. Write the date on scrap paper, label either Light or Dark, and tape to each bag.
  5. Color/decorate the frame of the Bean House Template with markers or crayons. Fold it in half lengthwise and use scissors to cut along the dotted lines (you are cutting out a large square). Tape the Light Bean Bag into the Bean House.
  6. Tape the Bean House (Light Bean Bag) to a window. Put Dark Bean Bag into a dark place.

Now you are ready to prepare your data sheets. Use the Scientific Method questionnaire on the back of each sheet to make predictions about how each bag of seeds will grow. Use the front sides of the sheets to collect data. You will make drawings and take measurements. Do this every 3- 5 days and see if your hypothesis for each bean bag comes true! Do the seeds grow the same in both bags? Can you think of other variables to try besides light and dark?

Take and Makes for this project for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, March 26, 2021.

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/nNIaTK7sFgA?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies and Directions:

Step 1

  • Gather your supplies
  • Provided in your bag: a bendy pencil, feathers, and a Mad Lib
  • From home: you will need glue (preferably a liquid glue like Elmer's) and a pencil sharpener

Step 2

  • Glue your feathers to the erasure side of the pencil

Step 3

  • Add a little pressure to the feathers around the pencil. This will help keep them in place.

Step 4

  • Wait for the glue to dry

Step 5

  • Use your Truffula Tree pencil to create a silly story using the Mad Lib! Try not to read the story until you've filled out all the blank spaces. You might need help from a grownup with this.

Celebrate Freedom of Information Day Tue., March 16!

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections. (Read the full ALA's Freedom to Read Statement.)


The Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
  7. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Learn more about Intellectual Freedom with the American Library Association.


PPLD Policies:


International Resources

Seed libraries and gardens throughout the district can help your green thumb Did you know Pikes Peak Library District is home to several gardens and seed libraries? Learn more about them below, and use the seed libraries to start gardens of your own!


CARNEGIE GARDEN

The Carnegie Garden is located between two historic buildings of the Penrose Library Campus: the 1905 Carnegie Library and the 1928 Knights of Columbus Hall. Once a parking lot, the Garden is now home to a demonstration garden and a lawn that is perfect for public functions and outdoor gatherings. Designed by landscape architect Carla Anderson, the Garden opened in 2007. “The Carnegie had just been renovated, and somebody came to a master gardener meeting and said, ‘Here’s a beautiful building that needs a landscape,’” recalls Anderson. “So I said, ‘Here’s my opportunity to volunteer in the community.’” Anderson took a look at the space and was interested in the location’s unique microclimate. “It’s on that southern slope. And it’s surrounded by hard surfaces: walls on three sides and the pavement below, so it gets a lot of heat,” explains Anderson. “For me landscape architecture is all about problem solving, taking a challenge and finding a solution to that.” Terracing the Garden solved one problem: the slope between the Carnegie Library and the wall below. It also made it easier to view the plants selected for the low water demonstration garden. “I wanted to make sure we paid homage to our native short-grassed prairie, so there are a lot of grasses that honor that,” says Anderson. “It is a plant select garden, a program by Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University. They select a variety of shrubs, perennials, and grasses and make those selected plants available. Then we report back about what did well, what had problems.” The Garden has changed quite a bit since it opened 13 years ago, and will continue to do so. “It’s amazing to me how much it’s grown. It’s very much a Darwinian garden in that we plant things, and what grew and thrived deserved to be there. What didn’t survive got yanked out,” says Anderson. “A garden is a process; it’s not an end product. It’s four-dimensional art. You’ve got the three basic spatial dimensions, and then you have time.”


GREEN TEAM GARDEN

PPLD’s Green Team plans, plants, and harvests vegetable gardens and a pollinator garden at Penrose Library along Pikes Peak Avenue. Fresh spinach, lettuce, radishes, garlic, Swiss chard, herbs, and zucchini from three raised beds are regularly donated to the nearby Catholic Charities’ Marian House. The food is harvested in the morning, and they serve it that same day. Composting is done onsite and comes from the Penrose Library’s employee kitchen. Garden markers were made from recycled ceramic tiles at a library makerspace. The City of Colorado Springs provides mulch for the Garden.


HIGH PRAIRIE LIBRARY GARDEN

In the past, the Garden was maintained by staff of High Prairie Library. Starting in 2020, the Fresh Start Center now plants and harvests the garden. Food from the Garden helps support their mission to “fight hunger, poverty, and joblessness through sustainable agriculture, food distribution, employment programs, nursing support, and case management.”


DR. LOOMIS MEMORIAL IRIS TRIAL GARDENS

The Elmohr Iris Society maintains this garden at East Library. It is the only public, high-altitude trial garden in the world and features new hybrids sent from around the globe.


HIGH PRAIRIE SEED LIBRARY

This seed library encourages a thriving community of gardeners, from beginner to expert, through the process of growing, harvesting, and seed saving/sharing. Seeds can be checked out (three packets per family, per month) or donated to the library. High Prairie Library also provides classes and information to help both newcomers and experienced gardeners develop gardening skills and know-how.


MANITOU SPRINGS SEED LIBRARY

This seed library promotes the development and preservation of landrace heirloom seeds and varieties that are well adapted to high-altitude, arid growing conditions. They also promote a body of local knowledge on how to save and pass on those seeds to future growers. It lends seed and seed-saving skills to growers each year in exchange for new seed from regional gardens.


RAWTOOLS GARDENING TOOLS

Start digging and create your own home garden with an artistically hand-forged garden tool set, that includes one spade and one mattock by RAWtools, Inc., made from donated and repurposed firearms. Available at the service desk at High Prairie Library and Manitou Springs Library.

Every March, Women's History Month is celebrated. Here's is a children's booklist of great books at PPLD. Click on the pdf link below.

A look at Colorado Springs history as the city celebrates a sesquicentennial

Colorado Springs resides on land inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples, including the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Tribes. Artifacts found at Garden of the Gods, one of Colorado Springs’ most beautiful natural attractions, date back an astonishing 3,500 years.

Military expedition leaders such as Major Stephen H. Long and Lieutenant Zebulon Pike later explored the area in the early 1800s.

A gold rush that began in 1858 and peaked in ’59 brought prospectors through the area, but they did not settle here. “The Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush is a deceiving name,” explains Matt Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. “The gold wasn't here. It took 30 more years until the discovery of gold in Cripple Creek.”

“People coming across the country could see Pikes Peak early on and had heard about it for years,” elaborates Pikes Peak Community College Professor of History Katherine Sturdevant. “So they came here and then had to veer north. The ‘59ers were heading to the Central City-Blackhawk area, but the mountain was sort of a beacon for gold seekers.”

Colorado City (now called Old Colorado City) was founded in 1859 as a supply hub for miners heading to the gold field.

However, the city we call Colorado Springs officially began 150 years ago. At 8 a.m. on July 31, 1871, the first stake for a new town was driven at what became the southeast corner of Pikes Peak and Cascade Avenues.


GENERAL AND “QUEEN” PALMER

The founding of the town sprang from the vision of Civil War veteran General William Jackson Palmer. He was traveling between Pueblo and Denver in 1869 when he wrote in a letter, "At Colorado City, the Garden of the Gods, we stopped to breakfast. Near here are the finest soda springs and the most enticing scenery. I am sure there will be a famous summer resort here soon."

Palmer also saw an opportunity for a southward railroad route out of Denver, which was about to be connected to the Kansas Pacific Railway from the east.

“Railroads were his first love,” says Mayberry. “And you can't have railroads as a business venture in the West without having communities to serve. Colorado Springs is part of that formula.”

Soon thereafter, Palmer formed the Rio Grande Railway Company and the Colorado Springs Company. Construction on the railway began in January 1871, the first stake was driven in July, and in October the railway reached the new town.

“Colorado Springs was a product of the utopianism of the Eastern, upper-middle and upper classes,” says Sturdevant, “but it was also a business man's plan.”

“He didn't want this to be a boomtown. He wanted it to be a resort,” adds Mayberry. “Colorado Springs was to be the finest place in the west to build a home.”

Such a place would need parks, and Palmer included a city park (now known as Acacia Park) in the original town plot. He later gifted additional land that became Monument Valley Park and Palmer Park.

His wife, Mary Lincoln “Queen” Mellen Palmer, also played an important role in the town’s early days. “She is deserving of a lot of credit,” says Mayberry. “Especially establishing the school system and creating a sense of place in Colorado Springs.”

Queen Palmer taught at the first free school in town, which she opened on Nov. 13, 1871.


SPENCER AND JULIE PENROSE

“As Palmer is beginning to step off the stage,” says Mayberry, “Spencer Penrose steps on and takes our history into a different phase. He's more of a capitalist than Palmer was. Even though Palmer was an industrialist, he didn't have the same kind of drive for wealth that Penrose did.”

After making a fortune from gold and copper mines in Cripple Creek and Utah, Spencer married Julie Villiers Lewis McMillan in 1906.

Penrose had already built The Broadmoor, Pikes Peak Highway, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo when the El Pomar Foundation was formed in 1936. The Foundation has since distributed over $500 million in grants. “That boils down to the efforts of Julie Penrose making sure that some of that wealth was available for the good of the community,” explains Mayberry.


WINFIELD SCOTT STRATTON

Winfield Scott Stratton also made a fortune in mining, hitting gold in Cripple Creek on the Fourth of July 1891 after spending 20 years as a carpenter. “He's chasing a dream all his life, and then he finally gets it. It's a story of having a wolf by the tail. You can't let go, but you can't keep holding on either,” says Mayberry. “He's plagued by wealth toward the end of his life,” with people constantly demanding money from him.

He donated land for Colorado Springs City Hall and the Mining Exchange building and paid to construct the El Paso County Courthouse (now home to the Pioneer Museum).

He also bought the town’s trolley system and spent $2 million to help Colorado Springs develop one of the top street railway systems in the country. (The streetcar system was replaced in 1931 by the Colorado Springs Bus Company.)

Stratton left a majority of his fortune to build the Myron Stratton Home, a free home for people who are "without means of support, and who are physically unable by reason of old age, youth, sickness, or infirmity to earn a livelihood." The home continues to help people to this day.


THE ARTS

“Art is foundational to Colorado Springs,” says Mayberry. “The scenic beauty of the region attracted photographers and artists like William Henry Jackson and Thomas Moran. And there was economic potential to being an artist in Colorado Springs. You could capture the scenery, and then had audiences to commission that work.”

In 1919, Broadmoor Art Academy opened in the former home of Spencer and Julie Penrose, and soon helped Colorado Springs became nationally known as a center for the arts. In 1936, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) opened at the same location. Alice Bemis Taylor donated art to the FAC collection, which also included works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Picasso.

“We had an influx of people, which you could call an artist colony or literary colony,” says Sturtevant. “They were also friends with Julie Penrose, and she supported this artistic activity.”


POLITICAL ACTIVISM

“Colorado Springs was a place with many forward-thinking women who would make it a center for the women's suffrage movement,” says Sturdevant.

Suffragist Caroline Spencer founded the Women's Club of Colorado Springs and the Civic League. Alongside Alice Paul, she picketed the White House in 1917 and was incarcerated for seven months as a result.

Gretchen McRae is another notable Colorado Springs resident who worked for equality. A Black woman and civil rights activist, McRae wrote and edited publications such as her pamphlet Dedicated to the Lowliest Man and A Free Republic, a national magazine in the late 1930s.

In her own way, Fannie Mae Duncan was also an activist.

“Gretchen is trying in a bold-faced way to be an activist about equality, using the printed word primarily,” says Sturdevant. “Whereas Fannie Mae is trying to run a business.”

That business was the Cotton Club, where a sign famously read, “Everybody Welcome.” At a time when some places still refused to serve Blacks or required they use a separate entrance, customers of all skin colors came to Duncan’s club to enjoy music by such luminaries as Etta James, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington.


MILITARY

Camp Carson opened just south of Colorado Springs in 1942, soon after the start of World War II. In addition to housing and training soldiers, it also held prisoners of war. At one point, Camp Carson held about 9,000 POWs, mostly Italian and German, many of whom were put to work in the nearby agricultural and logging industries. It was renamed Fort Carson in 1954, and has been home to several divisions over the years. Many soldiers have also trained at the nearby Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site.

Also in 1942, an Army Air Base opened near Fort Carson to train soldiers for photographic reconnaissance missions. Its airfield was named Peterson Field.

Ent Air Force Base opened at the site currently occupied by the Olympic Training Center in 1952. When Ent closed in 1975, nearby Peterson Field was designated Peterson Air Force Base.

In 1954, famous aviator Charles Lindbergh was named to an advisory commission to determine the future site of the Air Force Academy. Colorado Springs was on the short list, so Lindbergh went to Peterson Field and “asked to rent an airplane,” recounts Rick Sturdevant, Kathy’s husband and Air Force deputy command historian. “Lindbergh was asked, ‘Well, do you have a pilot's license?’ And he had a pilot's license signed by one of the Wright Brothers. After the guy recovered, he rented the plane to Lindbergh, who flew up and down the Front Range to see what the air currents would be like and if it would be feasible and safe for people to learn how to fly and do a lot of practicing right here along the Front Range.” Colorado Springs went on to become home to Air Force Academy cadets in 1958.

North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, was initially headquartered at Ent Air Force Base in 1957, then was housed in the Chidlaw Building, before moving into a bunker excavated into Cheyenne Mountain. This Space Defense Center and the Combat Operations Center became fully operational in 1967.

In 1985, Falcon Air Force Station (now Schriever Air Force Base) opened and housed the 2nd Space Wing and continues to support space operations, including Department of Defense satellites.

The military presence in and around Colorado Springs has contributed more than the obvious economic impact. “An underappreciated aspect is what it does to changing the diversity of the community and bringing in more diverse residents,” says Mayberry.


THE FUTURE

“Colorado Springs, because of our rather vague founding vision of being a great place to live, we've been required to constantly reinvent ourselves,” says Mayberry. “It’s fascinating to see how we've tried to make ourselves relevant to respond to changes in the economy to look for the next best thing.

“One hundred and fifty years. You don't celebrate that every day. What we need to do, as (Mayor John Suthers) says, is be good ancestors for whoever's coming after us. So, for the 200th anniversary, when somebody is looking back at what we did, they see we've created value and we set the community up to be successful. I don't want (the Sesquicentennial) to just to be about the past. I think it's about evaluating and assessing where we want to go in the future. And then challenging us to make those decisions and go.”


COS@150

In honor of Colorado Springs’ upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary, the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum is exploring our community’s history and through 150 objects.

PPLD Regional History Series

The story of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region is far too interesting and complex to fit into a lone magazine article. Luckily, Pikes Peak Library District has published a series of books examining our rich history. Titles include:

Take and Makes for this project will be available starting this Friday, March 12, 2021.

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/8avBll-4qnc?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies:

Materials included in kit: circle template, cardboard, piece of string about 36”

Materials needed from home: crayons, colored pencils or markers, scissors, glue stick, sharp pen or pencil (to poke holes)

Directions:

  1. Take template of color wheel or print out a copy below.
  2. Color in the sections red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. For an accurate color wheel, red should be opposite green, yellow opposite purple, and blue opposite orange.
  3. Cut out your circle template.
  4. Glue your circle to the piece of cardboard and cut it out again.
  5. Carefully poke two holes in the center of the color wheel, side by side.
  6. Thread your string through both holes, then tie the ends in a knot.
  7. Hold each end of the string. The cardboard circle should be about midway between the ends. Wind the string by spinning the wheel in a motion similar to a twirling a jump rope.
  8. Gently pull the string tight to get the wheel spinning. If you continue moving your hands in an in and out motion, the circle should continue to spin.

Explanation:

As the wheel spins, what do you notice about the colors? The colors disappear!


As the wheel is spinning fast, your eyes blend the colors together and the color wheel looks white.

White light, like sunlight, is made of all the colors in the rainbow. When light hits a colored object, most of it is absorbed and only one color is reflected. A red object, for example, absorbs almost the full spectrum of light, reflecting red only. When the color wheel was spinning fast enough, the colors changed faster than your eyes could see the individual colors and send the signals to your brain, so the reflections of all of the colors blended together and you saw white light!

Recently, Dr. Seuss Enterprises worked with a group of children’s literature experts to review its catalog of titles and announced that it will end the publication and licensing of six books due to their racist imagery: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.

Pikes Peak Library District does not plan to withdraw copies of these titles from our physical and digital collections. While we continue to stand against racism, the freedom to read is one of the basic foundations of our Library District. We believe it’s in the public’s interest to provide a wide diversity of views and expressions, including those found in historical titles that provide insights into our growth and evolution as a society.

Parents and caregivers can use titles such as these as an opportunity for enlightening and productive conversations with children about the historical context in which these Dr. Seuss books were written, in addition to the problems with the racial stereotypes and prejudice found within them.

As a Library, we are actively working to ensure that a multitude of diverse voices are represented within our collection. We invite you to discover the Library’s collection, which will always include a broad range of human experiences, personal stories, and perspectives.


 

Visit our voting resources page for updated resources!

 


Who can vote in Colorado?

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Individuals who are 17 years old if they will be 18 years old by election day (but 16 and 17-year-olds can preregister!).
  • People who have lived in Colorado for 22 days or more before election day.
  • People who are not in detention in a correctional facility, jail, or other facility for a felony conviction.
  • People who have finished their sentence for a felony conviction, including any parole, are eligible to vote.
  • If you are on probation or were convicted for a misdemeanor, you are eligible to vote.

Check out our Community Conversation on voting and learn more about future Community Conversations here.

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/xJ0lqs_BoLg?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies:

  • Yarn
  • Your fingers

Directions:

  1. Take the end of the yarn and loop it around the pointer finger of your non-dominant hand (if you are right-handed, tie the knot around the pointer finger of your left hand; if you are left-handed, tie the knot around the pointer finger of your right hand). Optional: Tie a knot to keep the yarn loop in place.
  2. On the same hand with the knot, weave the yarn around your fingers. Go behind your middle finger, in front of your ring finger, around your pinky, behind your ring finger, in front of your middle finger, and behind your pointer finger.
  3. Repeat the weaving pattern so that you have two loops of yarn around each finger.
  4. You want the loops of yarn around your fingers to be loose enough to slide off your fingers but tight enough that they don’t fall off accidentally. Use your thumb to hold the loose end of the yarn tight.
  5. Take the bottom loop of yarn on your pinky finger and pull it over the top loop of yarn and off your finger. You should have only one loop of yarn on your pinky finger.
  6. Repeat for each of your fingers. Pull the bottom loop of yarn over the top loop and off your fingers.
  7. Push the remaining loop of yarn on each finger down toward the base of your fingers. They are now the bottom loops of yarn.
  8. Repeat steps 3-8 until you’re ready to be done with your finger knitting.
  9. To cast off (or end your project), cut the yarn so you have about three inches left. Thread the end of the yarn through the loop of yarn on each finger, starting with the pointer finger and ending with the pinky.
  10. Pull each loop of yarn off your fingers and pull the loose end tight. Tie the end of the yarn in a knot around one of the loops of yarn to fasten. Cut off the extra “tail” of yarn.
  11. If you would like to take a break while working on your knitting, use a long, rounded object (a pen, pencil, chop stick, or knitting needle). Slide the loops of yarn off your fingers and onto object and put in a safe place until you’re ready to start finger knitting again.

To restart your project, slide the loops of yarn back onto your fingers. Remember that the loose end of thread will be on your pointer finger and that the knitting will lay against the back of your hand. Repeat steps 3-8 to continue knitting.

Watch this homeschool project at: https://youtu.be/Hes9P7sXTD4?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFcQoPQnZvsy70uOGw-GdBLE

Supplies:

  • 2 half sheets of cardstock; 4 craft sticks
  • 1 gable roof template- see below
  • 1 hip roof template sheet of aluminum foil
  • 1 “plate of fortune cookies” (photo on cardstock)
  • Glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Packing tape
  • Shallow jar lid
  • Sheet for foundation (cardboard, foamboard, or cardstock)
  • Flat bake sheet (optional)
  • Leaf blower, electric fan, or hair dryer
  • squirt bottle or watering can with sprinkle spout
  • Baking rack (or similar object)
  • Plastic dishpan tub (optional)

Directions:

See detailed directions and templates in the pdf links below!

Photo by Jo Kassis from Pexels

Have fun tearing or cutting strips of paper and creating a collage. A collage is a work of art made by gluing pieces of different materials or different size materials to a flat surface.

For this project, your child will glue strips of construction paper to the white paper to create a unique work of art. You'll need a piece of white paper and a few colors of construction paper plus glue.

Directions:

  1. To begin, have your child use child-safe scissors to cut the construction paper into strips or different size pieces. Your child can tear the paper if you do not have child-safe scissors.
  2. Let your child glue or tape the construction paper onto the white paper however they want to create their collage.

Early Literacy Tip:

This project helps young children develop the fine motor skills they need to hold pencils and crayons. Having strong motor skills will help children as they begin the process of learning how to write. How can cutting or tearing paper develop this skill? As children tear or cut the paper, they are building the small muscles in their palm and hand. They are also enhancing their eye-hand coordination. They must be able to see what they are tearing or cutting while moving their hand. Learning how to use scissors plays an important role in developing fine motor skills. Here are some tips for teaching your child how to use child-safe scissors:

  • To help your child remember how to hold a pair of scissors, draw a smiley face on the thumbnail of your child’s cutting hand. The smiley face reminds them to keep their thumb up when cutting.
  • Cutting paper can be tricky; practice cutting playdough first.
  • Cardstock is easier to cut than paper. Let your child cut old greeting cards or old playing cards.
  • Provide activities that use tools such as tongs, hole punches, tweezers, eyedroppers, and clothespins to strengthen fine motor skills necessary for cutting.
  • It might sound easy, but teaching young children how to cut with scissors is a very complex task. Try using this rhyme to help your child remember how to hold and use scissors properly:
  • Two fingers on the bottom
    and the thumb on top.
    Open the mouth and go
    chop, chop, chop.

Uniting Manitou Springs’ library and art center to enrich community

The community of Manitou Springs now can find art, literature, creative studios, meeting spaces, and the vast resources and services of the public library all one place! Thanks to a new co-location partnership, Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) has relocated Manitou Springs Library to the Manitou Art Center (MAC).

Building upon a decade of trust and cooperation, PPLD and the MAC transformed the historic building at 515 Manitou Avenue to become a shared space that extends more benefits to local artists, Library cardholders, and the greater community. PPLD can offer more than traditional library resources and services – and in a way that’s accessible – to all in Manitou Springs. The MAC will join us in welcoming more residents to learn, connect, create, and tinker with their already extensive offering of equipment and creative spaces.

Manitou Springs Library officially opened inside of the MAC on Fri., March 5, 2021. Patrons can now safely browse the collection, speak with a librarian, book a computer session, or use the fax, scan, and copier machine. Curbside services are also available at the new co-location.

Get your limited-edition library card while supplies last!

Congratulations to artist Susan Odiam of Manitou Springs! Her original creation will be featured on our limited-edition card to celebrate the relocation of Manitou Springs Library to the MAC.

“We’re thrilled to pair our physical collection and other library services with an organization so focused on serving residents of Manitou Springs,” said PPLD Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears. “Their facilities will immeasurably enhance what we can provide to the local community.”

As the shared spaces expand in the future, Manitou Springs Library and the MAC will offer broader access to on-site meeting rooms, computer labs, makerspaces, art studios, and workforce development opportunities. The new co-location partners look forward to a future with more synergy, right in the heart of Manitou Springs, to support people’s aspirations, foster creativity and innovation, and boost prosperity.

“We’re excited to see what other long-term benefits arise from this venture, like increasing access to the MAC and expanding PPLD opportunities in Manitou Springs,” said MAC Executive Director Natalie Johnson. “We will leverage each other’s strengths of service.”

PPLD’s departure from the historic Carnegie building provides the City of Manitou Springs with necessary time to plan for its future, while still allowing the Library to adequately serve the public right now. PPLD’s leadership welcomes the opportunity to work with the City and return to the historic Carnegie building – if an expansion or facility improvements allow the Library to serve residents of all abilities, and everyone also has the opportunity to take advantage of other common services across El Paso County like access to meeting and study rooms, makerspaces, and more.

In the meantime, PPLD and the MAC looks forward to a strong co-location partnership so both can best serve the community now and into the foreseeable future. It’s beneficial for PPLD cardholders, MAC members, local artists, community partners, taxpayers, and the local economy.

“This is what can happen when we unite to find ways to better serve our community regardless of the circumstances,” shared Andy Vick, Executive Director for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. “I applaud Pikes Peak Library District and the Manitou Art Center for their collaboration, and I hope other organizations are inspired to move beyond traditional community partnerships and consider embracing the shared-space model that capitalizes on existing resources and plays to each other’s strengths.”

“Such alliances can lead to more people and businesses flourishing, which is what we need to strengthen the fabric of our communities for years to come.”