What's New!

Due to continued restrictions and concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Pikes Peak Library District's Mountain of Authors will be a hybrid event.

Our showcase authors and keynote speaker, Lt. Joe Kenda (Ret.), will be virtual; we are currently planning for an in-person panel held at the end of April with a limited audience (more details forthcoming).

We still wish to acknowledge and celebrate the work of the wonderful local authors of southern Colorado and the Pikes Peak Region!

The 2021 Mountain of Authors event will be held on Sat., May 1, and will feature a mix of virtual, live, and pre-recorded presentations. The Virtual Book Buzz Showcase will take the place of the traditional Author Showcase.

What is a Book Buzz? A Book Buzz for our purposes is a short (3 minutes or so) video clip featuring authors talking about their most recent book.

If selected to participate, you will send us a video clip that will air on PPLD's YouTube channel beginning on Sat., May 1. Also if selected, we will reach out with more information about the logistics and detailed information about the content of the Book Buzz.

PPLD will need to receive your finished Book Buzz recording by Thu., April 1.

We would like to recognize Peggy and Clarence Shivers for their work with Pikes Peak Library District and service to the community of Colorado Springs.

Clarence and Peggy Shivers created the Shivers Fund at Pikes Peak Library District, in concert with PPLD, in 1993. They introduced the Shivers African American Historical and Cultural Collection at PPLD, which continues to expand annually thanks to the Shivers Fund and its many supporters. In addition to the collection, the Shivers Fund at PPLD also provides opportunities for our community to celebrate history, culture, and the arts. The Fund hosts concerts and other events, as well as helps expands educational and cultural opportunities for young people to encourage tolerance and diversity.

Our Library District and Foundation applaud the Shivers Fund for its continued investment to create more tolerance, diversity, and community in the Pikes Peak region.

Learn more about the history and work of the Shivers Fund.

It's that time again. Taxes are due on Mon., April 18, 2022. Lucky for you PPLD has all the information you need to file on time. Visit our Tax Information page for more.


Tax-Aide at PPLD

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation services with the help of a team of IRS-certified volunteers. Appointments will be by reservation only. Please request an appointment by contacting Larry Barnes, Tax-Aide Local Coordinator, at (719) 235-6757. Appointments are at Library 21c on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Feb. 1 to Apr. 14. Due to COVID-19 precautions, clients will be asked to bring their documents to the Library where AARP Tax-Aide volunteers will scan them and then process the returns virtually.


Resources

Good luck and happy filing!

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/C1oVgbWPcIQ?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies:

  • Paper star
  • Large craft stick
  • White paper to cut out a snowflake
  • Silver sequins
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • Other decorative bling

Directions:

  1. Glue your craft stick to the back of your star so it looks like a wand. Add a piece of tape to keep it extra secure.
  2. Using the white paper, cut out your own snowflake to glue onto your star (you might need to cut your paper into a square first and you might need a grown up’s help with this).
  3. Decorate the craft stick with markers and add sequins and any other decorations to your wand that you would like.
  4. Make some wintery magic.

Enter your creations in our PPLD Challenges! Randomly selected entries will be featured on PPLD’s websites and social media accounts and one randomly drawn entry will receive a gift certificate and prize pack of curated craft books from the Friends of the Library.

Love Letters to the Library

February is Library Lover's Month! Show us your love by writing us a love letter or note. Post a photo of your note on Facebook or Instagram any time from Mon., Feb. 15 - 28 and make sure to include the hashtag #ppldchallenge and tag @ppld to be eligible to win. Alternatively, you can send your photo to ppldchallenge@ppld.org and we will post it to social media for you! Want to post anonymously? Use the webform here.

Rules for participation:
  1. Please participate in good faith.
  2. Keep competitions civil and fun!
  3. PPLD reserves the right to remove inappropriate content, including but not limited to obscene or offensive statements or personal attacks. Learn more about our policies here.

LENA Start is an 11-week virtual program where parents learn how to increase conversational turns with their babies and toddlers. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. You must attend a mandatory in-person orientation session at one of the PPLD Libraries. Coordinators will contact registered families with dates. In-person orientation is mandatory for virtual sessions.

LENA Start is open to residents of El Paso County and Teller County only.

One child per family may participate and families may only participate in the program once.

Upcoming sessions

Registration opens Friday, May 20, 2022, and closes June 17, 2022, at 6 p.m.

LENA Start is offered on different days. These are separate cohort sessions. You may only register for one session series.

Virtual

In-person Orientations

The in-person orientation session is mandatory and is separate from the virtual sessions.

  • Tuesday, June 21 at noon at East Library (5550 N Union Blvd)
  • Thursday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Sand Creek Library (1821 S Academy Blvd)

After registering for the 10-week sessions, you will be contacted to confirm which orientation you can attend.


LENA device in vestHave you ever wondered how much you talk to your baby/toddler? Would you like to learn ways to increase talk and get your child ready for school? This 10-week program will help parents, with children 0-32 months, increase conversational turns. Each week a child will wear a "talk pedometer" to track the number of adult words, conversational turns, and minutes of electronics they are exposed to. We will increase conversational turns by the end of the 10 weeks. We will meet weekly to give you tips on how to increase conversational turns. Families will receive 10 free books and three gift cards throughout the session! The child will receive a gift at graduation! For more information contact Evan Childress, echildress@ppld.org or (719) 531-6333, x6069.

Pikes Peak Children's Museum

Starting Friday, Feb., 5, 2021, visit your favorite Library location to pick up a Take & Make (materials for the program), while supplies last. For ages 9-12.

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/YVNFFC8UttI.

Supplies:

  • Card printed on cardstock
  • Button cell battery
  • LED light
  • Copper tape
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Tape
  • Thumbtack
  • Pencil, or pen (to poke a hole in the cardstock)

Directions:

  1. Color in the template first
  2. Use a thumb tack, pencil, or pen to poke a hole through the middle of the robot’s heart (for the LED light to go through).
  3. Fold the card in half.
  4. Lay the copper tape along the two paths (polarities) of the circuit, following the diagram. Leave space at the corner where there’s a drawing of the LED light. Reserve some copper tape for step 6.
  5. Add the LED light by inserting the wire legs through the hole on the front of the card and bending the wire legs to reach the circuit path. Match the shorter wire leg with the negative path (the copper tape leading to the circle) and the longer wire leg with the positive path (the copper tape going through the dotted “fold” line. Don’t worry if your LED light placement doesn’t exactly match the drawing on the diagram – as long as the leg wires of your LED light connect with the copper tape, it should work.
  6. Secure the legs of the LED light using small pieces of copper tape.
  7. Add the battery negative side down inside the circle on the template and secure it by taping only the half closest to the LED light down to the card. If your battery is smaller than the circle on the template, center it in the middle of the circle.
  8. Fold the corner of the card over to create a switch to turn the card on and off.
  9. If you want, write a greeting in your card, and give it to someone special.

Birding is a great way to engage with nature safely, relieve anxiety, and otherwise slow down. Download your Birding 101 guide here!

  • Do not disturb the birds’ habitats - you are an observer.
  • Use appropriate gear! Binoculars, a field guide, and a notebook should suffice for beginners.
  • For those with mobile devices, try the Audubon Bird Guide App for iPhones and Androids!
  • Find a quiet spot to sit and observe. Your backyard can offer quite a selection!
  • Try different times of day.
  • Find other birders in the community!

CHECKOUT THESE LIBRARY MATERIALS FOR YOUR BIRDING ADVENTURES:

Gardening in the high prairie can be difficult, so the staff at High Prairie Library have created this handy year-long guide to making the most out of your gardening efforts!

Click here to download yours today!

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning this Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.

Supplies and Directions

Provided in your bag: a bookmark, a stylus, and a ribbon
From home: you will need a book, so you can use your new bookmark!

  1. Think about what you want to draw on your bookmark: your name, a space sky, a flowery garden, stripes, polka dots, anything you like!
  2. Using the stylus, scratch your scene into the bookmark. Keep in mind the hole goes at the top for your ribbon, so make sure you scratch your scene the right way up.
  3. After you're done with the rainbow scratching, tie your ribbon through the hole at the top of the bookmark to give it even more color!
  4. Pick a book and use your colorful bookmark!

Need help choosing a book? Check out our booklists with recommendations for everything from mysteries to humor!

Check out our many KidsMAKE videos at: tinyurl.com/PPLDVirtualKidsMake

Check out these stats and our top title of 2020 below. 

  • Physical material checkouts: 1,845,866
  • Additions to physical collection:18,000 titles and 58,000 items, plus 15,570 magazines
  • OverDrive:
    • Checkouts: 2,430,575
    • Patrons: 61,278 patrons; an increase of 22%
  • Freegal:
    • Song Downloads: 76,007
    • Songs Streamed: 248,986
  • Kanopy: 58,201 videos streamed
  • Hoopla: 40,813 checkouts, movies and television mostly
  • New cardholders during 2020: 26,215

Top 10 Adult Titles


Top 10 Young Adult Titles


Top 10 Children's Titles

Create your own work of art using the stickers and frame.

Before your child can learn to write, they must develop the small/fine motor skills which are used to grip a crayon/pencil. Peeling the back off the stickers and placing them in the frame provides your child with the opportunity to develop these skills.
To prepare young children for writing, provide them with opportunities to use their hands and fingers. This will help them later when they hold crayons and pencils.

  • Open and close containers with lids
  • Cut with child-safe scissors
  • Finger paint with paint, shaving cream, yogurt, or pudding
  • Use a paintbrush
  • Play with play dough and clay—roll, smoosh, pat, pound, and use tools like popsicle sticks or stamps
  • Lace Cheerios onto pipe cleaners
  • Lace pipe cleaners into the holds on a colander
  • Draw, scribble, or write with crayons, pencils, and markers
  • Put together puzzles
  • Build with small blocks

Supplies:

  • Ruler (12" or 18" or 36") or measuring tape
  • Yarn or string
  • Scissor
  • A stuffed animal or your pet

Directions:

  1. Measure, as best you can, your pet or stuffed animal and determine its length in inches.
  2. After you know how many inches, cut a piece of string or yarn the same length.
  3. Take this piece of string and measure items around your house. How many cats (or hamsters or dogs, etc.) long is your kitchen? Your table? Your bed?

Please leave a comment below, tell us what you used to measure items around your house.

You can watch this project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCU1Ks8mBf0

Supplies:

  • One small block of dry ice (about 1 lb.) broken into large pieces. (Do not touch dry ice with bare skin, it will burn!)
  • Large bowl on a tray
  • Table covering
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Food Coloring
  • Paper (any kind)

Directions:

  1. Pour warm water into the bowl.
  2. Add 2-3 squirts of dish soap (it may help to stir the solution gently at this point although I didn't).
  3. Add a chunk of dry ice using tongs or garden gloves.
  4. As bubbles rise up, add food coloring (2-4 colors).
  5. Lay paper over the colorful bubbles and press gently into bubbles. Add a different color and repeat with another piece of paper.
  6. Keep adding warm water and chunks of dry ice. Or start over with a fresh batch.
  7. Enjoy your wonderful bubble art!

Watch this project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=852TC3_bSbU&list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5…

Interested in seeing some amazing experiments from up-and-coming scientists? Visit our annual Homeschool Science Fair to browse and chat with project creators. Kids can fill out a "What I learned" and receive a prize! Come and discover something new, or be inspired for next year!

Our annual Homeschool Science Fair is open to grades K-12! Homeschool students are invited to demonstrate a science project for other families. There are no rules or guidelines for this non-competitive event, and planning is left up to individual families.

Registration required. Students will arrive by 9:15 a.m., and the event will be open to the public from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Need help planning your project? Download our Science Fair How-Tos Document!

Knowledge is power. Unlock your potential! The PowerPass is a just-for-students library card from PPLD, granting access to the Library’s digital resources like databases, eBooks, and song and movie downloads. Each PowerPass holder can also check out five physical items at a time from any of the 15 PPLD locations or mobile library services.

  • PowerPass for Elementary Students

    Elementary students and their parents will benefit from kid-friendly eBook and audiobook access, digital education resources, and in-person classes at PPLD to learn how to write, draw, code, or use makerspace equipment.

  • PowerPass for Middle School Students
  • PowerPass for High School Students

    High school and middle school students can use their PowerPass for online access to live tutors and online foreign language courses. They can also get help with projects and prepare for the future with practice driving and SAT tests.

Get Started with PowerPass:

If a parent does not wish for their child to use PowerPass, they may opt out at the child's school.


 

PowerPass Tips

 

How to Use your PowerPass with PPLD Resources

More Drive-in Storytimes are scheduled at High Prairie Library, 7035 Old Meridian Rd.
Peyton, CO 80831:

Supplies:

  • Barn and rooster shapes
  • Four pipe cleaners (two pink)
  • Googly eye stickers
  • Green paper
  • Shoe box or other small box (optional)
  • Scissors or wire cutters
  • Tape

Directions:

Pig:

  1. Take two pink pipe cleaners. Use caution as the ends of pipe cleaners can be sharp, especially once cut.
  2. Twist one pink pipe cleaner into a coil.
  3. Cut the second pipe cleaner in half. Take one half of the pipe cleaner and bend the middle into an “m” shape to make the ears. Twist the ears into one side of the pipe cleaner coil to make the ears.
  4. Cut the second half of the pipe cleaner in half again. Bend both halves into legs and twist into the body of the pig.
  5. Peel the tiny stickers off the back of the googly eyes and attach to the face of the pig.

farm 3farm 2farm 1

Farmer:

  1. Cut the two remaining pipe cleaners into three pieces – one that is 6 ½ inches, one that is 6 inches, and one that is 3 ½ inches.
  2. Take the longest piece and twist the top into a circle for the head.
  3. Take the second longest piece and twist around the base of the head as the arms.
  4. Use the shortest piece to make the legs. Just wrap and twist it around where the other leg would be.
  5. If you want, make a farmer’s hat out of paper and tape it to the figure’s head.

farm 4farm 5

Assemble the Farm:

  1. If using a shoe box, arrange the farmer, the pig, the barn, and the rooster inside the shoebox. Cut a strip of the green paper about 1 ½ inches wide and 9 inches long. Fold a narrow strip over and glue or tape to the inside of the box. Use
    scissors to cut the longer side of the paper into little strips to make grass.
  2. If you don’t have a shoe box, use the sheet of green paper as the base for your diorama. Fold a 1-inch strip along the long end of the paper. Cut little strips into the paper to make the blades of grass. Use tape to attach the farmer, the pig, the barn, and the rooster to the green paper.

Want to show off your farm diorama? Post a photo on Facebook and tag @ppldteens or @ppldkids. Find more fun projects to try at https://ppld.org/kids/create/whats-new.

In honor of our annual cookie competition and as part of our anniversary, High Prairie Library is compiling an online cookbook: Harvest of Recipes - A Collection From the Falcon Community. We will be collecting YOUR recipes for our very own cookbook! Click here to submit your recipe and (optional) photo!

Take and Make kits for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Dec. 26, 2020

Materials Provided in Take and Make:

  • Sandpaper
  • Chalk
  • Various papers

Materials Needed from home:

  • Container of water

Directions:

Reading and writing go together! Writing begins with scribbles and other marks on paper. Encourage your child to “write” in various ways. In doing so, he’ll practice hand/eye coordination and develop hand muscles. Encourage your child to talk about what he is drawing. You can write captions for the drawings. As you do this, he’ll start building connections between written and spoken word.

See what he can create with these simple reading readiness activities:

  • Draw with chalk on sandpaper
  • Dip the chalk into a container of water to draw on the black construction paper
  • Crumple a paper, flatten it again, and then draw on it to experiment with texture
  • Draw on colored paper.
  • Take the chalk outside and draw on the sidewalk. What can he create? How does the texture affect the drawing?

From Books to New Beginnings: Using the Library as a Resource to Build a Better Life

As one of the founders of Grey Wolf Resort, a health and wellness agritourism business in Victor, Colorado, award-winning chef and entrepreneur Nathan Dirnberger is just as likely to be found planning menus for gourmet picnics as chasing down a loose rooster.

But among these tasks, and the many others he tackles on a regular basis, there’s one more the Colorado native wraps into his days as well: reading.

“My mom's a librarian, so she always read to me as a kid, and I grew up reading,” says Dirnberger.

As he got older, he says, he went to school to become a chef. Years after graduating, Dirnberger wrote an article for the American Culinary Federation (ACF) on quantum physics and how it connects to a chef’s thoughts becoming a tangible experience. “If you give us a pile of ingredients,” he says, “we think about what we're going to create, and then we apply ourselves — that's the key right there — to turn it into a dish.”

In the ACF story, he says, he made the broader analogy of “encouraging people that they can make changes in their lives” if they apply that same theory.

About six years ago, Dirnberger started applying the theory to his own life outside of the kitchen, and “a big part of that,” he says, “was books.”

Dirnberger began to take advantage of all of the free resources his Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) card could offer, from checking out print copies of books to downloading audio reads through OverDrive — which mom Cynthia Roberts, who has been a PPLD librarian now for almost three decades, introduced to him. Dirnberger was able to dig into and study popular titles by authors like Tim Ferriss, alongside other books about entrepreneurship, marketing, and business.

One in particular, stands out for him, though: David Schwartz’ classic The Magic of Thinking Big, first published in 1959, which Dirnberger listened to during a cross-country trip after finishing an internship on a farm. The book’s push to get people to dare to dream (and put concrete habits behind those dreams) spawned his concept for an agritourism-focused farm and ranch — what would become Grey Wolf Resort.

But books aren’t the only PPLD resources Dirnberger used.

“When I actually started creating my businesses, I would use the library too,” he says, reserving classrooms at Library 21c so he and his business partners could set up projectors and map out plans on whiteboards. “I pretty much started all my businesses there.”

“Tony Robbins talks about how there’s never a lack of resources. There’s a lack of resourcefulness,” Dirnberger says. The Library District is “a resource box,” he adds, “full of tools for people to change their lives … if they apply themselves.”

Currently billed as a “boutique, private, high-altitude health and wellness center” situated on a family farm and ranch, Dirnberger’s two-year-old Grey Wolf Resort offers guests everything from massages and guided mountain hikes to farm-to-table gourmet picnics. And Dirnberger still has lots of big dreams when it comes to the resort, ranging from building a commercial kitchen and a little restaurant on the property to setting an example for those interested in emulating the concept and creating more agritourism across the country.

With his passion for books, one might wonder if Dirnberger has another dream up his sleeve.

“Well, yeah,” he says, “actually, I’ve been writing one for a few years now, but as I started writing, I knew the story still had to be finished. … I needed to be able to do something that was actually worth telling. … I wanted a family. I wanted to be able to spend time with my family, that’s why I wanted to become a farmer, to spend time outside and be with nature, and help out with food and clean water and air, and all the things that people and animals both deserve.”

“Now that I’ve got all of that,” he says, “it’s a matter of starting to tell the story.”

Supplies:

Cardboard triangles
paper strips
other decorations
toothpicks
cardboard rectangle or square stand
glue
scissors

Directions:

1. First, have a grown-up help with cutting cardboard (see supply list above.)
2. Glue paper strips to cover the cardboard triangle trees.
3. Trim excess.
4. Stick a toothpick into each cardboard tree as a trunk.
5. Stick your trees into the cardboard stand to make a winter scene.

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD Libraries beginning this Friday, Dec. 18, 2020

Supplies:

Provided in your Take and Make bag:

  • paper plate
  • ribbon
  • beans

You will need to provide:

  • glue/stapler/tape
  • scissors
  • markers
  • more decorative materials (opt.)


Directions:

  1. Turn your plate upside down and decorate it however you like.
  2. Fold your plate in half so the art shows.
  3. Cut each ribbon into smaller pieces (not too small, around 2-3 per ribbon length; they shrink when they are curled!) and curl with scissors. You will now have some curly ribbons. You might need to ask a parent for help with this step.
  4. Tape your curled ribbons to the edge of one half of your paper plate.
  5. Put your beans in your folded plate and staple along the edges to keep it secure.
  6. Make some music! With your art, the curled ribbons, and the noisy beans, you have a colorful and creative music shaker!

Take and Make kits for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning this Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.

Materials in Take and Make:

  • Penguin copied on cardstock
  • Pipette
  • Printed penguins
  • Sand
  • Plastic egg

Materials from home:

  • Crayons
  • Water
  • Cookie sheet
  • Baking pan
  • Ice cubes
  • Tape

Penguin facts:

  • Penguins can’t fly. They use their flippers to help them swim and to propel themselves as they glide on the ice.
  • The torpedo shape of a penguin’s body helps it zip through the water at up to 25 mph.
  • When it’s in the water, a penguin is usually searching for food. It can hold its breath for about 6 minutes.
  • To move quickly across the ice, a penguin glides on its tummy.
  • Penguins are warm-blooded. Like whales, they have a layer of blubber (fat) under their skin. Their bodies are covered with a layer of feathers that seal in the warmth.
  • Penguins secrete oil from a gland that they rub over their bodies to make them water and windproof. They also huddle together to stay warm.

Experiment 1 – How do penguins stay dry?

Color the large penguin with crayons, pressing firmly. Use the pipette to drop water on it. See how the water rolls off the waxy coating. This works the same way with penguins when they rub oil over their bodies to make them waterproof.

Experiment 2 – How do penguins slide on the ice?

Tape a small penguin to an ice cube. Slide it down a slope. Add sand and see how it changes. Friction changes a penguin’s ability to glide quickly.

Activity – Egg transfer game

See if you can use your feet to transfer an egg to another person. This activity mimics the way that penguins transfer an egg from one parent to the other. Keep your egg safe while you do it!

For more information about penguins, look in the library’s non-fiction section (call number 598.47) or visit PPLD Kids Homework section.

What do subway graffiti, city as canvas, and an energetic dance party all have in common? Join us to explore colorful action figures inspired by pop artist Keith Haring and discover ways to create your unique masterpiece that will POP! Download the attached PDF templates and provide the additional supplies from home to get started. For ages 7 - 12.

Watch the video on our youtube channel here.