What's New!

A newly-forged partnership with Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) will enhance Calhan School District (Calhan) students’ access to needed digital resources.

Starting Wed, Jan. 12, every student in the Calhan School District will have a PowerPass, a digital PPLD card just for students. Calhan is the fourth school district in El Paso County to provide this access to each of their students, joining Colorado Springs School District 11, Harrison School District 2, and Academy School District 20.

PowerPass grants access to PPLD’s digital resources, like databases, eBooks, and song and movie downloads, all available at ppld.org. 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 will provide Calhan students with unprecedented access to information, literature, art, and educational support, as well as an enhanced ability to explore and prepare for the future they envision for themselves,” said David Slothower, Calhan School District Superintendent.

Students can also use PowerPass for online access to live tutors and foreign language courses, to get help with homework and projects, and to access audiobooks and digital education resources. High school and middle school students can also prepare for their future with practice driving and SAT tests.

“Pikes Peak Library District is excited to add Calhan School District to PowerPass,” said Joanna Nelson Rendon, PPLD’s Director of Young Adult Services. “This is the first partnership with one of the more rural school districts beyond the city of Colorado Springs and is giving us [PPLD] the opportunity to expand PowerPass and serve even more students throughout El Paso County.”

Learn more about PowerPass here.

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ice lantern

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries starting Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Watch this project (a favorite from last winter) at: https://youtu.be/1spsamOSMtg?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu/

Supplies:

  • Plastic cups in 2 sizes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pompoms and other doodads or baubles or other items of your choice
  • Battery operated tea light candle
  • Tape
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Paper towel
  • Additional baubles or doodads
  • Weights, like rocks

Directions:

This is an engineering challenge! For more step-by-step pictures of project, open pdf link below.

  1. Twist your pipe cleaners up the inside of the larger cup.
  2. Slide the smaller cup inside with the pipe cleaners in between the large and small cups.
  3. Carefully push pompoms and/or other baubles or doodads between the 2 cups also.
  4. With the tops of the cups even, crisscross two pieces of tape across the top of the cups.
  5. Placing cups on a paper towel, gently fill the larger cup with water until it’s about 1 inch from the top. You do not want water to go into the smaller cup. You may need to add something to weigh down the smaller cup.
  6. Place in the freezer until it’s frozen solid. This could take about 5 hours.
  7. Observe your creation! You may notice that the smaller cup is higher as is the water/ice level. This is a great illustration of how water expands as it changes states from a liquid to a solid.
  8. Remove from freezer and let sit about 10 mins., carefully remove the smaller cup (and tape). Then remove the larger cup. You may need to cut the cups off.
  9. Turn on the battery operated candle and place it in the center of your lantern. Put your lantern outside to admire!

Based on https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/activities/engineering-ice-lantern-s…

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At home calapult

Create a catapult using things from around the house. This project is only limited by your imagination and the things you find around the house!
Supplies:

  • Cylindrical object (sturdy cardboard tube, soup or other can, sturdy plastic bottle, rolling pin)
  • Stretchy hair elastic or rubber band
  • Spoon (wooden, metal, or combination)
  • Something to propel (ball, marshmallow, pompom, wad of paper, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Wrap the hair elastic or rubber band around your cylindrical object twice.
  2. Slide your spoon under the elastic where it meets in an X. It should be perpendicular to the cylindrical object.
  3. Load a projectile in the bowl of the spoon. Apply force to the opposite end of the spoon and watch it fly.
  4. Experiment with a variety of objects. What combination propels your object the farthest?
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Shirley Martinez, Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) blog

Shirley Martinez’s Road to Becoming PPLD’s First Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

When I was a kid, I used to be a "library girl." I used to sit in the library for days during the summer. I would pick out 10 books to read there and then 10 more to take home! Today, my job is making sure PPLD is a welcoming place for everyone.

I was born in my father’s hometown of Waycross, Georgia. My dad joined the Air Force after I was born and through my father’s service, we were afforded the opportunity to see the world. We were stationed in Japan, Hawaii, Delaware, and upstate New York.

My family returned to Georgia in 1967 and this is where I was first made aware of the civil rights movement and racial inequality. I remember there were still restrooms that read “colored” and “white,” and people were marching. Through these experiences, I really got an eye-opening, front-seat lesson in the different racial disparities and the civil rights.

Eventually, my family settled in rural Washington. My dad spent a lot of time overseas as a B-52 mechanic. In high school I had worked to become the head cheerleader and captain of the track team. I had dreams of becoming a nurse. However, I quickly made up my mind that particular career wasn’t for me after a harrowing experience at a military hospital. Instead, I enlisted into the armed forces myself by joining the Navy.

The Navy afforded me the opportunity to see the world, try my hand at several different jobs, and is where I met my husband, Paul. After Paul left the Marines, I decided to join the Army and was a journeyman welder for five years, including two summers spent at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. I did maintenance, I could change your transmission for you. I could cut off the top of your vehicle and replace it. I did body repair and supervised a platoon at the age of 24 and was the only female out of 300 people in my Combat Support Group.

Eventually, the Army brought us back to Washington where we were stationed at Fort Lewis. Here, while pregnant with my fourth child, I joined Judge Advocate General (JAG), the legal branch of the military. I loved working with the JAG department, but once my kid was born, I had to report back to my unit.

Later, my unit was ready to deploy for Desert Storm. I'd gotten all my shots, I was packed up, and then I was pulled out of ranks two days before we were supposed to leave. I had orders to go to court-reporting school. They needed top secret court reporters. So, I had to go tell my husband, “I'm not going to Afghanistan. I’m now going to Newport, Rhode Island!” Just a slight difference…

My work as a court reporter, and also as chief legal noncommissioned officer, took me to Germany, then Fort Irwin, California, and finally to Fort Carson and the Colorado Springs area. Upon leaving the military, I went to work with Colorado Springs Utilities and got involved with the Colorado Springs Diversity Council.

My diverse set of life experiences and time serving our country in the military made me uniquely qualified to become Pikes Peak Library District’s first-ever Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). In a lot of ways, I feel like serving in this role at PPLD has brought my life full circle beginning with those former days of reading at the library!


Click here for more People of the Pikes Peak Region stories!


All you need is your library. But your library needs you, too! Support Pikes Peak Library District by making a charitable gift to the PPLD Foundation. Click here to make your donation today. Thank you!

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All Pikes Peak Writes

Pikes Peak Library District is excited to announce the call for submissions for All Pikes Peak Writes! All Pikes Peak Writes is PPLD’s annual fiction writing contest for ages 12+, and seeks to highlight writers in our community through one contest. This year’s contest will have three categories: Middle School and High School (ages 12 - 18), Young Adult (ages 19 - 24), and Adult (ages 25+). Please see the guidelines, rules for entry, and submission form for each category below.

Submissions will be accepted Mon., June 12, through 9 p.m. on Sun., July 23.

Middle School and High School Entry (ages 12 - 18)  
Young Adults Entry (ages 19 - 24)  
Adults Entry (ages 25+)


Eligibility:

All Pikes Peak Writes is open to El Paso County residents ages 12+.

Judging: 

Entries will be judged on quality of writing, use of language, plot development and resolution, believable characters, and correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

Awards: 

Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place entries in each category. Winners will be announced in late August.  

Please contact hbuljung@ppld.org or lpowers@ppld.org for questions or more information.
 


Middle School and High School (ages 12 - 18)

The Challenge:

Write a story, up to 2,500 words, starting with the opening line: “The train screeched to a halt.” 

Submit your story

Guidelines:

  • Must be ages 12 to 18.
  • Must be an El Paso County resident.
  • Word count must not exceed 2,500 words. Word count will be established by using Microsoft Word. Points will be automatically deducted from the total score of the piece if the word count exceeds 2,500 words. 
  • Pieces must include a title page with the title and author’s name. The author’s name should not appear anywhere else on the document. 
  • Pieces must be double-spaced and in 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri font with the title and page number in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Only one entry per person. 
  • Participants must fill out the form and submit your story below by Sun., July 23 at 9 p.m. The file format should be PDF, .doc, or.docx. If you need to convert a file, please visit a library location. 
  • Failure to follow the guidelines will result in disqualification.

FAQs

When will I know if I have won?

  • We will notify participants in late August if they have won an award. 

Are you publishing the anthology again?

  • Yes! We will be publishing the top three stories in all categories (Middle School/High School, 19 - 24, and 25+).

Will I get feedback for my work?

  • Yes! You will receive a copy of the judges’ comments after the contest concludes.

Do I have to turn in my story online?

  • Yes. To better facilitate the process, we are requiring all stories be turned in digitally. You can stop by any PPLD location to use one of our computers for this purpose. 

Young Adult (ages 19 - 24)

The Challenge:

Write a story, up to 3,500 words, starting with the opening line: “The train screeched to a halt.”

Submit your story

Guidelines:

  • Must be ages 19 - 24.
  • Must be an El Paso County resident.
  • Word count must not exceed 3,500 words. Word count will be established by using Microsoft Word 2016. Points will be automatically deducted from the total score of the piece if the word count exceeds 3,500 words. 
  • Pieces must include a title page with title and author’s name. The author’s name should not appear anywhere else on the document. 
  • Pieces must be double-spaced and in 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri font with the title and page number in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Only one entry per person. 
  • Participants must fill out the form and submit your story below by Sun., July 23 at 9 p.m. The file format should be PDF, .doc, or.docx. If you need to convert a file, please visit a library location. 
  • Failure to follow the guidelines will result in disqualification.

FAQs

When will I know if I have won?

  • We will notify participants in late August if they have won an award. 

Are you publishing the anthology again?

  • Yes! We will be publishing the top three stories in all categories (Middle School/High School, 19 - 24, and 25+).

Will I get feedback for my work?

  • Yes! You will receive a copy of the judges’ comments after the contest concludes.

Do I have to turn in my story online?

  • Yes. To better facilitate the process, we are requiring all stories be turned in digitally. You can stop by any PPLD location to use one of our computers for this purpose. 

Adults (ages 25+)

The Challenge:

Write an original fiction story of up to 3,500 words. 

Submit your story

Guidelines for entry:

  • Must be ages 25+.
  • Must be an El Paso County resident.
  • One story may be submitted per entrant.
  • Qualifying stories are: original, previously unpublished, and no longer than 3,500 words.
  • Word count will be established by using Microsoft Word 2016. 
  • Stories must be double-spaced and typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri font.
  • Submission must include title page with title and author’s name. The author’s name should not appear anywhere else on the document. 
  • The title of the story should appear on the upper right-hand corner of each page followed by the page number.
  • Entries must be received by Sun., July 23 at 9 p.m. 
  • The file format should be PDF, .doc, or.docx. If you need to convert a file, please visit a library location. 
  • Failure to follow the guidelines will result in disqualification.

FAQs

When will I know if I have won?

  • We will notify participants in August if they have won an award.

Are you publishing the anthology again?

  • Yes! We will be publishing the top three stories in all categories (Middle School/High School, 19 - 24, and 25+).

Will I get feedback for my work?

  • Yes! You will receive a copy of the judges’ comments after the awards ceremony.

Do I have to turn in my story online?

  • Yes. To better facilitate the process, we are requiring all stories be turned in digitally. You can stop by any PPLD location to use one of our computers for this purpose.   
     
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origamienvelope

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.

Supplies & Directions:

Step 1
Gather your supplies.
Provided in your bag: 2 blank sheets of paper to make 2 envelopes, stickers
From home: colored pencils/crayons/markers

Step 2
Cut your blank sheet of paper into a square (just fold over and trim part of the bottom off; you
might need a grownup’s help with this).

Step 3
Fold your square of paper into an envelope following the steps seen in the pdf link below.

Step 4
After your envelope is folded, decorate your envelope with stickers and whatever else you like! And send it to someone
special!

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Star projector

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Dec. 10, 2021

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies in Take and Make:

  • Cup
  • Toothpick
  • Sticker
  • Flashlight
  • Big Dipper template

Supplies you provide:

  • Scissors
  • Blank paper and crayons or markers, optional

Directions:

  1. Cut your Big Dipper template out on the dotted line.
  2. Turn your cup upside down and use the sticker to attach the template to the bottom of the cup.
  3. Use the toothpick to poke a hole in each “star”.
  4. Get your flashlight. Turn off the room lights and cover the windows.
  5. Shine the light through the cup and onto the table or flat surface. Experiment to find the spot where you see the Big Dipper.

Think about it:
What could you do if you had a second flashlight? Could you make the Big Dipper disappear without turning off your flashlight?
Try this with a friend:
Get a flashlight for each of you. Have one of you be the Starmaker and one the Sunshine.
The Starmaker should project the Big Dipper onto your surface.
While the Starmaker has the Big Dipper projected, the Sunshine should use their flashlight to mimic the rising sun. What do you see?
What about when the Sunshine mimics the setting sun?
Think about it:
Why do stars only come out at night?
Is the sun the only light source that keeps us from seeing stars?
Is it harder to see stars in the city or country?
Follow up:
Can you make other constellations?
Can you find the Big Dipper outside in the night sky? Why or why not?
Can you draw a backdrop on which to project your constellation?
Based on https://mysteryscience.com/sky/mystery-5/stars-daily-patterns/128

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tweenbracelet

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 9-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Dec 3, 2021. Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/7UU9Yarq59Y?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFebLULGu2RriY_RSSZgaH-X

Supplies & Directions:

Supplies provided in kit: cord, beads, keychain ring
Supplies from home: scissors

  1. Write down the initials of your name and decode them using the binary code key provided. (Or see pdf below for the code key.)
  2. Use blue and green beads to represent 0 and 1 - one color will represent the number zero, and the other color will represent the number one.
  3. Tie a double knot at the end of your cord.
  4. Put the beads for your first initial on the cord.
  5. Tie another double knot to separate the initials.
  6. Put the beads for your second initial on the cord.
  7. Tie a double knot.
  8. Use the remaining cord to either tie the beads around your wrist as a bracelet, or affix the cord to the keychain ring. Cut off any access cord. Enjoy your binary bracelet or keychain!

*This project was created in honor of Hour of Code. Learn more about Hour of Code at code.org!

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A photo of East Library with the HIRE Vets gold medallion in front. The medallion features an abstract eagle.

The HIRE Vets Medallion Program has awarded Pikes Peak Library District the 2022 Gold HIRE Vets Medallion Award in honor of our investment in employing and retaining Veterans. This national program is part of the 2017 Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, which established rules for recognizing employers who hire Veterans. In order to be eligible for the gold medallion, an employer of PPLD’s size must have at least 7% of their workforce be Veterans, and retain more than 75% of their newly hired Veterans over 12 months. We are proud to have achieved this in 2021.

Our Library district achieved this in 2021 by having 28 Veteran employees, and hiring 3 Veterans in 2021 with a 100% retention rate. We are the only Colorado library district to receive this distinction in 2022. We are proud to work alongside these honored individuals as they continue to serve the community.

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journal

Take and Makes for this project (ages 7 and up) are currently available at PPLD area libraries.

Watch the Giving Thanks video tutorial on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6oRb42V4l-E?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies Included: Gratitude Journal (cover and pages—pages are already in the correct order); stickers for decorating; ribbon for securing pages and decoration

Supplies from Home: Crayons, markers, and/or pens; stapler or hole punch; scissors; glue stick or Elmer’s glue; old magazines or photos to cut for a collage. (A collage is a visual art form that uses photographs or paper/fabric images that are glued onto a backing.)
You can find all the instructions with explanatory photos in the video!

Step 1: Prepare Your Gratitude Journal

  1. The pages of your Gratitude Journal should already be in order. Make sure the Rainbow Journal page is on top. (This page is a full spread, so it needs to be in the middle of your journal.) The cardstock Cover should be on the bottom of the stack (it will form a front and back cover after folding in half).
  2. Carefully arrange your pages and cover making sure that all edges are even. Fold the cover and pages in half with a sharp crease using your thumb or the side of a pen.
  3. Stapler Method: Secure pages to the Cover using a stapler. Staple as close to the center crease as you can (without stapling over the crease). Staple the top and bottom of your journal.
  4. Hole Puncher Method: Hole punch on the crease at the top and the bottom. Use the ribbon included or any yarn, string, or twine you like to thread through the holes. Secure ribbon with a knot or bow on the cover (outside) of your journal.

Step 2: Be Creative (or Not) in Designing the Cover

  1. Write your name on the line provided. Be creative: use a fancy pen or marker; use a fancy writing style.
  2. Add stickers to decorate
  3. OR draw or collage to decorate
  4. OR just leave it as is. It’s up to you!

Step 3: Find a Comfortable Place, Choose a Page, and Begin Journaling
There are many ways to journal. You can free write on the topic of gratitude and thankfulness. Also, you can use various art forms. Try our acrostic poem page. Or create collage pages with copies of photos or old magazine images. Drawing is another way to express yourself in your journal. Most of all, make your Gratitude Journal meaningful to you.

Why a Gratitude Journal?
Studies show that practicing gratitude makes us happier. Focusing on people and things that you are thankful for can help you feel joyful.
When we express appreciation, it is good for friendships. When we tell people thank you and what you like about them, it helps us focus on the positive things about a person, and then we feel better about our friendships. Telling someone what you like about them or acknowledging a person’s kindness helps them to feel good, too.

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Share Classes 2020 blog

Don't miss the opportunity to come together as a community for "share-worthy" recipes, tips and more in these fun, interactive virtual classes from the kitchen presented by Elayne Prechtel, award winning author, photographer, and creator of the soul-filled mission, Sharing Life, Love and Food.


Holiday Classes

Download the recipes below!


Click here for more Share Classes


Follow Elayne on Social Media

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Teona - People of the Pikes Peak Region

Teona Shainidze-Krebs is the Chief Librarian and CEO of Pikes Peak Library District.

I was born and grew up in the country of Georgia. This was during a time of much political uncertainty and turmoil in the country. As a teenager, my family was forced to flee my home country, and we moved to Russia.

As you can imagine, this was a scary and uncertain time for my family, not just because of the circumstances of our move, but because we also found ourselves in a new country where we didn’t speak the language. Many people might not know this, but to Georgians, Russian is a foreign language. It is a foreign language similar to how we consider Spanish or Chinese to be a foreign language in America.

In Russia, there is no support for new residents to learn the language and acclimate to society. My mom and dad were truly on their own in acclimating to a new country and trying to help their kids adjust to a new way of life.

Years later, I made the big decision to move to America. Once I landed, I discovered that the resources and opportunities for new families to learn the language and find their place in our communities were seemingly around every corner.

The local library was one of the best resources, with everything from English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to job training and even citizenship courses so immigrants can earn their citizenship. There was nothing like this in Russia to help families adapt to a new life, but the library was central to me finding my way in America.

Teona Shainidze-Krebs Family

When I started as a part-time ESL instructor in Pikes Peak Library District's Adult Education program, it inspired my passion for adult education. Eventually, it led to my own career serving our community through our Library. My proudest moment came years later when, as the Director of Adult Education for PPLD, I was able to watch my mom and dad go through their own naturalization ceremony and earn their American citizenship at one of our libraries.

However, this story didn’t come full circle for me until I was introduced to a family from Afghanistan who found themselves here in very similar circumstances, struggling to integrate into a new culture in the same way my family struggled to find our way in Russian society. The husband was an interpreter for the U.S. military, and his bravery put himself and his family in direct danger from the Taliban.

He knew one of the first things he would need to do was earn a GED, and his wife needed to get into ESL courses so she could learn English. Through the Library, he was able to take classes and earn his GED while his wife participated in ESL courses and learned English. They both utilized these programs in our Library to adjust to their new life and become valuable members of our community.

It meant so much to them to be welcomed to America and to know there was so much support and help in acclimating to a new life.

The Library gives me a great sense of pride in this country. Not every community in the world has the same tools and resources to help people better their lives and adjust to the circumstances thrown their way. However, our local libraries ARE that space where people can find the resources and tools to connect them to opportunities and a better way of life.

It means so much to me that my own personal story was influenced by the Library, and today I am able to help share that gift with so many other people in our community!


Click here for more People of the Pikes Peak Region stories!


All you need is your library. But your library needs you, too! Support Pikes Peak Library District by making a charitable gift to the PPLD Foundation. Click here to make your donation today. Thank you!

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dinorama

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Supplies and Directions:

Step 1
Gather your supplies.
Provided in your bag: cardstock, clay, moss, dinosaur
From home: colored pencils/crayons/markers, scissors, tape
Step 2
Cut your cardstock strip so that you have a strip to make the ground of your dinosaur habitat and a strip to make a background (you might need a grownup’s help with this).
Step 3
Decorate both strips of cardstock with your markers. Maybe there are a bunch of leafy plants in the background or a big sun; maybe the ground has a river running through it.
Step 4
Secure your strips with tape so the background stands up.
Step 5
Now add the 3D things! Use the clay to mold rocks, mountains, dino eggs - whatever you like!
Add the moss to give your habitat some extra plant life. Finally, name your dino and put them in
their new home!

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Olympic book blog

Celebrate the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 with a special booklist. Books penned by Olympians, Paralympians, and about the journey to success!


Young Adult
Adult
Children
About the Olympics/Paralympics/Athletes
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tattoo

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide: Dry Erase Marker
Materials you provide: Glass or ceramic surface (Pyrex pans, plates, bathtubs, etc.), Water

  1. Draw a picture on your smooth glass/ceramic surface with a dry erase marker.
  2. Cover the drawing with some water (the warmer the better).
  3. Watch while your drawing lifts off the surface and floats around on the water!
  4. You can push the drawing around to your heart’s content.
  5. After you have watched your drawings come to life in the water, stick your hand into the swirling color and it will stick to your skin like a tattoo!

TIPS:

  • You will be more successful if you draw a solid picture (e.g. a solid shape).
  • When the drawing lifts off the surface, it will not maintain its shape.
  • The skin tattoo will wash off very easily.

This works because dry erase markers are mostly made up of alcohol and a release agent made of silicon oils. When you write on the plate or Pyrex dish, the alcohol evaporates and just leaves behind the ink and release agent. We all know that oil and water don’t mix, so the ink with the oils in the release agent just float to the top!

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Experimental Music Summit at KCH 2021

Join us for an evening of experimental musical performances by local artists. These artists will perform original works with a conceptual approach to tonality, structure, and performance.


Artists

  • Ricky Sweum and Sean Schafer Hennessy

    These composers share their representation of Knights of Columbus Hall through time; an original performance of sound, music and imagery.

  • Michael Doherty

    Steeped in the traditional repertoire and techniques of a shakuhachi lineage that reaches into the Edo Period of Japan (1603-1867), Michael’s lineage also includes radical innovators like the controversial Zen Priest, Watazumi Doso Roshi. In this performance of traditional and new solo ritual pieces called honkyoku, micro-tonality (traditional tuning) and Japanese aesthetics like ma and wabi-sabi will be explored- at times taken to extremes. Space and silence will be investigated in a similar sense ad that germane to the Wandelweiser group of composers and performers where rather than durations of notes being mapped, music becomes a space to occupy.

  • Zandrew

    Zandrew, an anomaly in space and time, delivers an intricate array of realtime unheard sounds and binaural interferences. Presenting in an auditory and visual bath of new existence with the assistance of Megacorp.

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animal crossing keychain

Take and Makes for this project for ages 9-12 will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Oct 29, 2021.

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies Included: Mini glass bottle, jump ring, metal eye hook, keyring, mini recipe card
Supplies Needed (from home): scissors, pliers, clear glue.

  1. Cut out the DIY mini recipe card (there’s an extra just in case). Remove the tape from the cork and discard. Take the cork out of the bottle and remove the metal eye hook and the jump ring. Place the recipe card in the bottle.
  2. Screw the metal eye hook into the center of the top of the cork by hand.
  3. Take the jump ring and loop it through the metal eye hook and the end of the key ring to connect the cork to the keyring.
  4. Use pliers to close the jump ring.
  5. Apply glue to the edges of the cork, and place in the bottle. Put the cork back in the bottle, pressing down to help seal the glue. Be careful since the bottle is made of glass!
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vanishingghosts2

Materials Needed:

  • Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Small Bowl
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Use a black permanent marker to draw a ghost face on each packing peanut. Remember, they MUST be biodegradable packing peanuts. (That means they are made of starch, not polystyrene.)
  2. Fill a small bowl with room temperature water.
  3. Place one ghost on top of the water and watch what happens.

You will start to see small bubbles appearing on the sides of the packing peanut ghost. And then the ghost will disappear right before your eyes! Your results may depend on the type of Biodegradable Packing Peanuts you use. (about 5 – 10 min.)
If the melting packing peanuts are taking too long to disappear, try using hot water to help speed up the process.

 

Why Do Biodegradable Packing Peanuts Melt?
These new packing peanuts are made out of biodegradable corn starch, which means they break down easily instead of just sitting in the garbage dump for years and years like the older style ones. The water helps break them down even faster whether water temperature will affect the speed they dissolve.

  • How fast do the ghosts dissolve in different temperatures of water? Get a stopwatch and time it.
  • Make a chart to record your results.
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characterbooks

Where can you find kids' books that display positive character traits? Click on the pdf link below to see our new staff recommendations for books with character.

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cerealism

TAKE AND MAKES for this homeschool project (Ages 7 Up) will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
Watch the Cerealism: Out-of-the-Box-Art video tutorial on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kHjyAqjtMUst

Supplies Included in Take and Make and Needed from Home

In Take and Make:

  • Cereal box or other consumer brand box (if your Take and Make does not include one, you can use one from home)
  • Book jacket / scrapbooking paper
  • Examples of Cerealism Collage sheet

From Home:

  • Scissors
  • Clear Elmer’s glue

Directions: You can find all the instructions with explanatory photos in the video and pdf link below.

Step 1: Prepare Your Box

  1. Open your cereal (or other consumer brand) box at both ends.
  2. Open the cereal box along the glued side seam so that it lays flat.
  3. Cut the front cover away from the back, along the side panel connected to the back.
  4. Cut off all top and bottom flaps. *Save the flaps
  5. Cut away the side panel from the front cover.
  6. Cut away the narrow strip from the outside of the back cover.

The front box cover will be your collage material. The back cover with side panel will serve as the foundation/background for gluing your collage to.

Step 2: Decide How You Will Cut Your Front Cover into Collage Pieces
Choose one of these four ways to cut your box cover (but wait until Step 4 to cut).

  1. Cut down the long side of your box front, making strips about ¼ inch wide. Cut each strip into 3 to 5 pieces. Arrange them “boardwalk” style, placing the pieces out of order.
  2. OR cut your box front horizontally, into 4 thick strips. Cut each strip into 3 squares. Cut each square into smaller squares and rectangles.
  3. OR cut your box front in half horizontally. Cut each half into 4 squares. Cut each square into random angles (e.g., triangles and trapezoids).
  4. OR you can combine all cutting techniques … strips, squares and rectangles, and random angles. (*WARNING: This choice is very challenging to collage!)

Step 3: Decide How You Will Sign Your Artwork (just like Michael Albert, Cerealism Artist)
Three ways to find/make your initials for “signing” your collage:

  1. Using the flaps from your box, look for the first letter of both your first and last name. If you find letters that are the size and style you like, cut around them in a square or rectangle and save them to add to your collage later.
  2. OR make your initials in block letters on the back of one of the box flaps and cut out around the shape of the letters. When you turn them over, they’ll look just like the cereal box and will be very tricky to find in your collage.
  3. OR you can search for your initials on the book jacket in your Take and Make, cut out around them in a square or rectangle, and place them in your collage later on.

Step 4: Create Your Cerealism Masterpiece
*TIP: Work from bottom to top OR top to bottom.

  1. It helps to cut about an inch wide strip off the top of your box front.
  2. Next, cut your box into sections using one of the cutting techniques above (Step 2).
  3. Each time you cut up a smaller section, practice arranging the pieces on your background. NO GLUE YET!
  4. As you arrange, decide on how much space you’ll leave between pieces.
  5. Cut larger pieces into smaller pieces when you need to. You’ll need all sizes to fit your spaces. You can also cut small pieces from your leftover box flaps and panels.
  6. When you’re ready to glue a section down, do it one piece at a time. Place a small dot of glue on the back of your piece, smooth it over the back surface, place your piece, and press firmly.
  7. When you have glued the first section down, continue to cut, arrange and glue one section at a time.
  8. Remember to add your initials into your collage somewhere in a bottom section!
  9. When your collage is complete, you can frame it by cutting the book jacket and/or the decorative paper into mosaic-like pieces, gluing them down to make an interesting border OR … you can just trim the background to fit the finished collage!
  10. Challenge your masterpiece admirers to find your “signature”!

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) announced today that it reached a record-breaking two million digital book checkouts in October 2021. This accomplishment illustrates the continued growth and importance of library digital lending of eBooks and audiobooks. PPLD is one of 54 public library systems worldwide that has surpassed one million checkouts at this point in the year.

PPLD provides readers 24/7 access to eBooks and audiobooks through OverDrive and its award-winning Libby reading app. Reader interest and usage has grown constantly over the years; 2020 ended with 2,430,575 digital checkouts.

The highest-circulating digital title borrowed by PPLD readers thus far in 2021 has been The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, checked out as an eBook or audiobook more than 2,600 times. The top-circulating genres include fiction with more than one million circulations, nonfiction at over 450,000 circulations, and literature nearing almost 450,000 circulations.


The top 5 eBook titles borrowed through PPLD’s digital collection in 2021:

  1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  2. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  3. A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
  4. Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
  5. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

The top 5 eAudiobook titles borrowed through the Library’s digital collection in 2021:
  1. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
  2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  3. The Duke and I by July Quinn
  4. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  5. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Readers in El Paso County only need a valid library card to access digital books from PPLD’s OverDrive-powered digital collection. Readers can use any major device, including Apple(R), Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle(R) (US only). Visit ppld.org/eLibrary or download the Libby app to get started and borrow eBooks and audiobooks anytime, anywhere.

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leaf sprites

Take and Makes for this Make project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.

Supplies and Directions:

Step 1.
Gather your supplies.
Provided in your bag: cardstock leaves to color and cut out, pipe cleaners
From home: colored pencils/crayons/markers, scissors, tape or glue
Step 2.
Color in your leaves (or find some real leaves outside!). Try mixing colors to get your perfect fall leaf. Using a marker or pen, draw faces on your leaves.
Step 3.
Cut out each leaf carefully (you might need a grownup’s help with this).
Step 4.
For each leaf: cut a pipe cleaner in half. Tape or glue both halves to the back for the arms and legs. Bend them however you like to make your leaf unique!
Step 5.
Have fun with your little leaf sprite friends!

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static electricity ghosts

Take and Makes for this project are available starting today, Oct. 8, 2021, at area PPLD libraries.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials Provided: White Tissue Paper, Balloon
Materials you Provide: Scissors, Head of Hair, Marker, Spooky Music (optional), tape (optional)

Directions:
Cut several ghosts out of your tissue paper. Each ghost should be about 1.5 inches long. Draw eyes on each ghost with your marker.
Place your ghosts on a flat surface.
Blow up your balloon and tie the end. Rub it through your hair really fast for about 10 seconds to add a static charge.
Move the balloon near your ghosts. They should begin to rise toward the balloon. See if you can get them to rise, move, and dance around. You should be able to get the ghost to move from several inches away.
If you want the ghost to rise without sticking to the balloon, try taping just the tip to your surface.

The Science behind it:
As you rub the balloon through your hair, you are building up negatively charged electrons on the surface of the balloon. They are then able to pull light positively charged items toward them.

Welcome the Pikes Peak Region's new Poet Laureate!

Please join us in welcoming the Pikes Peak Region's new Poet Laureate! This hour long event will feature poetry readings from a variety of local poets, including past Pikes Peak Poet Laureates.

The evenings activities will be emceed by former Pikes Peak Poet Laureate, Susan Peiffer.

The program will feature:

  • Opening remarks by Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) Chief Librarian & CEO, John Spears
  • Performances by local poets (TBD)
  • Past Poet Laureate Performances by Price Strobridge, Aaron Anstett (invited), and Susan Peiffer
  • Installation Ceremony, and performance by Poet Laureate, Ashley Cornelius