Celebrate creativity with us for National Week of Making! From Mon., May 17 - Sun., May 23, we’ll be shining a light on ways to get involved with making in El Paso County. Share your creations with us with the hashtag #WeekofMaking2021. To read more about National Week of Making, visit Nation of Makers.
To kick off the week, we’ll be offering Watercolor Take and Makes at all Makerspace locations (Sand Creek Library, East Library, Library 21C, and Manitou Springs Library). Kits will include simple watercolor supplies and a written and video tutorial to get you started (available while supplies last).
While you’re there, check out our Makerspaces! We offer a wide range of tools and technology, from laser cutters to sewing machines to 3D printers to conversion machines. East Library and Sand Creek Library also offer a recording studio. You can take a tour, book time to use the space, and stop by our Creation Station to take a selfie!
Check out some of the resources below to learn more about what the library has to offer for makers!
- Learn more about the makerspaces, studios, and how to reserve equipment. (For ages 9+)
- Want to use the laser cutter? You can now take a virtual badging course. (For ages 9+.)
- We are now offering 3D printing through drop offs. (For ages 9+.)
- Looking for ways to make from home? Visit our curated resources. (For all ages.)
- Creative Services YouTube playlist. (For ages 9+.)
- Explore a new topic with Discovery Kits. (For all ages.)
- Looking for cool things to make at home? Check out our Teens Make and Teens STEM playlists for fun, easy projects. (For ages 12 - 18)
Take and Makes for this STEM project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Fri., May 14.
Supplies and Directions
Materials Provided: 12 drinking straws, duct tape
Materials You Provide: Scissors, ruler, drinking glass filled with water, level surface that can get wet (or if not, something to protect it), sturdy chair to stand on.
While sipping a drink through your straw seems fairly simple, it’s actually a complicated process. As you sip, you are lowering the air pressure inside your mouth and the liquid is pushed up into your mouth.
In this activity, you’ll experiment with the length of your straw. Are you able to create a long straw that actually works? What is the longest straw you can create and drink out of?
Let’s get started and find out.
- Cut 2 lengthwise slits in one end of each plastic straw. The slits should be about ½" long. An adult can help with this is necessary.
- Slip the cut straw end over the uncut end of another straw.
- Cut the strip of duct tape into short 3/4” strips.
- Wrap tape around your joint so there is an airtight seal. (Why do you think it’s necessary to have an airtight seal?)
- Test your straw by placing the end of the straw into your glass of water. The glass of water should be on a level surface that can get wet. Try taking a drink. It’s best to hold your straw vertically.
- If you’re able to drink, try adding more straws one at a time. Test after each addition.
- If you’re unable to drink, then check each connection to see if it’s airtight. All holes will need sealed with your tape.
- As your straw gets longer, you may need to stand on a chair to drink. You can also test your straw with different angles.
- What is the longest straw that you created that worked?
May is National Foster Care Month. Learn more with PPLD!
About Foster Care
An average of 10 children and youth entered foster care each day in Colorado in 2020. In 2019, the Colorado Department of Human Services child abuse and neglect hotline received 219,478 calls. Foster care is always a last resort for kids and families. In El Paso County alone, the Department of Human Services receives approximately 16,000 Child Abuse Hotline calls per year. Of those calls, only about 400 results in the removal of the child.
This means, the children placed in foster care are the most severely abused and neglected and their removal was either an emergency or a last measure after their parents failed to remedy the problems in their home. – Hope & Home
Hope & Home
Hope & Home is a local foster care agency. At Hope & Home, we believe that foster parenting is a calling. We believe that every single child who walks through our doors is precious and deserving of safety and love. We believe that reunification with a child’s biological parents when possible is best. We believe that adoption when necessary is beautiful.
Hope & Home is a licensed child placement agency, serving children and families across Colorado. We recruit, train, license, and support families to care for children in foster care.
Hope & Home is a community-based foster care agency on a mission to reinvent foster care across Colorado.
Abused and neglected children who have been removed from their birth homes get a stable and nurturing family to live with until it’s safe to go home again, or — when that safety isn’t possible — a family to give them a forever home through adoption.
Watch one family’s incredible foster care story.
Learn More About Foster Parenting:
- About Kids Crossing:
Kids Crossing is an agency founded BY foster parents, FOR foster parents. Our mission is to strengthen families so they may provide the best care to those children entrusted to them.
- Monthly Informational Meetings:
Learn more about how you can become involved with Kids Crossing! Attend one of our informational meetings to meet staff and learn how Kids Crossing is different from other child placement agencies.
As a Kids Crossing Foster Parent, YOU ARE NOT ALONE…Becoming a foster parent is a life changing decision, and being a foster parent is a tough job! Foster care is not for everyone, but if you are ready to commit to foster youth in need, Kids Crossing is here to support you every step of the way.
- About Special Kids Special Families:
SKSF’s Foster Care & Adoption program places children with special needs, including mental, emotional and physical disabilities into loving and caring homes. We serve children of all ethnicities, ages and situations. It is uniquely positioned as the “go-to” agency supporting foster children with disabilities due to its integration and access to the full range of SKSF programs and services.
- Become a foster parent:
Our foster care program encourages the achievement of every child’s full potential by providing a stable and nurturing alternative family environment. At the same time, we implement specific treatment plans for foster children and their families while working towards the best permanent outcome for everyone involved. To Become a Foster Parent with SKSF can be one of the most rewarding experiences.
- Zoom Info Meetings:
Special Kids Special Families is offering a FREE informational meeting about becoming a foster parent/family. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the need for more foster families, what it takes to become a foster parent, and have all your questions answered. This meeting also serves as our orientation to those who have decided to begin the process of becoming foster parents. This meeting is offered remotely via Zoom.
- Foster Family Stories
- About Bethany Christian Services:
Family Changes Everything: We believe every child deserves to be safe, loved, and connected through family. Bethany is a global nonprofit that supports children and families with world-class social services, all designed to help families thrive.
- Of all the ways you can show love, foster care is one of the greatest. When you welcome a child or teen into your home, you show them bold love while their family works toward reunification. If you're interested in playing this important role, Bethany can help you be the answer for a child in need. You provide a loving home, and we'll provide the support you need.
- Unaccompanied minors at the border:
What’s happening and how you can help. Thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the border need safe and loving foster homes now.
- Dismantling the Myths of Foster Care
- Bobbi, a mom reunited with her kids after foster care.
Adoption & Genealogy Resources from Regional History & Genealogy
Laws governing access to birth records vary depending on the state where you were born. If you are adopted, you may or may not be able to request an original birth certificate, or certain information on your certificate may not be available. Use the resources below to learn more about the research process and record availability.
Child Welfare Information Gateway (A service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
FamilySearch (Nonprofit genealogy database)
Special Collections Reference Books:
- Carangelo, Lori. The Adoption and Donor Conception Factbook. The Only Comprehensive Source of U.S. & Global Data on the Invisible Families of Adoption, Foster Care & Donor Conception (Special Collections Reference at Penrose Library)
- Carangelo, Lori. THE ULTIMATE SEARCH BOOK: Worldwide Adoption, Genealogy & Other Search Secrets (Special Collections Reference at Penrose Library)
- Klunder, Virgil L. Lifeline: The Action Guide to Adoption Search (Special Collections Reference at Penrose Library)
On average, 10 children and youth enter foster care each day in Colorado because their parents need time to learn new skills and address safety concerns. This all-ages booklist is filled with captivating and engaging stories about children and teens experiencing foster care, click on pdf to view booklist. Source: CO4K.org
Take and Makes for Paint Pouring, for ages 9-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries starting Friday, May 7, 2021.
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/sdIewTwn6lo?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
Included in kit: 1 canvas, 1 container of Floetrol (stabilizer), 2 containers of acrylic paint, wooden craft sticks for stirring, small cups for mixing
Needed from home: Newspaper, plastic, or foil (to cover your workspace)
- Cover your workspace with newspaper, plastic, or foil to contain the mess from the paint. Consider wearing an old shirt or apron and push your sleeves out of the way of the paint.
- Pour the stabilizer (the Floetrol) into three plastic cups. Add a separate paint color to each plastic cup and mix with wooden stirrers. For best results, keep a 1:1 ratio of stabilizer to paint in the disposable cups. You can combine the two paints in one cup to make three colors.
- Decide which technique you want to use and follow those instructions for prepping the paint. (See “techniques” below).
- Pour the paint onto the canvas until it covers the whole thing.
- If you are not happy with the design, while the paint is still wet you can tilt the canvas in any direction and the paint will change before your eyes!
- As an optional step you can flick or drip rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer onto the canvas and watch the awesome things it does to your creation. A little goes a long way.
- One you are done pouring put in a dry place and wait 10 hours for it to dry fully.
- Dirty Pour: After mixing the medium into each color, layer each color into a single cup. The first color you pour into the cup will be the last to appear on your surface and likely the most prominent. Pour straight on your surface or place surface face down over cup and flip the entire thing over. The paint will pour out of the cup and onto the surface of your canvas.
- Direct Pour: Keeping your color mixtures separate, alternate pouring directly onto the surface. Tilt surface to create a marbleized pattern.
Many adults and kids in the Pikes Peak Library District have voted for their favorite children's book! Thank you. Below, you will find the Children's Book Week booklist with the voting results. Pilkey's Dog Man is the most popular book!
Nationally, Reading is a Superpower is the theme of Children's Book Week this year.
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”
- Bend one end of the pipe cleaner, so that the beads do not fall off.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
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.
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.
Decorate clothespin with markers or other coloring materials. Make any design! Set aside to dry.
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.
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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Push the toothpick in the center of the bottom of the cork. (*The skewers should be pointing down.)
- Roll two equal-sized balls of clay and press them onto the bottom ends of the skewers.
- 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.
- 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?
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take and Makes will supply assorted Origami paper
Optional supplies needed needed from home: Scissors and a pen, pencil, or marker
Star Wars X-wing Starfighter
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/GyOw1JMO4hI and see pdf below for pictures.
- Fold Paper in half.
- Fold paper in half again to create a small square.
- Fold the square into a triangle.
- Unfold paper completely. Fold sides into each other to create a large triangle. You may want to watch the video for this step.
- Fold bottom corner of top side down to the crease. Repeat on the other side.
- Flip paper over and follow step 5.
- 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.
- Fold the bottom edge to top of new triangle edge. Repeat on 3 other sides. This will complete the wings.
- Fold wing tips down to create guns on the wings.
- 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.
Community Conversation: Constitution Day
Thu., Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at Rockrimmon Library
Join Pikes Peak Library District and local attorneys to celebrate Constitution Day. Attorneys Eric Hall, Gordon Vaughan, and Anne H. Turner will serve as panelists for a facilitated discussion about the United States Constitution, followed by a short audience Q&A session. Participants will receive a pocket copy of the United States Constitution.
Click here for the Conversation Guide and panelist questions.
Eric is a native of Colorado Springs who has practiced law for 22 years. He graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 2000 and then spent one year in a judicial clerkship for the Honorable David M. Ebel on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. His legal practice focuses on constitutional litigation, civil trials and appeals, and education law. He is a partner at Sparks Willson law firm where he heads its Litigation Group. Eric has been married for 27 years and has four children.
Mr. Vaughan is a principal in the Colorado Springs office. He began his practice in 1980 as the law clerk for Colorado Court of Appeals Chief Judge David Enoch. Following that clerkship, Mr. Vaughan joined a large insurance defense firm where his practice emphasized general litigation defense and the defense of public entities and their employees. He left that firm in 1992 to begin his current practice. Mr. Vaughan continues to provide general litigation defense but emphasizes the defense of public entities and their employees.
Mr. Vaughan’s public entity defense experience includes the litigation, trial, and appeal of claims of constitutional violations brought against public entities and their employees in such areas as police and firefighter liability, emergency vehicle driver liability, prisoner claims including claims of conditions of confinement, public school liability, zoning, and land use. Mr. Vaughan has litigated many cases on behalf of the State of Colorado under special appointment by the Office of the Colorado Attorney General.
Mr. Vaughan is a member of the American, Colorado, and El Paso County Bar Associations as well as the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association and the Defense Research Institute. He is a past member of the El Paso County Inter-Professional Committee and the Colorado Defense Lawyers Amicus Curiae Committee. Mr. Vaughan has section memberships with the American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice, Litigation, and the State & Local Government Law Sections. He has given numerous lectures on subjects such as police liability, public entity and employee immunity, civil discovery practice, and ethics.
Anne H. Turner
Anne H. Turner is an Assistant City Attorney in the Litigation and Employment Division of the Colorado Springs City Attorney’s Office. In that role, she represents the City and its officials and employees in litigation involving constitutional, tort, contract, and eminent domain claims. Her practice involves defending the City against claims under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Before joining the City Attorney’s Office in 2010, Ms. Turner worked in private practice in Colorado Springs and Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1995, graduating summa cum laude, and her Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, in 2000, graduating cum laude. Ms. Turner grew up in New Jersey and has resided in Colorado Springs since 2006.
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.
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
- Cut or tear the tissue paper into smaller pieces.
- 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.
- Take the 4 strips of construction paper and glue them to the edges to create a frame.
- Trim the frame.
- Glue the 2nd piece of wax paper onto the tissue paper and frame.
- 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.
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)
- Scrap paper to label beans with date
- Scotch tape or glue stick
- Pen or Pencil
- Crayons or marker
Safety Tip: Dried beans are chocking hazards for small children. Adults will need to supervise this activity.
For This Experiment:
- Experiment Light: choose a sunny window where the seeds will get plenty of light, but won’t be blasted by intense sun all day.
- Experiment Dark: Find a closed drawer or closet that is dark and not opened very often.
- Fold paper towels so they will fit inside the bags.
- 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.
- Put 5 beans into each bag on top of paper towels (leave room between them to grow!) and zip closed.
- Write the date on scrap paper, label either Light or Dark, and tape to each bag.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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
- Glue your feathers to the erasure side of the pencil
- Add a little pressure to the feathers around the pencil. This will help keep them in place.
- Wait for the glue to dry
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- 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.
- 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.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 18 and 19
- IFLA Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Advisory Committee
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 16 (IFLA was instrumental in the formation of the goal)
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.
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.
“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.”
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
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)
- Take template of color wheel or print out a copy below.
- 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.
- Cut out your circle template.
- Glue your circle to the piece of cardboard and cut it out again.
- Carefully poke two holes in the center of the color wheel, side by side.
- Thread your string through both holes, then tie the ends in a knot.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Are you ready to vote in this year’s City of Colorado Springs Municipal Election to elect a new mayor and three at-large city councilmembers on April 4, 2023? Voting is both a right and responsibility, and democracy works best when everyone participates.
Access the Library’s nonpartisan Voting & Elections Guide to find out the following:
- How to register to vote or update your vote registration, as well as useful information for first-time voters
- How you can vote, including when to expect to receive your ballot via mail, when and how to return your completed ballot, and when and where you can return your mail-in ballot on or before Election Day
- What will be on the ballot, including candidates running for mayor and city council as well as local ballot measures
This nonpartisan resource guide, compiled and maintained by PPLD librarians, also includes other useful information like news sources, fact checking, and fake news, along with how to find your current legislators and see how political campaigns are financed.
Here are other ways that PPLD can help you prepare and participate in the upcoming election:
- PPLD partners with the League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region throughout the year to ensure residents can easily register to vote or update their voter registration. They’ll have volunteers at Penrose, Ruth Holley, and Sand Creek libraries on Tue., Feb. 7, and Tues., Mar. 7 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. to assist with any voter registration needs.
- There are secure, 24-hour ballot drop boxes outside of East Library and Library 21c. They are accessible by vehicle, bicycle, or walking up. (Fun facts: These are two of 39 total ballot drop boxes across El Paso County. Plus, East Library has the LARGEST ballot box in the state! It had to be specially built and installed due to high use by local voters.)
For anyone interested in petitioning, hosting a voter registration drive, or conducting other civic engagement activities on any PPLD property, please review our Solicitation Policy.
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.