4/30/10

Measuring Results

By Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in December 2008)
Since 2005, the Pueblo City-County Library District has been on a mission. We
set broad goals in 2005 to reach out more to specific populations in our community,
to begin to address some library capital needs, and to increase use of the library.
How have we done in reaching our goals? Let’s take a look at some of the
results.
We have been trying hard to improve services for targeted groups. We
established Teen Central areas at our libraries geared toward the tastes of young
adults. The Library’s Summer Reading Program continuously has won acclaim
throughout the state of Colorado for its service to younger people. All Pueblo
Reads celebrated its fourth (and best) year in 2008 with the recent visit to Pueblo by best-selling author Amy Tan. Established in 2007, Nuestra Biblioteca at the Rawlings Library is focused on recognizing our community’s rich Hispanic culture and
traditions. Books in the Park touches some of our less affluent neighborhoods
such as Mitchell Park on the East Side and Minnequa Park in Bessemer. This year’s
implementation of Accessible Avenues enables the library to better serve those
with disabilities. We reinvigorated PCCLD’s Homebound Program in 2006 in
delivering books to people who are unable to come to the library. We reached out to
the nonprofit community in Pueblo with the establishment in 2005 of the Nonprofit
Resource Center at the Rawlings Library.
We also are planning a new Vocation and Business Center at the Pueblo West Library
to assist those in our community seeking to improve their economic standing.
We have been addressing library capital needs, too. Early in 2009 we will open the
greatly enlarged and wholly renovated Pueblo West Library. Later in 2009, we will
open a new branch library on the YMCA campus on the westside of Pueblo. Earlier
in 2006, we renewed our commitment to the nine School District 70 and Pueblo
City Schools Satellite Libraries, and also upgraded our Satellite in Colorado City
when it moved into the Craver Middle School there.
These and other efforts have resulted in increased use of libraries throughout the
county. The number of books and other library materials that customers checkout
has increased from 1,028,792 in 2005 to 1,138,689 in 2007. This is an increase of
10.7 percent. So far this year in 2008, use is up another 15.6% compared with last
year. Attendance at Library-sponsored programs increased from 56.3 percent
during the same period, and is up another 21.5% this year. Clearly, library use is on
the upswing.
It is useful to set goals. Those we set in 2005 provided us direction to work toward.
It is gratifying now to look back and see how well we have done in achieving the
goals we set.

State of the Library

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in November 2008)
I am asked frequently questions like, “How are things at the library?”
To sum up 2008, I’d say things are, in a word, busy. We checked out more library
materials than ever in the history of PCCLD a year ago in 2007; and, so far in 2008,
our checkouts are more than 17 percent ahead of the 2007 pace. Our community’s
positive response to the library is reflected in a national rating service for public
libraries. According to the 2008 Hennen American Public Library Rating, we are
in the top 28 percent of all public libraries nationally. Our goal is to be in the top 20 percent. I am confident we will get there.
We are preparing for even a better year in 2009. The newly expanded Pueblo
West Library will open. This library will be 28,000 square feet, more than five times
larger than the old White Library. Because of its large size, some are referring to it as a mini-main library. Of course, to operate this new, robust facility, we will need additional staff. We hope to increase the current staff by four. The new library in Pueblo West is designed for a modern customer service model called Roving
Reference, which is quickly becoming popular around the country for its flexibility
and efficiency in helping customers.
A small branch library at the new YMCA campus on Pueblo’s west side is also
scheduled to open in 2009. This 1,000 square foot library is expected to be
open about 35 hours per week, and new employees will also be needed at this new
location. Next year will bring upgrades in library
technology. Lately, our Information Technology staff has been working to
move us to a new high-speed fiber optic network. Later this year and in 2009, old
PCs will be swapped for newer, faster computers running the latest, greatest
software.
Library programming continues to be top notch and attracts record crowds. It
is something of which we are very proud. In 2007, the library’s attendance record
was shattered by a whopping 50 percent increase over 2006. So far in 2008, we
are 21 percent ahead of last year’s record numbers. Our summer reading program
routinely has been an award winner. All Pueblo Reads programming is bigger and
better than ever. Other programs—such as Nuestra Biblioteca, the InfoZone News
Museum, Teen Central, Books in the Park and more—help make the Pueblo
City-County Library District a cultural destination for our community.
Collection development—how we select new books and other library materials—
continues to evolve. Most recently, we formed a new Collection Development
team consisting of librarians Rich Poll, Isobel Drysdale, and Abby Koehler.
They now have oversight of all material purchases throughout the district. This will
help us do an even better job of getting the right books and other library materials for our customers.
Speaking of collections, thanks to the good work of Electronic Resources Librarian Kay Loeber, Media Librarian Abby Koehler and others, we will soon offer audio books that are downloadable from the library’s website to your own portable MP3 player. Imagine taking a walk while listening to your favorite new book. Like most library services, this will be free to the public. As a final comment, I would like to
share a few words on library finances. I have been asked about the financial
circumstances of the library and how the current problems on Wall Street
are impacting us. We are watching this carefully as the country appears to be
in uncharted economic territory. At this point, our finances appear stable and
sound. We do have a savings account, but we don’t have that money invested in
the stock market. Most library funding—about 85 percent—comes from property
taxes and is tied to property values, which appear to be decreasing.
The decline in the housing market should not have an immediate effect on
the library, but could impact us long term. Overall, in 2009, we anticipate a flat budget. With increasing needs at the expanded Pueblo West and YMCA Libraries, we will
be stretched. There is no doubt about it. But I remain cautiously confident
and believe we have a good plan for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009.

Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

By Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First Published in October 2008)
2008 marks the fourth consecutive year that the Pueblo City-County Library District has sponsored All Pueblo Reads. The goal of this program is to focus the community on a great book and, thereby, bring reading to the center of our cultural life.
In years past, the selections for All Pueblo Reads have been To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee in 2005, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton in 2006, and Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain in 2007.
Now, we are pleased to announce the selection of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan as the The Big Read: All Pueblo Reads 2008. This book, first published in 1989, has been both a best seller and critically acclaimed with its focus on Chinese-American families.
In choosing The Joy Luck Club, we have set aside the entire month of October
to provide more than 50 public events, hosted in collaboration with a number
of community partners, that we hope will foster discussion and community
engagement involving themes present in the book. I encourage you to pick up a
calendar of the programs available at each of the public libraries in Pueblo County.
While you are at the library be certain to check out a copy of The Joy Luck Club,
too, and start reading this wonderful book that has been described as “an intricately
patterned novel” that is in “itself a joyful study in luck.” I also recommend the movie by the same name. The movie version of the book was a 1993 hit in theaters and
has been described as “a deeply moving film that will touch the heart and mind
of anyone who opens themselves to its messages about life.” DVD versions of the
movie also are available for checkout at the library.
Over the years, All Pueblo Reads has had an impact upon thousands of Pueblo
County residents. We are confident 2008 will be the biggest and best year, yet.
Headlining this year’s series of events will be appearances by the author herself, Amy Tan. Ms. Tan will appear at a fundraising dinner at the Rawlings Library at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25. In addition, she will make a presentation and sign books at a free, public event at the Rawlings Library at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26. To learn
more about these two special events, call 562-5606.
This year, the district is pleased to welcome as principal sponsors of The Big
Read: All Pueblo Reads both the National Endowment for the Arts and The Pueblo
Chieftain.

The Doris Kester & Southern Colorado Community Foundation Nonprofit Resource Center

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in September 2008)
The Library District provides a myriad of information and learning resources for the community. This is part of our mission to provide lifelong learning opportunities for the citizens of Pueblo County. One unique example of this is the Library’s Doris
Kester & Southern Colorado Community Foundation Nonprofit Resource Center.
The Nonprofit Resource Center’s purpose is to provide access and training
to use online and print research materials designed to guide people to grant and
nonprofit funding opportunities. This Center first opened in 2005 at the Rawlings
Public Library. It carries the names of Doris Kester and the Southern Colorado
Community Foundation due to their generous financial gifts to the service. It
also receives ongoing support from the Foundation Center based in New York City
(http://foundationcenter.org/collections/ccco.html).
The most recent announcement from Nonprofit Resource Center is a new
partnership with the City of Pueblo. As part of this collaboration, the Library will offer public access to eCivis at the Nonprofit Resource Center and provide a librarian to help teach community members how to use eCivis. eCivis is an important online tool to improve access to grant funds for organizations in our community (www.
ecivis.com).
For more information on the Nonprofit Resource Center or eCivis, contact librarian
Richard Tucey at 553-0202.

The library online

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in August 2008)
The library - like most institutions today - has been greatly impacted by computers and other information technologies.
For example, last year more than 285,000 people logged onto library Internet
computers in Pueblo County, compared to only a handful a mere 10 years ago.
Without a doubt, providing public access to the Internet is a growing and important
part of library business.
This is not the only important impact computers have on the library. In fact, the
entire operation of the library depends on modern information technologies.
We acquire new books for the collection online. The library catalog is online. You
are able to reserve and hold books and other materials online. We send customer
notifications via automated telephone and email systems. The library website is a
gateway to a number of online databases providing access to authoritative
information on myriad topics—including magazines and newspapers, automotive
repair, business, education, genealogy, health, job skills, legal resources and much
more. You can even connect online live with a librarian and get help researching
facts and information. Today, computer and web technologies have truly made
library services available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
There is no doubt that information technology is important for the services
the library provides. The critical nature of technology to the modern library is
the reason we started a special upgrade project in December 2007. This project
envisions spending more than $629,000 over a two-year period in 2008 and 2009
to increase library Internet and network speeds, replace all library computers and
add a new telephone system. The first step in this process took place in July,
when a new high-speed library Internet service went into service. The new
library Internet service is more than 300% faster than before. This will be followed
in August with significantly faster network connections between library branches.
Later in 2008 and 2009 we will replace all the personal-use computers in the library.
The last step in the project will be a new telephone system to be put in place later
in 2009.
A comprehensive national study entitled “Public Libraries and the Internet 2007:
Report to the American Library Association” (http://www.ii.fsu.edu/plinternet_reports.cfm) found that “while public libraries
provide a substantial amount of public access Internet and computing service,
the overall physical infrastructure they are able to provide may be lacking in quality.” We should all take pride that the Pueblo City-County Library District is not one of those libraries behind the curve when it comes to computers and technology. Instead, we are setting the trend with the adoption and implementation of current and modern information technology.

Meeting @ Your Library

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in July 2008)
The Pueblo City-County Library District recently adopted the vision statement: Books
& Beyond. This vision signifies that just as surely as libraries are about books and reading, today we are more than this. For example, are you looking for a place for your club or organization to gather? Think library.
Yes, the library provides community meeting rooms to clubs and organizations.
There are meeting rooms available at the Barkman, Lamb, Rawlings and White
libraries. Offering meeting room space to community groups is another way the
library serves its mission to support the free exchange of ideas.
Meeting room space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Generally,
rooms may be scheduled for groups of ten or more by contacting the library
where you want to meet. Each room varies in size from smaller rooms of a few
hundred square feet to spaces as large as 2,500 square feet and big enough to
accommodate up to 175 people.
Normally, fees are not charged for not-for-profit organizations using the rooms
during normal business hours. However, a nominal fee may be charged in other
circumstances.
In addition to the regular public meeting rooms, the Rawlings Library is home
to the Ryals Special Events Room. The Ryals Room is not considered a general
use meeting room, and there is a rental charge in most cases. The Ryals Room
includes a fully-equipped catering kitchen and enjoys a wonderful ambience atop
the Rawlings Library overlooking the city of Pueblo from each of its two balconies.
This room is used for every occasion from staff trainings and lectures to weddings
and reunions.
Whatever your meeting need—club, company, community group and more—the library has facilities to help. Clearly,the library has moved beyond the book.

Keeping kids reading all summer long

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in June 2008)
It’s that time of year. Another summer is upon us. With the arrival of this season, the attention of school-aged children frequently turns away from things such as reading. As this happens, “summer setback” is a danger.
Available research indicates that reading achievement frequently declines during
summer vacation. Dr. Richard Allington, a professor at the University of Florida,
points out that the “best predictor of summer loss or summer gain is whether
you read or not during the summer.”
Evidence shows there is a simple connection in that better readers read
more than poorer readers. With schools closed, a key is finding ways to get books
into the hands of children during the three month summer break.
In order to avert the “summer slump,” the library is pleased to make available
its award-winning Summer Reading program. The goal of the program is
simple—keep kids reading all summer long. The focus is not on what children
read, just that they read. This is why the library emphasizes reading for nothing
more than the joy of it. It is the reason we offer reading games and prizes, and events designed to get kids into the library. This also is why we sponsor the “Books in the Park” outreach program at both Mitchell Park on the east side and Minnequa Park in Bessemer.
Studies suggest that elementary school-aged children who read only a few books
during the summer months have higher reading-achievement, and they suffer less
of the reading loss that can occur over these months. The library’s Summer
Reading program is designed to make reading more widely available and to offer
incentive programs to keep kids reading.
If research is any indication, participating in the library’s Summer
Reading program can make a positive difference in children’s long-term reading
and academic achievement. So, if you are involved in the lives of children, please
encourage them to join the library’s reading program this summer and stave
off “summer slide.”

Volunteering

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in May 2008)
We are fortunate to live in a community that is so willing to give.
Pueblo has a long tradition of helping others. This is one of the things that make it a great place to live.
One attribute of giving that helps us stand out is our willingness to give our
time. The Independent Sector found in a study that by researching what causes
or issues interest you and considering the skills you have to offer that volunteering
can give voice to your heart by allowing you to contribute something meaningful
to an organization that touches you.
Individuals who volunteer their time are so valuable. In fact, according to the most
current data from the Independent Sector, the value of each hour volunteered is
$18.77 on average.
The library is a wonderful place to volunteer time. Last year, more than 160
people volunteered a total of more than 13,500 hours at Pueblo City-County
libraries. The value of this contribution to the library is more than a quarter of a
million dollars.
As we move toward summer, teen volunteers should keep the Library in mind, too. Last year, teens volunteered nearly 2,000 hours to the library. Teens help with a variety of tasks, and this is especially important to library staff during the summer months to assist with such things as the library’s annual summer reading program.
The library has many wonderful opportunities for volunteerism. Please
consider giving your time. Our volunteer coordinator is Amy Nelson. If volunteering
at the library is something that engages you, she would love to hear from you.
You can reach Amy at 562-5656.

Accessibility

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in April 2008)
In April, the library celebrates accessibility awareness.
On April 5 at the Rawlings Public Library, there will be an unveiling of new assistive technology to help people with special needs better utilize library resources.
For a number of years at the Rawlings Library, we have offered a walker and
wheelchair for those in need, and about three years ago an electric scooter called
a Mart Cart was purchased thanks to contributions received in memory of Robert J. Lippis.
Effective use of the library, however, can require additional assistive technologies.
We are pleased that thanks to a special Library Services and Technology Act
grant from the Colorado Department of Education totaling $102,200, with matching
and in-kind contributions, we now will be able to provide computers featuring
automatically adjustable-height tables, ergonomically adjustable chairs, special
keyboards and big-track mouses, and screen-reading, zoom and other assistive
software.
The library also is consulting with local experts to select books and other materials
of interest to persons with special needs.
On April 17 at 2 p.m., the InfoZone Theatre at the Rawlings Library will host a speaker from Parkview’s Diabetes Center with panel discussion afterwards on the topic of “Know Your Numbers, Diabetes and You: All You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid
to Ask About Diabetes.”
On April 19 at 11 a.m., Sharon Davis, a national expert on hearing loss and
disability safety, will speak in the Ryals Room at the Rawlings Library on “How to
Communicate Effectively with People Who Have Hearing Loss: A Primer for Business
People, Teachers, and Loved Ones.”
Finally, on April 19 at 1 p.m., in the Rawlings Library Ryals Room, Richard
Marold, a nationally-known scholar and Chautauqua performer, will recreate the
persona of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and from his wheelchair (which was seldom
seen in public during his presidency), he will address the audience with a performance entitled “Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Was He Our Nation’s Father of the Independent Living Movement?”
The Pueblo City-County Library District is proud of its mission to serve all members
of our community. This series of programs and services is simply a demonstration
of the library’s commitment to support access to its resources for persons with
special needs.

The Friends of the Library - Good Friends, Indeed!

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in March 2008)
Henry Adams once
was quoted: “One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible.” If this is the case, then the Pueblo City-County Library District has
done the nearly impossible. The Library District has more than 350 dedicated and
supportive Friends who contribute their time, resources, and expertise to make
the library the best that it can be. These Friends are tireless in their efforts to
preserve and strengthen our libraries, and they do so much to create awareness and
appreciation of library services.
The Friends of the Library was founded in 1960 to promote a new library for
Pueblo. Over the years, Friends activities have expanded in support of the entire
Library District. It is no surprise that many of our favorite programs are sponsored by the Friends including the summer reading program, several creative writing contests, the monthly library newsletter and so much more.
In 1962, the Friends held their first used book sale which generated $230 in proceeds. More recently, the Friends established the Books Again book store,
and last year it generated a whopping $79,499.95. The revenue from the book
store is used by the Friends to provide grants to benefit libraries. In 2007, grants
were given for a number of projects that help enhance library services including
scholarships for staff, library holiday lighting, new books, directional signage,
portable staging, cordless tools, book carts and display shelving, special furniture for computers for the disabled, funds to assist with the expansion of the library in Pueblo West, and more.
The Friends currently are conducting a membership drive. It is easy to join.
Simply contact the Friends at Books Again, 622 S. Union (across from the Rawlings
Library), by phone at 543-4688, or email at booksagain@msn.com. The best part is
that you can be a member for as little as $15 each year for an individual or $20 for your entire family. There also are memberships for Businesses and Gold Cards ($30),
Benefactors ($100), and Patrons ($500).
Please join me in thanking these hardworking volunteers for their support.
The library would not be the same without them. Since you can never have too many
friends, I encourage you to join the Friends today.

Numbers and Feedback

By Jon Walker
Executive Director,
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in February 2008)
2007 was a great year for the Pueblo City-County Library District. In fact, it was
the Library’s best year, yet. How do I know this? There are a few different ways.
One way to know 2007 was great is the numbers. In 2007 we checked out 1,138,689 books and other library materials to members of the community. This is a new all-time record number of checkouts. 58,613 people attended library events and programs. Again, this is an all-time record number. 285,023 people logged onto library Internet computers. Yet another record number. The numbers clearly show people are engaged with your library and that 2007 was a phenomenal year.
Another way to know 2007 was great is anecdotal. It is from the individual comments I receive from people about their individual positive library experiences.
Here are a few of the dozens and dozens of written remarks about the Pueblo City-
County Library District from the past year:
• “We appreciate all that you always do
for us.”
• “Thank you so much for all you do for
our kids.”
• “Your Teen Central is Grand.”
• “Words cannot express how grateful we
are to you.”
• “I would like to praise one of your
employees.”
• “Your time, effort and interest are all so
appreciated.”
• “I love learning and working in the
library.”
• “Thank you for the books. I love your
Library!!!”
• “Your....assistance and persistence
were invaluable in allowing me to find the
answers I sought.”
• “I am writing to let you know how
thankful I am for the assistance provided,
the availability of the resources in your
library, and also to let you know the impact
your resources had.”
• “You are really doing a great service to
the community.”
• “I have been most blessed and certainly
appreciative of the kind and willing heart
to extend such great representation of the
city.”
• “I found your staff to be courteous and
helpful as we mined through volumes of
historical data.”
• “Thank you so much for all your help.”
• “Thank you for your work with the
reading program at the Pueblo City-County
Library District.”
• “The maintenance/custodial staff were
outstanding in supporting our training.
The staff overseeing your information desk
was also very helpful.”
The numbers and feedback tell the story. 2007 was a great year for the library. Our
best year, yet.

Getting Ready for 2008

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in January 2008)
Information technology is a critical part of the modern public library. A comprehensive two year 556-page study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association, titled Public Libraries and the Internet (September 2006 and July 2007) found a “successfully networked public library provides high quality traditional library services as well as networked services . . . such as Internet access, email, chat, online reference, subscription databases, and other web-based services.” The study also said public libraries must “continue to enhance their public access computing and Internet access services” and provide a “continual cycle of upgrades and enhancements.“
At the Pueblo City-County Library District, we definitely see the need. Last year,
272,067 people used library computers; and so far in 2007 we have recorded a 3.7% increase in usage compared to last year. Plus libraries are no different than most other organizations—the way we operate our business is highly dependant upon technology for almost everything we do including procuring new books and other library materials, registering patrons, checking out materials, and so on.
This is why we have been working diligently for the past several months on a comprehensive plan for updating information technology at the library. To
date, this work has included an assessment and recommendations from the Denver-based
technology consulting firm GTRI, leadership from library Information Technology manager Desmond Grant and other staff, and guidance from the Board of Trustees.
Broadly speaking, the assessment shows four technology needs facing the Library
including upgrading to a faster wide-area network and Internet services, improving
library network equipment, updating to modern PCs, and implementing a new, more robust telephone system.
The specific needs are documented in various studies conducted on behalf of
the library, including a detailed analysis by GTRI. In addition, we are receiving
budgetary cost projections for solutions from firms such as Cisco Systems, Nortel,
Extreme Networks, Foundry Network Products, Avaya Phone Systems, Unite Private Networks, Dell, Gateway, HP and others. Based on quotes received to date, the PCCLD’s current cost estimate for implementing a comprehensive technology upgrade plan over a two year period in 2008 and 2009 is $605,152.
There are various assumptions in the cost total. For example, the wide-area network
pricing assumes the library continues to participate in the federal program which
reduces telecommunications costs by 75 percent. The library recently filed the
paperwork for ongoing participation in this program. It should result in annual
savings of about $50,000. Another example is PC costs. We assume library expenses
to replace PCs will be ameliorated by the recent $70,200 Bill and Melinda Gates
Opportunity Online Hardware Grant.
In recent weeks, we have been working on a timeline for implementing the technology upgrade plan and a way to pay for it. Fortunately, we have a fully-funded Capital Projects Fund Library Replacement Plan to help. There are funds available in 2008 within the Replacement Plan totaling $479,000 for technology. There is an additional
$80,000 available in the Replacement Plan for 2009. Replacement Plan monies
plus an additional $70,200 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation brings the total available funding over the two-year period to $629,200. It is proposed that the Library District use funds available from the Replacement Plan and the Gates Grant to
pay for implementation of the technology upgrade project in 2008 and 2009.
The costs are high, but the impact should be dramatic. It is critical for today’s public libraries to offer modern information technologies. As the ALA/Gates study
found:”Public libraries continue to provide important public access computing and
Internet access in their communities.”

Getting Ready for 2008

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in December 2007)
It is hard to believe, but it is December now and another year is quickly coming to a close. This year continues to be an awesome one at the Pueblo City-County Library District.
The community we serve is using library services in record numbers. Through October, checkouts have soared nearly 6 percent ahead of last year’s all-time record pace. The use of online subscription databases is up almost 14 percent. Public-access computer popularity continues to grow with 5 percent more logons recorded so far in 2007 compared with 2006. Perhaps most impressive is that library event attendance has skyrocketed a whopping 42 percent so far in 2007. Our award-winning summer reading program, new teen areas, All Pueblo Reads, Nuestra Biblioteca and many other initiatives keep the Pueblo City-County Library District the Number 1 service organization.
We now are unveiling the 2008 Annual Plan and Budget. Work on this plan has been underway for some time now. The goals and objectives for 2008 are designed to continue moving the library forward in line with the District’s strategic plan, Roadmap to the Future, which was adopted in June 2005 (http://www.pueblolibrary.org/pld_about/SPI.pdf).
Here are a few of the highlights for the coming year:
· The new, expanded library in Pueblo West will open in late 2008 (http://www.pueblolibrary.org/pld_about/news/news.asp).
· Staff at public service desks will increase to improve the personal touch provided by library employees.
· The capacity to get more books and other materials quickly will grow, and it is noteworthy that in 2008 expenditures for new books and other materials will exceed $1 million for the first time ever, including a special infusion of $100,000 to help fill the newly expanded Pueblo West library with plenty of new books and materials.
· Wonderful public programming events attract audiences to the library, and in 2008 we will especially focus on both our award-winning summer reading club and the fourth annual All Pueblo Reads program.
· Computer technologies will take a front seat in 2008, as we begin implementing a comprehensive upgrade to library technologies to ensure faster and more sophisticated computers. The public computer space on the 2nd floor of the Rawlings Library will be remodeled to create a better environment, including implementing assistive technologies to improve access to public-use computers for customers with special needs.
· Finally, as we look to the future, 2008 will be our year to plan for the opening of a new branch library in 2009 at the YMCA campus under construction now, a new library on the Mesa in 2010, an updated program for the InfoZone News Museum and much more.
These are only some of the highlights for the coming year. I invite you to review the complete plan for 2008 at http://www.pueblolibrary.org/pld_pdf/2008_annualplan.pdf.

All Pueblo Reads

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in October 2007)
October marks the beginning of All Pueblo Reads. This is the third consecutive year for this growing tradition in our community. The Pueblo City-County Library District
is pleased to coordinate the annual celebration of a great book.
This year’s selection is the time honored American classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This book is frequently considered among the first great American novels. First published in 1884, the Mark Twain classic is acclaimed for so much, including its use of 19th century American vernacular, its description of accepted attitudes of that time concerning issues such as racism and religion, and its themes of slavery, freedom and 19th century life on the Mississippi River.
Beginning with our kick-off event on Oct. 6 at the Rawlings Library and continuing
through Nov. 2, we will do all we can to reach out and publicize the compelling
programs which help promote this outstanding work of literature.
We believe this year will be the best All Pueblo Reads, yet. It will include
theatrical productions, musical programs, book discussions, panel presentations,
movie screenings, children’s activities, a Chautauqua-style Mark Twain reenactment and more. All events are centered around themes from this wonderful book. I invite you to look for program event details in the All Pueblo Reads: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn resource guide available at your local library, as a special newspaper insert in The Pueblo Chieftain or by clicking on www.pueblolibrary.org.
The goal of All Pueblo Reads is simple: Let’s have everyone reading and discussing the same great book at the same time as we strive to make reading for pleasure and enlightenment the center of our community’s culture. Please join us, visit your library, checkout a copy of this great book, and start reading.

Books in the Park

By Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in September 2007)
The Pueblo City-County Library District completed its fourth year of sponsorship
of Books in the Park. Truly, this was our best year, yet.
I still remember meeting with now County Commissioner Anthony Nuñez and City Councilman Ray Aguilera when the idea first came up. Ray suggested in his direct but kind manner that the library district take books to Minnequa Park in Bessemer during the summer to make them available to young people and families who were unable to travel to one of our libraries. He even offered to help us work with the City of Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department to turn the idea into reality.
After that meeting in early 2004, I returned to my office and called on our
outreach services coordinator Barb Brown. Barb in her typical enthusiastic
“glass half full” fashion immediately set about to make “Books in the Park” happen.
Now, it is 2007. The library district offers “Books in the Park” during the summer
at Mitchell and Minnequa Parks with day and evening hours. The library employs
four summer workers who deliver the service.
The City Parks and Recreation Department provides summer employees who keep children and teens active with creative and fun activities. The Friends of the Library donate new books. The Pueblo Chieftain provides free newspapers. Volunteers help by reading stories to younger folks.
This year our celebrity readers included Councilman Aguilera, Judge William
Alexander, Library Board members Frances Terrazas-Alexander and Marlene Bregar, TV personalities Georgiann Lymberopolous and David Ortiviz and School District 70 Board President Bill Bregar. My family was pleased this year to stage a brief theater-in-the-park version of The Cat in the Hat.
The result is that hundreds of young people read hundreds of books all summer
long, when they otherwise might not have had access to books and reading.
Thank you to all those positive people who have helped “Books in the Park”
become a tradition in our community.

The American Library Association Annual Conference

By Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in August 2007)
In June, I was fortunate to be able to attend the annual conference of the American Library Association. It was an empowering and informative experience.
More than 28,000 library people attended the conference. It provided a special opportunity to interact and learn best practices (and pitfalls to avoid) from colleagues throughout the United States and the world.
There were more than 300 programs and workshops to choose from. In addition, more than 900 library vendors had exhibit booths.
I spent my time gaining knowledge on a number of topics to benefit our local library service. This included film and book discussion programming ideas, information on improving book and library materials procurement practices so we can better deliver the books and materials our customers want when they want them, and the latest methods for best securing our video and music collections from theft (a troubling but ongoing problem at the Pueblo City-County Library).
I also gathered information on technology trends in libraries, such as how to provide the best possible website, how to better manage public-use computers, and the possibility of offering downloadable audio books via the library website (we hope to begin providing this service in 2008).
For our new library scheduled to open next year in Pueblo West, I spent time visiting with library furniture vendors on best new furnishing designs. Possibly the most beneficial program concerned techniques for providing professional and continuing education for library workers, as we want to support our employees at the Pueblo City-County Library in being the best they can be.
Of course, ALA is a time to focus on authors. It was especially grand to hear some of my favorites, such as Patricia Cornwell, Nancy Pearl, and Garrison Keillor, talk about books and libraries.
Finally, on the last day of the conference, the state librarian Gene Hainer and I took advantage of the conference being in Washington D.C. We met with Sen. Ken Salazar at the Capitol and visited the office staff of Sen. Wayne Allard. We were able to discuss pending federal legislative initiatives with important impacts on libraries.
The ALA Conference this year was wonderful. I always encourage our employees to take advantage of library conferences and workshops. By learning from others we are able to continue to offer the best library service possible in our community.

Increasing Access: No Fees for Video Check Out

By Jon Walker
Executive Director,
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in July 2007)
One standard of quality public library service is providing convenient access to
the human record. Traditionally, this has meant offering books and magazines. In
more recent years, public library collections also include videos and audios such as
movies, documentaries, audiobooks and music.
Our community entrusts funding to the library to make certain that access to library
materials is convenient. A longstanding value of the public library profession is
to provide free and open access to the materials in the library.
As nationally preeminent public librarian guru Charles Robinson points out, public
libraries were founded to give everyone free access, at the expense of taxpayers,
because materials were too expensive for people to purchase and sharing lowers the
cost for everyone. The goal is to provide everyone with free use of library materials
in the belief that access to information is an essential component to a successful
democracy.
The Pueblo City-County Library District is preparing to take a significant step in
support of this principle. Beginning in July, the Library District’s video collections will be available to registered library users to
check out for no fee. Until now, there has been a fee of $1 per item to use most of the materials in the Library’s video collection.
In making this change, the Pueblo City-County Library District is doing what most
public libraries already long have done - provide videos as a free service open to all the members of the library-using public.
This is a significant step for our community and our library. While discussing this with local residents, it is clear the Library District is doing the right thing, not only reflective of common public library standards but also what Pueblo County residents want from their library. So, please be certain to
“check out” library videos.

Representing Pueblo to the Nation

By Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in June 2007)
We are very proud at the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD). We are
proud that in 2006 we were selected by residents as the best public service in the
county according to the Denver-based polling firm Ciruli Associates.
We are proud that in 2006 the Hennen American Public Library Rating ranked
PCCLD in the top 24% of libraries in the United States.
We are proud that for the last two years PCCLD has been selected as the top
summer reading program in the state by the Colorado Association of Libraries. We
are so proud that we want to tell others around the nation of our accomplishments
and the great things PCCLD is doing.
This is why it is pleasing to see that PCCLD librarians are being invited
to represent our accomplishments at national library conferences. Richard
Tucey (grantwriter and special collections librarian) recently was selected to be a
presenter at the Library Information and Technology Association (LITA) conference
in October 2007. Richard will be presenting on the topic of our groundbreaking use of
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to assist with recent PCCLD decision making
and marketing.
Later, in March 2008, Michael Cox, the teen services librarian, has been invited to
present at the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference. Michael will be copresenting with a colleague from Illinois on the topic of the relevance of adolescent brain development studies in providing guidance on teen readers’ advisory interviews, troubleshooting difficult and easily misunderstood requests, and interacting with teens not excited about books. At that same conference, Sara Erickson (human resources manager), Noreen Riffe (special collections supervising librarian), and I will jointly present on strategies and techniques for building a winning library workplace.
It is wonderful to be able to share Pueblo’s library accomplishments with others. Both LITA and PLA Conferences are prestigious gatherings of professional librarians literally from around the world. Both conferences will attract thousands of attendees. In fact, the last PLA Conference attracted more than 10,000 people.
So, watch out USA as Pueblo librarians toot our horns!

Moving Up

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in May 2007)
The Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) is moving up. In each of the last three years, PCCLD has climbed the scale that compares the quality of public
libraries across the country. This ranking is known as the Hennen American Public
Library Rating (HAPLR). More than 9,000 public libraries in the United States are
included in the HAPLR index. HAPLR compares libraries based on data tracked
by the National Center for Education Statistics Federal State Cooperative Service. Libraries are rated, scored and ranked on fifteen factors. Every year, the HAPLR receives newspaper, magazine and television coverage all over the country.
In 2006, PCCLD rated at the 76th percentile in HAPLR. This is our highest ranking
ever, and means that PCCLD provides a higher quality of service than about 75%
of libraries nationally. PCCLD’s HAPLR ranking has improved each year since
2004, when we rated at the 67th percentile. Our long-range goal is to reach the 80th
percentile in HAPLR or the top 20% in the country.
How will we reach our goal? An analysis by the Library Research Service (LRS)
shows some key areas for improvement. According to LRS, we should carefully
consider five key measures:
• Number of materials checked out
• Number of visitors
• Number of library-program attendees
• Number of staff
• Library operating expenditures.
According to LRS, the overall health of a library correlates with these five measures. We have concentrated on improving our HAPLR score by focusing on improvements in each of these areas.
This is why we are pleased in 2006 PCCLD set new all-time records for the number of check outs and the number of people attending library programs. The number of people visiting PCCLD libraries was a near record.
Our staffing levels also continue to improve—in the last three years we have
increased from .47 employees per 1,000 people served to .54 employees per 1,000
served.
The overall spending level of the library also is healthy with PCCLD expenditures
per capita tied for 5th out of 12 libraries in Colorado serving populations of more than 100,000. With these improvements, it is no wonder PCCLD keeps getting better.
Our commitment is to make PCCLD as good as it can be, and both HAPLR and
LRS indicate we are on the right track.

Libraries in the County

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in April 2007)
It is a very exciting (and busy) time for public libraries in Pueblo County. Not only are we setting new records for library use, we are working aggressively to meet future community needs for library service. This means that as our population grows in areas outside the City of Pueblo and in surrounding areas of the county, we will be expanding and adding library services in outlying areas of the county.
Last month, the Library District Board of Trustees approved moving forward to significantly expand and renovate the library in Pueblo West and to build two new public libraries, one on the St. Charles Mesa and another in the Greenhorn Valley.
The first project is the library expansion in Pueblo West. This new facility will be large enough at about 28,000 square feet in size to accommodate the rapidly growing population in Pueblo West now and for several years to come. This library will cost about $6 million for construction, furniture and equipment. In addition, there will be increased annual operating costs for more books and other library materials and additional employees to provide service. The expanded Pueblo West library will be more than five times larger than today’s library there and will feature the latest in library services including lots of space for public-use computers, books and other library materials targeted for families, children and teens. We will break ground on construction later this summer and open the new facility around mid-year 2008.
Step two is to build a new full-service branch library on the St. Charles Mesa. We anticipate this library will be about 3,000 square feet in size and cost about $750,000 to construct. Construction on the Mesa library will start in 2009, and the library should open there in 2010.
The third project is in the Greenhorn Valley—the Colorado City and Rye area. We hope to open this library in 2012. Both libraries--on the Mesa and in the Greenhorn Valley—will be about 3,000 square feet in size, and each will feature convenient hours of service and other amenities found in a full-service library, such as public-use computers, meeting rooms and, of course, plenty of books and other library materials.
In addition to these new library outlets, the Pueblo City-County Library District is committed to operating a small public library on the proposed new YMCA campus in the west part of the City of Pueblo that is scheduled to open in 2009.
Studies show that a community’s quality of life is measured in part by the level of public library service available to citizens. As Pueblo County grows, we aim to meet our increasing library needs and help insure the values of reading, literacy and free and open access to information.

Library Looks Forward to 2007

By Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in March 2007)
It is shaping up to be an exciting year at the library. We have set high goals and implemented solid strategies to enable success. Our goals for the year are:
• Build on our winning workplace
• Increase check outs
• Improve services for targeted groups
such as Hispanics, Teens, Seniors,
Families and those seeking to
improve their economic standing
• Upgrade library services in outlying
county areas.
For each goal we have established specific objectives. Here are some activities you can look for from the library this year:
Top-notch service to our community
We believe this happens when employees are achievement-oriented, motivated and mission-focused. In 2007, we will update our mission statement, improve employee training and development opportunities, and continue enhancing our workplace to attract and retain the best and brightest employees.
Record-breaking numbers of books and other materials checked out
We will spend nearly $1 million this year on new books and other library materials. Books on shelves are not nearly as valuable as books in the hands of people, and we are implementing strategies to make certain we have the books and other materials people want when they want them.
More great programs and services
During 2006 we were pleased to provide an award-winning summer reading program for youth under the direction of librarian Jane Palmer, and to grow our All Pueblo Reads project coordinated by Midori Clark.
We ended 2006 with the newly established Hispanic Resources Center under librarian Rebekah Sanchez, and we started 2007 by opening the new Teen Central under the care of librarian Michael Cox. We will continue to nurture these services and focus additional resources on others. Later this year we hope to announce a new initiative to assist with business and economic development.
More library services in outlying areas
We will break ground this year on a significant expansion of Pueblo West’s library, with Jerry King coordinating the effort. The library there will grow to more than five times its current size and feature the latest in library design with plenty of space for children, teens and families plus a much-needed multi-room community- meeting center.
These are only some of the forward-looking activities you will see at the library in 2007. For more details, check on our website at www.pueblolibrary.org/pld_about/2007_APPROVED-BUDGET.pdf.
We understand a community’s quality of life is tied to several factors, including convenient access to great public libraries. This should be another banner year as we continue to raise the bar of library service.

A Record-Breaking Year

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in February 2007)
The Pueblo City-County Library District enjoyed a great year of service to the community in 2006. There were several milestones along the way. Here are some highlights from the past year.
• Library customers checked out an all-time record 1,068,437 items, the third year of more than a million checkouts.
• 879,246 people visited Pueblo County public libraries, and 272,067 people logged onto library computers.
• Ciruli Associates’ poll of county residents showed the library is the best public service agency in our community.
• PCCLD’s Summer Reading Club was awarded first place by the Colorado Association of Libraries for the second year in a row, and the library was selected for a national study to measure the impact of summer reading programs on students.
• The district moved into the top 25% of libraries nationwide according to the 2006 Hennen American Public Library Rating. This is a 15% improvement in this ranking over the last two years.
• The 2nd Annual All Pueblo Reads in October featured S.E. Hinton’s classic book The Outsiders. More than 1,300 people attended 30 events, and Hinton’s books checked out more than 1,000 times.
• 39,052 people attended library events, a new all-time record. Events of note included the portrayal of Thomas Jefferson by National Public Radio star Clay Jenkinson, an election-night party co-sponsored with the League of Women Voters, and exhibits and activities on historical figure Zebulon Pike.
• 12,714 new library cards were issued.
• The new Rawlings Library’s Hispanic Resource Center began taking shape with the hiring of librarian Rebekah Sanchez.
• Library employees, administration and Board of Trustees worked collaboratively to Build a Winning Workplace. The efforts were guided by an outside facilitator and included establishing an employee steering committee; working with outside consultants and legal experts to create and update appropriate, effective, consistent and complete personnel policies; hiring a human resources manager; investigating and resolving situations that violate policies, procedures and standards of fair, just, equitable and uniform professional conduct; developing effective, appropriate, multifaceted and multidisciplinary training programs for employees at all levels; and implementing clarified policies and procedures.
These are only some of the best news items of 2006 at the library. It was a busy and productive year, but the best is yet to come. We look forward to an even better 2007 and beyond.
Personally, it is a great pleasure for me to serve a community that is so supportive of libraries, literacy, and reading.

Meet the Board of Trustees

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in January 2007)
There are so many great people who contribute to the success of our award-winning Library District.
Certainly, this list includes the many excellent employees, fabulous Friends of the Library, and outstanding volunteers who provide their time, skills and efforts to make this a top-notch institution. Each of these groups does so much it is difficult to sufficiently recognize their contributions.
Another group in this category is the Library District Board of Trustees. The Pueblo City-County Library District Board of Trustees deserve the respect of every citizen of our county for their dedication, professionalism, and willingness to help the library succeed - thereby making our community a better place to live and raise our families.
The Board of Trustees consists of seven individuals who act as the governing body for the library district. Trustees receive no salary or other compensation for the services they provide the library. Members of the board are chosen from the residents of the City and County of Pueblo, and are appointed and ratified by a joint commission of the Pueblo County Commissioners and the Pueblo City Council.
Today, the seven members of the Board are Ms. Joyce Vigil (President), Ms. Marlene Bregar, Dr. Phillip Mancha, Mr. Fredrick Quintana, Mr. Jim Stuart, Ms. Frances Terrazas-Alexander and Mr. Gil Trujillo.
Each of these individuals contributes to our community and library by serving as board members. But they are also productive professionals. Ms. Vigil is an attorney, Mr. Quintana and Ms. Bregar are educators, Dr. Mancha a retired college administrator, Ms. Terrazas-Alexander a human resource manager, Mr. Trujillo a postal worker and union president, and Mr. Stuart a retired businessman. Each brings their valuable advice, wisdom and lessons learned to assist in governing the library district.
Together these citizen trustees donate hundreds of hours each year to help make our library one of the premier institutions in our community and in Colorado. If we were to pay them for their services, it would cost tens of thousands of dollars each year. But they provide their time for no compensation. They truly are citizens serving the community.

Serving You

By Jon Walker
Executive Director, Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in December 2006)
A proud moment at the Library recently occurred.
The Library District was rated number one in a poll of Pueblo County residents. In September, Denver-based Ciruli Associates conducted a scientific public opinion-poll among the members of the community. The Pueblo City-County Library District received the top rating when compared with the Board of Water Works, Pueblo County and other public organizations. The library’s rating was 80% favorable. Number two on the list was Water Works with a rating of 68%, in third place was Pueblo County at 64%.
Ciruli Associates has provided public opinion, market and policy research planning and data analysis for the public and private sectors since 1975. The study cited in this article was a telephone survey of 504 local residents conducted September 13-21, 2006. Respondents were randomly selected. Interviews were conducted by a professional, supervised interviewing service and took on average 16 minutes to complete. The margin of error in the survey is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, meaning that 95% of the time the findings would differ from survey results by no more than 4.4 percentage points.
Why is this high rating so important? Simply put, it is because service is the lifeblood of the Library. This ranking is a point of pride. We are number one, and we will work hard to remain there.

Welcome Pueblo's First Hispanic Resources Librarian

By Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in November 2006)
We are so proud to be moving forward in establishing the Hispanic Resource Center at the Rawlings Public Library.
A significant step occurred in mid-September when Rebekah Sanchez joined the staff of the Pueblo City-County Library District as our community’s first Hispanic Resource Librarian.
Rebekah is well qualified for her new position. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico in Languages and her Masters Degree in Library Science (MLS) from the University of Texas. Rebekah worked at the University of Texas while attaining her MLS and has experience in preservation at a research center in Austin, Texas.
Later, she worked at the Center for Southwest Research in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as the Assistant Collections Manager where she assisted the public with reference materials and provided archives support. She brings to us a solid background in Hispanic genealogy and research.
The library district announced the establishment of the Hispanic Resource Center in July 2006. This followed on the heels of the library’s strategic plan, Roadmap to the Future, published in June 2005 which identified the creation of an Hispanic Resource Center as a priority need for the community.
Our goals with the new center remain unchanged, and include:
• Bilingual librarians to answer questions and help locate resources
• Bilingual storytimes for children and their families
• Spanish-language books, DVDs,music and other materials
• Books and materials celebrating Hispanic culture, art, history, current issues and travel
• Computers with Spanish-language software and keyboards
• Free workshops, guest speakers,art exhibits, educational programs, and entertainment
Please welcome Rebekah to our community. Her presence moves us forward with our new Hispanic Resource Center.

All Pueblo Reads: The Outsiders

by Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in October 2006)
All Pueblo Reads: The Outsiders is an effort to cultivate a culture of reading and discussion in Pueblo by bringing our diverse city together around one great book. Reading great literature leads us to examine ourselves, our relationships and the world around us. Talking about great literature with friends, family and neighbors adds richness and depth to our lives. The goal for All Pueblo Reads is for everyone in our community to be reading the same book at the same time to foster a community-wide book discussion.
This year’s book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, is a novel of a traumatic time in the life of a fourteen-year-old boy, and explores themes of class conflict, brotherly love, friendship and coming of age by following two rival gangs separated by socio-economic status.
We have scheduled several events in conjunction with All Pueblo Reads. These include book discussions, film screenings, theatrical performances and more. Programs begin October 7 and continue through November 4. We also have arranged to have plenty of copies of the book available for checkout.
Please join us for All Pueblo Reads: The Outsiders.

Getting Serious about Teens

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in September 2006)
We mean business when it comes to teens. It is our strategic goal to engage
young people in a positive environment that encourages them to read, study and
learn. We do this in recognition that this age group of people clearly represents a
vital part of our community, both today and for the future.
The Pueblo City-County Library District took initial steps to beef up services to
young adults with the hiring of Michael Cox, in February 2005.
Michael is the District’s first-ever Teen Services Librarian. Working under the
direction of Jane Palmer (Youth Services Supervisor), Michael has been a leader in
helping us establish an active and successful Teen Advisory Board and in increasing the number of activities and library materials of value and interest to young adults at all library locations.
One measure of our success with this initiative is the number of young adult
library materials being checked out. It has increased by 24.6% this year when
compared with 2004 and 2005. This gain in checkouts did not happen by
accident. We are paying closer attention to the selection of library materials for teens.
We are providing special events to attract this age group to our libraries. For
example, this summer we spent more time and energy in crafting a special reading
program—called Creature Feature—just for teenagers.
We want to have places in our libraries designed with young adults in mind. This
is why you see cafe-style seating, study lounge and a drink vending-machine at the
renovated Barkman Library.
We are excited about grant funds from Sam’s Club which we will use to establish
a special teen space at the Lamb Library. We are proud of the recent grant from
the State of Colorado to help us create a Teen Center on the 2nd floor of the Rawlings Public Library designed with input from more than 200 local teenagers. This space will feature an area monitored by teens which will contain furniture to support
group study projects, relaxing music, and eight specially-equipped computers
designed to support podcasts plus video and audio editing software.
Finally, our proposed expansion and renovation to the White Library in Pueblo
West includes teen study rooms, lots of technology with young people in mind,
and, of course, plenty of space for young adult books and other library materials.
Indeed, we are serious about teens!

Hispanic Resources Center

by Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in July 2006)
Pueblo has a rich Hispanic tradition, and soon the library will offer services to help people experience and understand this beautiful and vibrant culture.
The Hispanic Resource Center will provide cultural, informational, and
educational resources, activities, and services. It will serve both Spanish and
English-speaking customers. All its resources, programs, and activities will be
free.
New services will be provided by a new bilingual (Spanish and English speaking)
librarian and an expanded Spanish language collection. The Library District is
advertising the bilingual librarian position availability now and hopes to have the
Hispanic Resources Center established in the next 12 to 18 months. The center will be
located at the Rawlings Public Library.
New services provided by the center will include Spanish storytimes for children
and families, more Spanish-language materials, more English-language
materials celebrating Hispanic cultures, computers with Spanish software and
keyboards, free cultural programs, and meeting space. Some of the services are
currently available at the library, including an extensive Hispanic genealogy collection and Spanish-language collections of books, movies and music.
The idea for the Hispanic Resources Center came out of the district’s strategic
planning process. Demographic research shows in 2000, 38% of Pueblo County
residents, nearly 54,000 people, identify themselves as Hispanic. According to the
same census report, 14% of the population is Spanish speaking. In the city of Pueblo,
Hispanic residents make up 44% of the total population. Some neighborhoods,
including the East Side, Bessemer and Hyde Park, have Hispanic populations of
up to 70% with more than 30% of them being Spanish speakers.
This is a substantial segment of the population that the Pueblo City-County
Library District hopes to better serve in the near future. The mission of the Library is to inform, educate and culturally enrich the community.

Summer Reading

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in June 2006)
It is that time of year, again. Summer is approaching. It is a time to rest and efresh. This is why we encourage young people to keep reading...for fun.
For parents, we encourage you to keep this in mind. Encourage your children and
teens to make it an easy read. A fun read. An exciting read. A self-improvement read.
They choose. It is not so important what they read, just keep on reading. Statistics
clearly show kids who read succeed.
Summer is a time for self-directed reading. Reading over the summer will pay off the following autumn when young people return to school better prepared for the rigors of the academic year. To help keep folks reading all summer, the Library is offering fun programs, incentives and prizes. By joining the free Summer Reading Club, young people can earn prizes just by spending time reading.
In addition, they will have opportunities to participate in stimulating and entertaining activities and programs at the library. For 2006, the Library has two summer reading themes. For younger children it is Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales and for older kids and teens it is Creature Feature.
Perhaps the best part for parents is the summer reading program is entirely free
and open to the public. It kicks off on June 5th at all library locations. Check with your local librarian for details and schedules.
Happy reading!

Expanding the White Branch Library

by Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in May 2006)
We are excited to announce plans to expand the White Branch Library in Pueblo West.
Actually, this is not an announcement, but simply following through on the Library’s strategic plan. In the plan—entitled “Roadmap to the Future” and adopted in June 2005—the library district sets forth its commitment to address the growing need for more library services in Pueblo West.
With a population of around 28,000, projected to grow to as much as 45,000 by 2015, the library must grow, too. Colorado Library Standards 2005 specify .89 square feet of library space per capita for a community like Pueblo West. This means the current White Branch should be about 20,000 square feet today. The White Branch currently is less than 5,000 square feet, but was built to facilitate expansion.
Although it is the smallest branch library in the District, the White Branch also is our busiest. Many people comment about how much happens in such a relatively tiny space.
It will cost about $3 million to expand the library. Recently, the Library District Board of Trustees committed $1 million to the project. This is a great start for funding, but we will need to raise another $2 million via grants and donations to complete the library.
We have put together a strong team of Library professionals to help accomplish the project—Jerry King is project manager, Midori Clark is overseeing fundraising, and Richard Tucey is heading up grantwriting.
We also have commitment from a committee of interested community members to advise us and provide input, and the Denver-based architectural firm Humphies Poli has been hired.
Next steps will be to solicit additional community input, and move forward with design, fundraising and construction. Our goal is to open the expanded branch in Pueblo West in 2008.

What's New @ the Library

By Jon Walker
Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in April 2006)
Part of the challenge in running a library is choosing the books people want, and having those books when people want them. The library is more than a big book warehouse, it is a place to find out about whatever it is that interests you. To accomplish that, the books chosen for the library must appeal to a broad spectrum of interests because what interests you may not interest your neighbor, or even your son or daughter. The library uses a number of tools to purchase the books that will be in demand.
Recently, the library took a major step in making it easier for library users to get in line to read popular materials.
As soon as you read or hear about a book of interest to you, you may check the Library’s online catalog. If the book has been ordered for the library’s collection, the book will be listed as “on order.” From there, you place the book on hold using your Pueblo City-County Library District library card number, and you will be notified as soon as the book becomes available. This improvement in Library service eliminates the need for anxious readers to keep checking back to find out whether a book is available.
This is a wonderful improvement for readers who want to read their favorite author’s latest book, for talk show enthusiasts who learn of new books, and for people who read about new books in publications such as Book Page (distributed at the Library).
Readers who are just interested in finding out what is new at the library may go to the library’s online catalog and browse the Pueblo Library New Material to see what’s new at the library or what’s coming soon.
This is just one more tool to help the Library provide our customers what they want, when they want it.

2006 @ the Library

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in February 2006)
Our goal at the Pueblo City-County Library District is to provide the best library
services possible. To this end, we look forward to an exciting year in 2006.
Here is a list of priority objectives for the year as described in the Library District’s Annual Plan:
• Create a winning work culture, encourage staff development, provide attractive opportunities for volunteers and interns, and routinely listen to staff suggestions and respond as appropriate.
• Highlight services to children and teens, improve Satellite library services,
foster the joy of reading, support researchand study, encourage literacy, and provide
excellent customer service.
• Offer broad collections representing a wide range of views and support diverse and special resource collections.
• Attract new users, educate staff to adopt a marketing mindset, merchandise
materials and services, and develop and maintain partnerships to support Library
services, programs and events.
• Keep technology current, refine public-use of computer resources, establish
teen centers, plan for the expansion of the White Branch, and continue to maintain
clean and attractive buildings.
• Begin to raise funds to meet capital needs identified in the District’s “Roadmap
to the Future” strategic plan, provide a sound accounting system, and plan for the
wisest use of available funds.
• Implement the recently adopted “Roadmap to the Future.”
This is an ambitious list, but we are dedicated to achieving it. For a full copy of
the Pueblo City-County Library District 2006 Annual Plan log-on to www.pueblolibrary.
org and click on “About Us” and “Library Planning.”

Celebrating Ethnic Diversity

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in January 2006)
Pueblo is an ethnically diverse community. This is characterized by the large number of residents of Hispanic heritage. In the 2000 census, 38% of Pueblo County’s population self-identified themselves as Hispanic, and 14.2% spoke Spanish. This is also the fastest growing ethnic group increasing by 21.8% from 1990 to 2000.
It is important to us at the Pueblo City-County Library District for our workforce
to reflect our rich cultural and ethnic mix. We strongly believe that there is
strength in our diversity. In the last twenty months (April 2004 - November 2005),
here is a breakdown by ethnicity of Library employee new hires and promotions:

Newly Hired
12 Hispanic
2 African American
18 Caucasian
2 Asian
34 Total

Promoted
7 Hispanic
6 Caucasian
13 Total

Total Hired or Promoted
19 Hispanic
2 African American
24 Caucasian
2 Asian
47 Total

Forty percent of the library district’s new hires and promotions were Hispanic and
forty-nine percent were ethnic minority. The Pueblo City-County Library District
is focused on providing excellent services to our customers.
We believe for the library to remain important in the 21st Century, we must
evolve and recognize the importance of celebrating everyone’s individuality. A
culturally and ethnically diverse workforce helps us move toward this goal.

Roadmap to the Future

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in December 2005)
The opening of the grand new Rawlings Library in the heart of Pueblo in late 2003
marked a significant turning point for the Pueblo City-County Library District.
This new facility, along with strong branch and satellite locations, provides a
solid foundation of services. It is time now to look ahead and determine how to build on our success to provide great library services throughout Pueblo County in coming years.
To map our future, we undertook a strategic planning process. We sought input from community members and library employees. County demographics were analyzed and compared with PCCLD’s peer libraries. We forecast district revenues and expenditures. From this study we are able to make several observations about choices for future services.
The full report of the library’s future plans is entitled “Roadmap to the
Future.” It can be found online at our web site, www.pueblolibrary.org, under the “About Us” menu. Hard copies are also available at all PCCLD outlets.
Many initatives will be focused on as the library moves forward, but here is a
list of the top five priorities:
•Creating a positive workplace for
employees.
•Meeting the Colorado Public Library Standards 2005 for being an “Enhanced Library” and aspire to be in the 20% of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings.
•Improving outreach services at Satellites and for targeted populations such as Hispanics, teens, seniors, families and those seeking to improve their economic standing.
•Enhance advertisement and providing for the capital needs of expanded branch
offereings in the outlying county areas.
This is an ambitious list of objectives. Financially, PCCLD will have to stretch to
attain them. We can make it happen, but it will take resourcefulness, creativity, and
reallocating some resources. PCCLD has a proud history of providing quality services to our community. We are fortunate to enjoy citizen support, topnotch employees and sufficient resources to continue building on this strong tradition into the future. The roadmap outlined here should keep the District moving ahead positively into a bright future.

We're Number 1!

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in November 2005)
Recently, we learned that our Library’s summer reading program was rated number one in the state of Colorado. The recognition comes from our peer librarians.
An award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the annual gathering of librarians at the Colorado Association of Libraries Conference in Denver in mid-November.
We are proud of this honor. It represents acknowledgement for the supreme effort and
teamwork exhibited by Library employees from throughout the District who work with children and teens.
The goal of our summer reading program is simple. We want to keep kids reading all summer long. To this end, we challenged ourselves this year to increase the number of young people who enroll in the summer reading program.
To accomplish this, we wanted to create a higher profile in the community for our reading program. We did this by developing a fun and colorful reading game board, by personally visiting every school in the county to talk about our reading program
and pumping up interest among young people, and by publicizing our summer reading program heavily in the newspaper and on TV and radio.
We took library books where kids gather at city parks and sponsored fun
reading-oriented programs in our libraries to attract more kids and families to
our buildings. We offered kids a “Free Ride to Read,” whereby young people rode city buses free to the public library. We procured corporate sponsorships to allow us
to afford to give special recognition medals to young people who completed the program and cool prizes such as techie Ipods and fun new bicycles.
In the end, the new initiatives paid off. Our numbers went way up—56% more kids enrolled in our program. We went far toward our goal of keeping kids reading all summer long.
We are number one!

Community Based Librarians

by Jon Walker
Executive Director,
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in October 2005)
I am fairly new to Pueblo and to the Pueblo City-County Library District.
However, I am not new to libraries. I have been a professional librarian for nearly 25 years and counting). In this time, I have had several mentors. These included
more experienced, successful librarians who taught me a thing or two about what a
winning library looks like.
Very early in my career, I was fortunate to work for one such person by the
name of Craig Buthod. At that time, Craig was the manager of a business,
science, and technology reference library. Craig later moved onward and
upward and, currently, is the Executive Director of the Louisville (KY) Free Library.
In those earlier years, he taught me a lot, but I will always remember him most
for a concept he shared with me called “community-based librarianship.” It is a
philosophy that I have taken up, internalized, and attempt to practice and encourage
other librarians to exercise.
Community-based librarianship is simple, really. The premise is that by involving librarians in the life of the community, we bring the community back into the library. The more involved we as librarians are with society around us, the more
involved people around us are with the library.
Such activity raises the level of awareness about library services and helps
librarians better understand and be more responsive to the needs of our users.
As a starting point, I encourage staff to conduct a self-evaluation to determine
what community activities they already are involved with due to personal interest.
We all have these personal and family-related connections. It is kind of a fun thing to do to take an inventory and make a personal list. The next step is to consider how to reach further to link with groups. This is a more targeted approach with the
purpose of fostering library connections. By example, I note that we have several
employees at the Library District who are involved with local service clubs, the
United Way, Chambers of Commerce and so on.
Each of these involvements allows us--as librarians--opportunities to talk about the library, promote our services, and also to learn more about what is going on around us so we can better aim our collections and services to meet our community’s
needs.
Serving our citizens is the goal of the library, and community-based librarianship helps us reach this goal.

All Pueblo Reads

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in Septembe 2005)
I am very excited about our community’s first “All Pueblo Reads.”
I am equally enthusiastic about the selected Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a
Mockingbird by Harper Lee, regarded as one of the best books of all time by many people.
Your library has numerous copies of the book available as well as the movie version of the same title, starring Gregory Peck and directed by Robert Mulligan.
Please “check out” your copy today and join Pueblo in reading, viewing and discussing
To Kill a Mockingbird with your family, neighbors, colleagues and friends.
By doing so, I believe we will make Pueblo a better place.

4/29/10

Library as Place

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(First published in August 2005)
I had a most wonderful experience recently. I was fortunate enough to attend the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference. Let me say you haven’t really lived until you’ve joined a gathering of approximately 27,800 library
professionals. This was a record number attending ALA-2005 in Chicago in late
June this year.
Such a meeting can be refreshing, invigorating, and empowering to consult with library colleagues and experts from around the country--both one-on-one and in group sessions. Among my best group experiences this year was a program entitled “Coming
Full Circle: Library as Place” presented by Carol Brey-Casiano, ALA President and
Director of the El Paso (TX)Public Library.
During this session, Brey-Casiano said that in an era when many people are able
to use online information which was once only freely available at their local library, some have questioned the future of libraries. But she added that “the library is more than just a building in which to find information.”
It also is “a community gathering place, a technology Mecca, a forum to share and
debate ideas, and a sanctuary of opportunity. Libraries are changing and dynamic
places. As our communities grow and change, so do our libraries.”
Indeed, libraries have become technology lifelines for many. Public libraries
have taken up the call to make certain Internet access is freely available to all.
At the Conference, the results from a report sponsored by ALA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation were announced. They showed public libraries are providing unprecedented access to computers, the Internet, and technology training. Eighty-five percent of libraries report they are not able to meet all of the demand during certain times of the day. Moreover, library buildings remain community cornerstones nationwide. According to Library Journal, 203 public library building projects across the country were completed from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2004.
This amounts to about a $1.2 billion capital investment in libraries in the U.S. in one year. Many of these new library buildings challenge the stereotype of the library
as a stuffy, slightly musty place.
Innovative architecture,cutting-edge design, and new customer-service features
are bringing more light, personality, and usability to our libraries. Pueblo’s new
Rawlings Library certainly fits this mold as a beautiful destination place.
With this kind of news, it is easy to understand why Brey-Casiano is able to confidently assert that “libraries are changing and dynamic places. As our communities grow and change, so do our libraries.”

I Love the Library!

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(This article was first published in July 2005)
I have a confession to make. I love this place! Don’t you? I mean what’s not to
love? The public library as an institution is one of the pillars supporting our wonderful democracy. It stands as a beacon offering free and open access to the human
record in all its formats - books, audio, video, online. Libraries represent all
points of view - left, right and the middle - and regardless of your age, financial means or standing in the community, we serve you.
There are six principals I believe are important for keeping our library moving
forward and reaching toward the next level.
First, we must articulate succinctly what the public library is and its value to our
community. I touched on this value above.
Second is delivering excellent service. Service is priority one. The Library is a
service organization. Service! with a capital “S” and an exclamation point. Every day
in everything we do - from the back office to the front line - I encourage employees
to ask “How does this benefit the customer?”
Third is a commitment to building and maintaining outstanding collections. After
all, if service is what makes us, it’s the collection that sets us apart. Our role is linking the patron to the collection - that book, this video, a web site, just the right audio CD.
Fourth, the library is a place, a physical place - a comfortable place to read,
study, and to gather to exchange ideas.
Fifth is our online presence. Libraries are service, libraries are collections, libraries are place; but in the modern era we also must be virtual, electronic, online. People expect to be able to click on the library from their home or
school or office.
Sixth - not last but in this spot only for emphasis - we are people. The employees
of the Library District, are our most valuable and valued asset.
Well, this is a little bit about what I think about libraries.
What about you? What do you think?

4/23/10

Summer Fun @ Your Library!

by Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(first published in June 2005)
It’s almost time! School is about to let out for summer. You can almost feel the excitement rising - along with the temperature.
The imaginations of boys and girls throughout Pueblo County are turning to other pursuits - outdoor activities and play, summer jobs, vacations and the like.
Our hope is for young people to find time this summer to visit their local
library and to read. We don’t really care too much what you read, either. It can be high-brow classic literature or an entertaining graphic novel. Just read!
Studies show young people who read and go to the library during the summer are better prepared when returning to their studies in the fall.
Young people who read do succeed. We are offering special incentives this summer for
young readers and library visitors. It is all part of our Summer Reading Club.
The Club kicks off on June 6th and runs through August. It is free to join
and open to the public. For kids in fifth grade and younger, the club is
called Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds. The teen club is Joust Read.
For participants, we have prizes and activities.
We hope this is just the thing to keep you reading all summer long. We also offer eight weeks of entertainment. The younger children will enjoy watching nationally recognized performer, Christopher Maier and others. Teen programming
includes programs on learning how to juggle,fence, make paper and do magic tricks.
Look for more details in our colorful, oversized brochures available at all
thirteen library locations - the main library, the three branches, or any of nine
satellites.
Plus this year you can participate in the Summer Reading Club at the City of
Pueblo’s Mitchell and Minnequa Parks with our innovative “Books in the Park” program.
We offer a special thank you to our partners for the Summer Reading Club:
KOAA Channels 5/30, the Friends of the Library, Rotary International, Wells
Fargo Bank, Pueblo Kiwanis Club, Cold Stone Ice Creamery, Clark’s Western Store, the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, J&D Business Services, Golden Corral,
Burger King, Bessemer Historical Society, Pueblo Records and Tapes, Musicman CDs and Tapes,Young at Heart Dentistry, Dr. Craig Hunter, Dr. Ronald Ragulsky, Wendy’s,
Country Buffet, 7-11 Stores,and the law firm of Altman, Keilbach, Lytle,
Parlapiano and Ware.

Internet @ the Library

By Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(first published in May 2005)
Back in the mid-1990s, a young man with a hightech telecom firm challenged me with a
question: “Why do we need libraries? With the Internet, I have everything I need on my desktop.”
The question really caused me to stop and examine my profession (not to mention my future).
At about that same time, public libraries across the country started providing access to the Internet. Librarians were excited about the advent of the Web. It had so much potential to conveniently deliver pertinent, current information. As long ago as 1945, librarians had
predicted the advent of the “library without walls” or “virtual library.” With the Web, the promise of the electronic library seemed closer than ever.
There is no doubt the Internet is changing libraries. Customer access to the Web means libraries
can go beyond their local collections in providing research and delivering information.
Even the smallest library now has the resources once only afforded to major research institutions.
Today, PCCLD provides public Internet access to thousands of customers each month. In February alone, nearly 25,000 customers logged-on to PCCLD Internet computers!
Libraries have taken up their traditional calling to provide free access to information, including the Internet. Those who don’t have or can’t afford Internet in their home or business can still be
connected at their public library.
The role of the librarian as an “information professional” remains valuable, too. Librarians
examine online information and ask questions to determine its value. Is the information
current? Is the topic covered thoroughly? Is it authored by someone of authority? Is it accurate? Is the information produced objective or is it advocating a particular point of view? Is someone trying to sell you something or convince you of something or are they simply reporting facts? Is it ageappropriate?
Traditional librarian information-literacy skills have always been important, and they remain
so today in the online world. So, too, does the role of the librarian in teaching information
literacy and how to select appropriate resources. Librarians encourage Internet users to evaluate content with a skeptical eye. The rule “Don’t believe everything you read” absolutely applies to the Internet. Librarians have a duty to help customers sort out the good from the bad.
Another challenge with the Internet is the cost of information. You have to subscribe to specific sites or pay to view selections. The public library makes certain that our community members have access to information regardless of their economic means. PCCLD subscribes to several web
databases on behalf of the community.
These web databases can be found at www.pueblolibrary.org by clicking on “Search Electronic Reference.” All you need is your library card to access the information.
So, back to the beginning of this article and the young man who raised the issue about the future
of libraries in the age of the Internet. It is interesting to note that a few years after he asked his question of me, his high-tech firm filed bankruptcy while use of public libraries continues to
soar.

2004 In Review: A Very Good Year Indeed

By Jon Walker
Executive Director
Pueblo City-County Library District
(first published in April 2005)
Last year was eventful for the Pueblo City-County Library District. In this special issue of our monthly newsletter, we are recounting and summarizing the Library’s achievements for the year.
We set several records in 2004. For the first time, we checked out more than 1 million items. More people visited our libraries than ever with 874,911 visitors. We budgeted a record $875,000 on new books and other materials. A very busy and productive year, indeed!
The new Robert Hoag Rawlings Library—which opened on October 23rd, 2003—received several noteworthy awards in 2004, including a nomination for the prestigious American Institute of Architects 2005 Honor Award for Architecture. In addition, the new Java by the Book coffee shop opened to rave reviews at Rawlings. We invite you to stop by and enjoy your favorite beverage and a good read.
The new InfoZone News Museum on the fourth floor of the Rawlings Library really started rolling in 2004. Using interactive displays and films, the museum focuses on the 1st
Amendment to the Constitution and the history of Pueblo. In 2004, special museum exhibits included sports in Pueblo, the history of Pueblo industry, and the importance of water to
southeastern Colorado. And kids of all ages love the special interactive displays on the history of Pueblo newspapers and how news reports are made.
The museum also hosted several film series and panel discussions on topics of current interest such as the war in Iraq and the role of prisons in society. Look for more exciting events and programs in the InfoZone in 2005.
During the summer, we piloted two reading programs for children, Buddy Reading and the Library in the Park. Buddy Reading featured an adult or older teen reading together oneon-
one in the library with a new young reader.
For the Library in the Park at Minnequa Park in Bessemer, we literally put books on a trailer, took them to Minnequa Park and made them available to the children and families who frequent the park during the summer. Both Buddy Reading and the Library in the Park were successful, and we look forward to continuing similar programs in 2005.
In 2004, we commenced remodeling and refurbishing the Barkman Branch Library in Belmont.
This library’s fresh new look includes more Internet computers, additional shelves for more books, a new study lounge, a multimedia public-use meeting room, friendly interior
directional signage and better lighting, plus new furniture, floor coverings and wall finishes.
In October, we unveiled our new online catalog, featuring the ability to reserve books at anytime of day on the Internet from home, an EZ KidsCat, several “My Account” features, plus online book reviews and summaries, first chapters, and book jacket images. You can use the library catalog at any of our locations or online at www.pueblolibrary.org.
We love to serve you and it shows. This year will be another eventful year. We have engaged the
community and staff in a long-range strategic planning effort aimed at determining how we can provide the best public library service possible to all the residents of Pueblo County.
We expect to finish the plan in the spring of 2005. It will guide us in the coming years.
Thanks for using and supporting your Library.

LOCAL HISTORY AT THE LIBRARY by Jon Walker

Our community enjoys a rich and diverse history.  This is the story of the people and events helping to shape the saga of this region over ...