12/7/12

Local History Online

History is important. Studying and understanding it can help us better understand ourselves and our future. This is why it is important that PCCLD maintains significant portions of our local and regional history. These collections are primarily kept on the third floor of the Rawlings Library and in a special collection about Pueblo West at the Pueblo West Library. We welcome the public to visit and use these materials.


PCCLD now has made plans to broaden access to these important materials by creating digital versions of the originals. By doing so, we are able to make them available more conveniently on the Internet. Genealogists, researchers, students, educators, and others will have easier ability to use them. This also serves us well by helping preserve the originals, which sometimes can be fragile and easily damaged from handling.

Key components of the plan to digitize these historical documents include consideration of best practices and standards. This will help ensure the materials will be more conveniently available for many years to come. The library also recently set up a digital asset management system, which is software to allow storage and discovery of the digitized documents on the Internet.

PCCLD has been working on this project with the guidance of Maria Tucker, Manager of Library Special Collections and Museum Services.

The first selections from the collection were made available for the public to view online last month via the library’s website. This initial offering includes more than 800 historic photographs. Browse, search, and view these historical images that document growth and change in Pueblo. More documents will be added on a regular basis in the months to come. Keep posted to the library’s website for more exciting announcements on this new service soon to come.

11/12/12

READING

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

― Sir Richard Steele

The Pueblo City-County Library District has a special focus on reading. This comes as no surprise. Other aspects of library service are important. These include providing free and open access to materials in audio and video formats plus public programming and events. But reading remains central to the library.

This is why it is noteworthy when library efforts to promote reading are successful. Certainly, the number of books and other library materials checked-out is one important indicator. This number continues to climb at a healthy rate. The library will approach two million items checked-out in 2012. This is a record-setting pace and some 6.8% ahead of last year.

Two other services to watch in this regard are the library’s summer reading program and All Pueblo Reads. Each project aims to promote increased reading in our community. In 2012, both of these signature library reading projects demonstrated growing popularity with members of the community. Total participation in this past summer’s young people’s reading program was over 27,000. All Pueblo Reads in 2012 also hit a new all-time high mark with more than 32,000 participants in the project.

It is the intent of the Pueblo City-County Library District to spotlight reading as a central part of our community’s culture. The results in 2012 demonstrate good progress toward this goal.

9/13/12

Annual Report


PCCLD issues a yearly comprehensive report, which may be characterized as providing an overall health assessment of public library services in the county. I recently delivered the library’s 2011 Annual Report to the Pueblo County Commissioners and the Pueblo City Council. It is a good news story that I would like to overview now for you.

In 2011, the library was fully focused on its mission, which is to encourage literacy and the joy of reading, offer continuing opportunities for lifelong learning, and provide free and open access to information. The staff’s adopted motto, which engages with this mission, is: “Ideas, Imagination & Information.” The vision for PCCLD includes books but also goes beyond such traditional library materials to include other forms of information media, like access to the Internet and digital information.

The library staff in 2011 worked consistently to implement services under these guiding principles. This started at the top with the library’s leadership, including the members of the PCCLD Board of Trustees: Sherri Baca, Marlene Bregar, Rhonda Gonzalez, Dr. Philip Mancha, Roy Miltner, Fredrick Quintana and Jim Stuart.

Governed by these principles and this leadership, PCCLD accomplished a great deal in 2011. Some of our firsts for the year included establishing the Centers for New Information Technology (www.pueblolibrary.org/technology), the Pueblo Library Foundation (http://www.pueblolibrary.org/foundation), and the Adult Literacy Program (www.pueblolibrary.org/adultliteracyprogram). In addition, the library continued to offer its award-winning public programming and events. These included signature events such as the Summer Reading Club (www.pueblolibrary.org/summerreading), All Pueblo Reads (www.pueblolibrary.org/allpuebloreads), the Voices of the Valley Chautauqua , and Read Out Loud! In total, 91,692 people participated in library sponsored programs and events throughout the district in 2011. The library’s information delivery services also continued to excel in 2011. 405,359 logged-on library computer systems during the year. 1,130,546 visited libraries in the county in 2011. 1,759,499 books and other library materials were checked out from the library in the twelve month period.

It is important also to applaud our Friends. The PCCLD Friends of the Library have contributed much to library service in the county over the years, and 2011 was another banner year in this regard. Under the leadership of Annette Warfield (President), Michael Voute (Vice President), Brenda Fickey (Secretary), and Mary Simmons (Treasurer), the Friends of the Library generated more than $111,000 in revenues in 2011, all of which ultimately benefits public library services throughout the county.

2011 was a great year for PCCLD (see http://www.pueblolibrary.org/sites/default/files/2011_PCCLD_Annual_Report_audited.pdf to review the entire 2011 Annual Report), and now we remain hard at work to keep the positive momentum going in 2012. Our ultimate goal is simple: we aim to provide the best public library service in the nation. Our community deserves nothing less.

8/18/12

LIBRARY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

Our library has a long and rich tradition as an important institution in the community.  This story dates to 1891 when the first public library was established here.  Over the years, the library has evolved and changed.  Today the Pueblo City-County Library District resembles that library from the 19th century, but the differences are significant. 
In 1891 public libraries were mainly about storing and accessing books, which was a primary information media at that time.  But access came with a price.  Items were checked out to individuals who were able to afford an annual five dollar fee to belong to the library.  Today, of course, checking out books from the library is free and open to the public.  This is not the only thing that has changed about the library.  From one location, now there are many, including a main library plus several branch and satellite locations.  The modern library has moved far beyond books, too.  We now offer a variety of information formats for use, including magazines, newspapers, DVDs, CDs, eReaders, laptops, tablets, special collections and archives, and more.   The availability of public access computers and online resources are very popular and important parts of today’s library.  The modern library also provides a variety of other resources such as multi-purpose meeting rooms, which are available for complimentary use, as well as programs and events intended to connect the members of our community with opportunities for lifelong learning, the joy of reading, and the exchange of ideas.
The use of library resources has increased over the years.  It was in 1917 that the library first checked out more than 100,000 items in a year.  In 2012 our library will check-out nearly two-million books and other materials.  More than one million people will visit the library this year, around 500,000 will log-on to library computers, and some 150,000 will attend library-sponsored programs and events.  As use has increased, the library has evolved and changed to keep up with demand.
Some important new changes to the library will occur soon in order to continue our positive and popular engagement with the community.  In the coming months, the library will “re-tool” in order to increase our effectiveness.  We will implement new book tracking and management equipment at the main library and each of the branches.  This will include equipment to more efficiently check-out, check-in and sort books and other library materials.   This new technology is known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Automated Materials Handling (AMH).  RFID and AMH equipment installed in our libraries will allow us to reduce materials handling, ease collection inventory maintenance, reduce staff time to process materials, and improve customer self-service. 
In the past year, we have worked with experts in this field to assess PCCLD’s current library material procedures in preparation for RFID and AMH implementation.  We have developed strategies for selecting and implementing an RFID and AMH solution meeting the goals and addressing various needs of the library district.  We prepared a Request for Proposal for announcement to RFID and AMH vendors and awarded contracts to the winning bidders earlier this year.  We now are acquiring the necessary hardware and software, and are beginning implementation. 
As an integral and important part of this update, we will be redesigning aspects of our libraries to best integrate the new equipment and utilize retail marketing techniques to better highlight library materials and circulation activities in an inviting and delightful manner to attract customers and continue to increase use of library materials.  We are working with an architectural and design firm to improve some aspects of the layout of the Rawlings Library, the Barkman Library, the Pueblo West Library, and the Lamb Library in order to promote use.  We are now preparing to incorporate these design recommendations as an action plan for reducing clutter, building brand awareness, offering pleasing displays, aiding the shopper, “cross selling,” and creating a positive “greeting zone” for customers. 
These changes are significant and include revising current procedures and practices to take best advantage of the new equipment and unveiling the new service model to the public by early 2013.
This library enhancement project is significant.  We believe it will better enable us to meet our mission of encouraging the joy of reading and providing free and open access to information for all.  For more than 120 years the library has been advancing in its mission to the community.  In the coming few months step this tradition of growth and improvement will continue as the Pueblo City-County Library District takes an important step into the 21st century.  

7/15/12

MEET @ THE LIBRARY

    The Pueblo City-County Library District prides itself on providing a number of services that are vital for our community.  These include books and other library materials, information resources such as public access to the Internet, and several others intended to foster literacy, the joy of reading, and free and open access to information for all.  Yet, another important tenet of the public library is providing comfortable places for all sizes of groups of people to come together to exchange ideas. 
    It is in this spirit that the library offers meeting rooms for public use.  These rooms are intended for people to gather to connect with one another in order to share information, beliefs, and opinions.  In 2012 upwards of 100,000 people will gather in library meeting rooms throughout the county.  They will do so in order to share experiences and learn from one another. 
    Many of the library's public meeting spaces come equipped with technology to facilitate group communication.  The amenities include projectors and screens, white boards, flip charts, public address systems, WiFi and more.  They also include tables and chairs that can be configured to fit the needs of individual  groups.  The rooms can be arranged classroom-style, conference-style, theater-style, etc.  Importantly, the rooms are free and open to the public.  They are provided on equal terms to all persons and groups regardless of affiliation on a first-come, first-served basis.
    The ability for individuals in our community to freely gather to discuss, communicate, and learn from one another is critical to the success of an open, democratic society.  The Pueblo City-County Library District helps meet this need by providing public meeting rooms.  For more information about this service and to learn how to schedule a meeting room for your group, call Marilyn Baillargeon at 553-0227.
 

6/14/12

Libraries & Literacy

A large part of the library’s role in the community is to encourage the joy of reading and offer free and open access to information.   Included in this is the notion that the library’s mission encompasses working to help ensure a high level of literacy within Pueblo County.  
In recent years, the library has further defined this function by assigning specific tasks regarding literacy to individuals on staff.  The intent is to make certain that the library’s responsibility for literacy is addressed as a priority and in an ongoing and systematic fashion throughout the county.
While a large number of library staff are involved in this, there are two key people who work on this as a regular job assignment.  I would like to introduce both of them to you in this article. 
The first is Amy Nelson.  Amy serves as the librarian who emphasizes adult literacy.  She oversees the library’s Adult Literacy Program. This service provides classes and one-to-one tutoring for native English speakers and English-language learners who want to improve their reading, spelling, writing, and comprehension skills.  Adult illiteracy remains a problem in this country and in our community.  For example, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy’s most recent data, thirteen percent of those sixteen years and older living in Pueblo County lack basic literacy skills.  For more information on the library’s Adult Literacy Program, see
http://www.pueblolibrary.org/adultliteracyprogram or call 553-0206.
In addition, I would like to introduce you to Mary Grant.  Mary serves as the Librarian who oversees the library’s childhood literacy efforts.  She works to make sure that library collections, activities and programs appropriately engage and encourage young people’s reading growth and offer educational opportunities for parents/guardians about early literacy values and techniques to encourage success.  You can learn more about this effort by calling 562-5603.  
The work of both of these librarians and each of the others on the library staff who provide services that promote and teach literacy are important contributors to a fundamental component of what the library seeks to achieve.  Simply stated, we want to guarantee that ours is a community of readers.  This important work is done in the belief that literacy is a key skill in the modern world for individual growth, achievement and success. 

5/14/12

The Ever-Evolving Library


Public libraries are not the same today as before. Such change is not new. Libraries have long been evolving. One reason libraries have been able to survive and prosper through the ages (the earliest known libraries date back to antiquity—think: clay tablets and papyrus scrolls) has been their ability to evolve to meet the current needs of their community. The guiding principles for public libraries may endure, including encouraging literacy and promoting free and open access to information for all. However, the specific way these principles are expressed have transformed over time and likely will continue to do so.

I have been professionally involved with public libraries in this country long enough to have witnessed several revisions to service delivery. For example, it was not too many years ago that most libraries contained large collections of specialized reference books and bound periodicals. These books included directories, dictionaries, abstracts and indices, almanacs, encyclopedias and a variety of other reference tomes. The bound periodicals frequently represented year upon year of past issues of magazines, newspapers and other serial publications. With the ascendency of the consumer Internet, beginning in the mid-1990s, these reference books have been forever and indelibly changed. No longer do many libraries host the row upon row of shelves of reference books and bound periodicals in the vast quantities of earlier times. The Internet—especially the World Wide Web and digitization of content—has made these older formats nearly obsolete. Basically, the reference books we once knew and cherished no longer exist and have been supplanted by a combination of simply-used desktop PCs, the intuitive World Wide Web, nearly ubiquitous high-speed telecommunications, and sophisticated search engines, such as Google, Bing, and DogPile. Libraries adapted to this new order by replacing the reference and bound periodical collections with row upon row of public access computers and related services.

It is clear that another significant change is occurring now. The consumer market is now replete with wireless handheld devices and networks that are making vast quantities of information more portable than ever before. Technology again is converting learning and information delivery. This change is beginning now to impact the public library. Libraries are evolving yet once more.


This time it appears that libraries are shifting from being warehouses of information to focus on space, place, and equipment. Library customers seek a place to study, learn and collaborate, and libraries now find themselves in the position of meeting this need in new ways. The future library may look less like a repository for books and more like a public space that is conducive and comfortable for information access, use, and the exchange of ideas via devices. A place that facilitates human interaction with appropriate apparatuses and ambience.


Picture this. The customer brings her/his portable information appliance into the library. This device could be a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop, or some yet-to-come technology. Connecting to the local wireless network, the customer finds a quiet place to comfortably attend to her/his study and pursuits. Now, a colleague enters the library and uses a library-provided sharing appliance to connect her/his device with the other in order to form a multi-user, interactive capacity to seamlessly integrate the work of the two. The result offers opportunities to increase yield and bring their exchange of ideas to a new level of richness. A third person enters now and uses a tablet provided by the library to join the meeting. Others also can join their team by connecting, sharing, and learning using joined intuitive, multi-touch user interfaces. Information is highly accessible, meetings are more collaborative, and productivity soars.


Is this the future library? Time will tell. But one thing is certain. As Bob Dylan wrote several years ago, “The Times They are a-changin’.”


4/14/12

Three New Libraries for Pueblo County: Expanding Library Services for the Underserved

  The mission of the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) is straightforward and simple.  The library seeks to encourage the joy of reading, support lifelong learning, and present access to information from around the world.  This mission is based upon the principle that a successful representative democracy, such as ours, is dependent upon our nation having an educated and informed citizenry.  We believe that the public library plays a vital part in our ability to adhere to this principle.PCCLD has been working with purpose to meet our mission.  The results have been encouraging.  For example, last year, the library experienced record use.  1,759,499 items were checked out from PCCLD locations is 2011.  This is the most ever in the history of the library district.   In fact, since 2005, the number of checkouts from the library has increased more than 71%, and so far in 2012 not only do the number checkouts continue to grow, but so do the number of people visiting our libraries, attending library programs and events, and using library digital resources.  The use of the library has never been higher.
  To top what has been accomplished recently is a large task.  But more needs to be done to insure that ours is a community of readers and lifelong learners.  The library has big plans for 2012 and beyond to continue fostering our mission and purpose in the community.  Much of what we have done and will be doing is based upon careful and strategic planning and action.
   Beginning as early as 2004 and continuing throughout the following years and into the present, PCCLD conducted comprehensive studies designed to determine how to provide the best possible library service for our community.  The results of these studies were published in 2005 and 2009 (Pueblo City-County Library District: Roadmap to the Future, June 23, 2005, and Moving Ahead: Strategic Plan for the Pueblo City-County Library District: Building a Community of Readers, December 10, 2009).  The conclusions reached in each study were the result of careful analysis of local demographic data, input from members of the community and library staff via focus groups and opinion surveys, comparisons of PCCLD to peer libraries and state and national library standards, and forecasts of PCCLD revenues and expenditures. 
  Among the outcomes of these studies has been a planned repositioning of library services to best meet the needs of our community.  This has resulted in a number of accomplishments, including the new Pueblo West Library that opened in 2009, the addition of the Library @ the Y on Pueblo’s West Side also in 2009, the expanded access to quality collections of books and other library materials throughout the library district, the additional focus on digital services such as public access Internet and more, the greater emphasis on public events with cultural and intellectual content, the establishment of the Hispanic Resource Center, the Nonprofit Resource Center, the Adult Literacy Center, and the Business and Vocation Center; the improvements to genealogy and special local archival services and resources, and the betterment of services for children and teens, as well as other critical initiatives.
  Now, the library is in position to take another substantial step forward.  Among the findings of the studies from 2005 and 2009 was the identification of underserved areas of Pueblo County and the recommendation that PCCLD improve access with the addition of full-service public libraries in areas where such services are not currently sufficiently available.  These areas include the East Side of the City of Pueblo, on the St. Charles Mesa east of the City of Pueblo, and in the Greenhorn Valley area in the southern portion of the County.  
  Beginning in 2012, PCCLD is moving forward with plans to build and operate three new libraries in each of these areas, with design development to occur this year, groundbreaking on construction to take place next year, and the new libraries to open to the public in 2014.
  How will we do this?  These projects are affordable now due to PCCLD’s longstanding practice of responsible saving and spending, and the following factors:
·         PCCLD will refinance the moderate debt on the Pueblo West Library at the current record-low interest rates, and reinvest the resulting savings into the new libraries. 
·         PCCLD will merge the satellite library services in several school locations into these new full-service libraries. The satellite locations are considered sub-standard public library services, and, as such, are not even recognized as such by the State of Colorado.
·        PCCLD will be fundraising and grant writing for support for the new libraries.  Based on our experience at the Pueblo West Library and the Rawlings Library, we conservatively estimate that more than 10% of the project cost can be raised in this fashion.
·         PCCLD will take advantage of economic development in the county in recent years—including the new cement plant and power plants—that will support moderate expansion of library services.
·         PCCLD is implementing new service technologies at existing library sites that will allow some savings in staff time, and these savings will allow us to shift some staffing hours from current locations to the new locations.
·         PCCLD will save money because the cost to build these new libraries is now low due to the depression in the construction industry.  We estimate that the new libraries will be less expensive to build per square foot than was the case with the Pueblo West Library only a few short years ago.
·         PCCLD will build these libraries in a “prototype” fashion with a common building program resulting in a singular building layout of about 7,500 square feet for each of the three libraries.  Some cosmetic elements of the buildings will be unique to each individual library, such as the building fa├žade or roof line, but in many respects the buildings will the same and, thus, afford cost savings for design and construction.
·         Importantly, due to all the reasons listed above, PCCLD will be able to accomplish this with its current revenue stream with no need to increase taxes in order to do so.
  Clearly, this is an important time for the library district.  We already have decided on an architect to the design the new libraries.  We also have commenced fundraising efforts and are finalizing site selection for the new libraries at this time.  Soon, we will select a construction contractor.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements as this significant effort continues to unfold.

3/30/12

The Library Board of Trustees


There are many wonderful individuals and groups who contribute to the success of our award-winning library district.

This list of people includes the many outstanding employees, fantastic Friends of the Library and great volunteers who provide their time, skill and effort to make this a first-rate institution, which provides winning services to the members of our community. Each of these groups does so much it can be difficult to sufficiently recognize all that they contribute, both collectively and individually.

Another group that clearly falls into this category is the Pueblo City-County Library District Board of Trustees. The board of trustees truly deserves the respect and admiration of every citizen of our county due to their commitment, professionalism and desire to help the library be the best that it can be. These individuals work diligently to help make our community a better place to live and raise families.

The board of trustees consists of seven individuals who act together as the governing body for the library district. Trustees receive no salary or other compensation for the service they provide to the library. Members of the board are chosen from the residents of Pueblo County, and are appointed by a joint commission of the Pueblo County Commissioners and the Pueblo City Council.

Today, the seven members of the Board are Ms. Sherri Baca (president), Ms. Marlene Bregar (vice president), Ms. Rhonda Gonzales, Dr. Philip Mancha, Mr. Roy Miltner, Mr. Fredrick Quintana and Mr. Jim Stuart.

Each of these individuals contributes to our community and library by serving as board members, giving countless hours along the way to help make the library the best it can be. But they also are productive professionals within our community. Ms. Baca is the president and CEO of the El Pueblo Adolescent Community, Ms. Bregar is an educator, Ms. Gonzales is dean of libraries at Colorado State University-Pueblo, Dr. Mancha is a retired college administrator, Mr. Miltner is a retired ordained minister, Mr. Quintana only recently graduated from law school and is sitting now for the bar exam in Colorado, and Mr. Stuart is 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 a premier institution in our community and in Colorado. If we were to pay them for their services, it would cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Yet they provide their time for no compensation. They truly are citizens serving the community. Thank you, library trustees!

3/7/12

Friends


Recently, a Friend of the Library came into my office and handed me a document. It showed the proceeds earned by Books Again. This is the used bookstore that is operated by the Friends of the Library, which first opened in the fourth quarter of 2005.
I reviewed the paper and smiled in amazement and gratitude. The Friends of the Library have truly accomplished something special. Since 2005 and through the end of 2011, in a period of about six years, the bookstore has generated $597,490.10 in revenue. These funds, in turn, are returned to the library in the form of grants and gifts, which support numerous projects and enable the library to provide a higher level of service for the community we serve.
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, All Pueblo Reads and so much more. In 1962, the Friends held their first used book sale which generated $230 in proceeds. More recently, of course, the Friends established the Books Again book store, and last year alone it generated a whopping $111,818.80.
In recent years, the proceeds donated by the Friends of the Library to the Pueblo City-County Library District have been used for numerous items to help make the library the best that it can be. The list is impressive. In addition to those contributions mentioned above, the Friends also make possible scholarships to staff to encourage the growth of more professionally credentialed librarians. The Friends also regularly support the library’s author programs that reach thousands of people in our community each and every year. The Friends also offer a steady stream of special grants to support individual library projects. Their support has helped to upgrade our facilities in numerous ways, such as the Rawlings Library, the expansion and renovation of the Pueblo West Library, the InfoZone News Museum, the library’s archives services, the Hispanic Resource Center, the Center for New Information Technology, the Books a la Cart service, information kiosks, signage, special furniture, and more. It is difficult to think of an area of library service that the Friends have not benefitted.
Truly, the Pueblo City-County Library District is blessed with true Friends of the Library. Since you can never have too many friends, I encourage you to join the Friends today. 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 the Friends of the Library for their support. The library would not be the same without them.

1/28/12

2011 in the Rearview Mirror

I believe it is always healthy to reflect at the conclusion of the year upon what has taken place during the previous months.  In this article, we will take a look back at some of what happened at the library in the year just completed.

2011 marked another notable year for PCCLD as the library continued to successfully engage with its customers.  This is most clearly evident by the enormous number of books and other library materials checked out by community members.  1,759,499 items were checked out from PCCLD locations is 2011.  This is the most ever in the history of the library district.  

People also continued to use libraries in huge numbers.  For the year, 1,040,546 visitors were recorded coming into library district locations throughout the county.  This speaks well for PCCLD as it seeks to reach the goal of ensuring that ours is a community of readers.

In 2011 the total number of people attending all library-sponsored special events was 91,692.  Among the many library programs and events in 2011, PCCLD welcomed best-selling author Carl Hiaasen as part of its All Pueblo Reads celebration, and, once again, tens of thousands in our community participated in this annual series of events designed to get members of our community reading and discussing a great book.  2011 also was witness to the second annual author event aimed at kids.  This year the focus was on the book Faith and the Electric Dogs, which included author Patrick Jennings’ personal appearance in Pueblo.  Again, thousands in our community participated.  In 2011 PCCLD sponsored the second Voices of the Valley Chautauqua, which featured scholarly reenactments of historic noteworthy writers including Henry David Thoreau, Charles Darwin, C.S. Lewis, and Walt Whitman.  The library’s summer reading program for young people continued to be popular with 20,036 participating in 2011.

2011 also marked some “firsts” for PCCLD.  The library district’s adult literacy training program became a regular service under the guidance of librarian Amy Nelson after a successful pilot in the prior year.  The library also unveiled its new Center for New Information Technology with sites at both the Barkman and Rawlings Libraries.  This service, which features public access to the latest wireless information technologies such as iPads and eReaders, is being coordinated by librarian Andrew Bregar.  PCCLD also partnered with the Sangre de Cristo Hospice Center to establish a special collection of materials on dying, death and grieving. 

Other “firsts” for PCCLD in 2011 included being recognized for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report by the Government Finance Officers’ Association of the United States and Canada for which the library district was honored for its Distinguished Budget Presentation.   The Pueblo Library Foundation also was established, including the board being appointed, bylaws adopted, Articles of Incorporation filed with the State of Colorado, and the first donations to the Foundation committed.  The mission of the foundation is to operate exclusively for the benefit of the Pueblo City-County Library District, including providing resources for the development, maintenance and operation of the Pueblo City-County Library District to the extent not normally met by public funding.

Clearly a lot happened at PCCLD in 2011.  This article touches upon only a few of the library's many accomplishments, services and programs. The list is long, and includes the Rawlings Library, the Pueblo West Library, the Barkman Library, the Lamb Library, the Library @ the Y, the InfoZone News Museum, Western History and Special Collections, the Doris D. Kester/Southern Colorado Community Foundation Nonprofit Resource Center, Books a la Cart, Books in the Park, Homebound Delivery, Nuestra Biblioteca: The Hispanic Resource Center, the R.M. Watts Business and Vocation Center, and more.

Speaking on behalf of the library’s employees and the institution, let me simply close by pointing out that it is a pleasure and honor to serve the citizens of Pueblo County with outstanding public library services.




1/2/12

Who are you reading?

Our community loves libraries and the numbers show it. Each year for the past several years, more and more people check out more and more library books and other materials.

This caused me to consider the authors that our community members love to read. I asked around and our wonderful library staff produced just what I hoped they could. They showed me which authors’ books are checked out the most by library customers.

Some of what I learned did not surprise me at all. Prominent authors were definitely on our list of popular writers, such as Mary Higgins Clark, David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwell, Ken Follett, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and more. In this way, our community is clearly in-step with national trends.

I was interested to compare the most popular authors of 2010 with those from 2011. For example, PCCLD’s number one writer in 2010 was David Pelzer, while in 2011 it was Stieg Larsson. It also was pleasing to see that in 2011 our distinguished All Pueblo Reads author, Carl Hiassen, made our local list of preferred writers.

In some ways our community stands out differently from other places in the country. For example, it is noteworthy to point out that some of our local writers made the list of PCCLD “most popular,” including Betty Alt and Joanne Dodds. There were even a few nationally-prominent names who I thought would be on the list, but were not, including Stephenie Meyer and J. K. Rowling.

All in all, it certainly is a distinguished list. Everyone from Danielle Steel to Brad Thor made our list of hot authors in Southern Colorado, a place where people clearly love to read.

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 ...