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 ...