7/17/18

LIBRARIES FOR LEARNING: HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS FOR ADULTS

The library is a learning institution.  First and foremost, the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) exists to ensure members of our community have access to information and other resources to support individual and collective learning efforts throughout life.  A new PCCLD program aligns well with this mission.  PCCLD recently collaborated with the State of Colorado to pilot a program here to provide adults without a high school diploma the opportunity to earn one.

Colorado law supports free public education for minors.  This culminates with a high school diploma.  Of course, a free public education through high school is a hallmark of learning throughout the United States.  There are some who do not take full advantage of this and do not complete high school.  Later, as adults, it is not uncommon for many to desire to complete high school.  Adults in Colorado did not enjoy a path to a high school diploma without paying individually for it.  Until now.

PCCLD received a $30,000 grant from the Colorado State Library about one year ago to pilot an online high school program for adults in our community.  As a result, five diploma recipients graduated in July with forty additional Puebloans currently enrolled in the program.  Another five students are on-track to graduate in September.  This PCCLD high school diploma project has been considered a success and the Colorado State Library recently awarded another $25,000 in scholarship support to continue it. 

Enrolled adults apply their learning efforts to help earn an accredited high school diploma, as well as a workforce readiness certificate.  The cutting-edge program is designed with the adult learner in mind.  It is 100% online.  This means adult students access their course materials from any public-use computer at any library or elsewhere.  The program is all-inclusive online, so there is no need to purchase additional materials.  It is self-paced and learning is self-initiated in an online environment, so there are no additional instructor fees.

PCCLD’s adult high school diploma project is an accredited high school educational program by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, the national commission that confers the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) accreditation seals.  As such, students can transfer-in previously earned high school credits, so they do not have to repeat courses they have completed in the past.  This helps many graduate even sooner.

This alternative path for adults to earn a high school diploma is simply one more way PCCLD is stepping-up to serve the members of our community. 

5/31/18

THE NATIONAL MEDAL FOR MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICE


The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is our nation’s highest honor awarded to libraries and museums.  It is annually given by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in recognition of exceptional service and making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.  I am very pleased that the Pueblo City-County Library District has earned this special distinction for 2018!

This year’s nominees included libraries and museums of all types from across the country.  The IMLS Medal of Service is acknowledgement of the extraordinary accomplishments and contributions of PCCLD programs and services.  It is testimony to the tireless efforts of dedicated library employees, volunteers, and advocates.  PCCLD was recognized for this achievement at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 24. 

As part of the ceremony and celebration, I was pleased traveled to Washington, D.C., along with Pueblo community member Mandy Brown and members of the PCCLD Board of Trustees to proudly accept the National Medal and share the story of our wonderful community.  

Since 1994, IMLS, the primary federal agency supporting library and museum services, has presented the Medal of Service to institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and exceed expected levels of community impact.  PCCLD was nominated for this award by U.S. Senator Cory Gardner and received significant support from U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, U.S. Representative Scott Tipton along with a whole host of others who care about what we do.  Members of the National Museum and Library Services Board, the presidentially-appointed policy advisory board for IMLS, reviews the nominations, and recommends the award winners.  All types of museums and libraries qualify to be nominated for this award.  There are thousands of libraries and museums in the United States.  PCCLD is now among fewer than 200 institutions to have been awarded the National Medal of Museum and Library Service.

This is a singular accomplishment for PCCLD and for the greater Pueblo metropolitan area.  It truly is an once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.     

4/25/18

AMERICA'S BEST LIBRARY


Thank you for supporting the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD).
Our community is known for many wonderful things.  Steel, sunshine, and sloppers are only a few of the items on this list.  Now, we can put libraries there. 

Public libraries have a storied history here.   Our first public library dates from 1892.  Local citizens have consistently supported the public library over the years.  The message was clear for me when I first arrived in Pueblo in 2004.  Community members let me know then their notion that the public library improves our local quality of life.  I am pleased PCCLD has delivered on great library service.

The recent results in early March of the Engaging Local Government Leaders’ (ELGL) competition confirms this.  The ELGL recognition is a “people’s choice” selection of PCCLD as America’s Best Public Library (http://elgl.org/2018/03/05/national-championship-williamsburg-v-pueblo-2/).  Support for our libraries during this competition was tremendous.  In point of fact, the enthusiasm for libraries here is unequaled anywhere in the country.  

This news followed soon after PCCLD’s selection by Library Journal in December 2017 as a Four Star Library.  This is among the most prestigious recognitions attainable from peer librarians nationally.  Library Journal made its determination based upon an index derived from a comparison of key library data.  This ranking places PCCLD among the top 2.5% of the 7,409 U.S. public libraries that were ranked.

Then there is this.  The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced on March 5 of this year that PCCLD is a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This National Medal is our country’s highest honor given to libraries for community service.  Simply to be tabbed as a finalist for this distinguished award is an attribute only a relative handful of organizations will ever attain.

All this is testimony to our “can do” community and our “can do” team at PCCLD.  Pueblo Proud!

STRIVING FOR THE BEST

The Pueblo City-County Library District seeks to provide the best possible library service for our citizens.  We accomplish this partly through deep understanding of the community we serve.  This includes scrutinizing local demographics to comprehend the quantifiable characteristics of the local populace, working with focus groups and community surveys for direct feedback from our citizens, and studying public library industry trends to ensure we are current and up-to-date in our approach.  These methods are integral to our work culture, including three major studies in 2005, 2009, and 2015; accompanied by additional regular updates involving all key stakeholders. 

PCCLD serves a population approaching 165,000 people according to U.S. Census reports.   Several major local demographic analyses have been undertaken in recent years.  The current review is available at http://www.pueblolibrary.org/sites/default/files/2015_ALLappendices.pdf.  Findings of overarching importance include the fact that a significant portion of the service-area population self-identifies as Latino or Hispanic (nearly 43 percent of all residents) and the community generally is economically less well off when compared with other areas of the state and the nation.  Our median household income, for example, is well below state and national averages.   We deliver specific initiatives in response, including PCCLD’s Hispanic Resource Center and other programs to help underserved populations such as those targeted for community members with special needs, early literacy programming for parents and other childhood caregivers, and gang intervention counseling onsite at the library.  One community member recently wrote this about one of our libraries:  “This letter is written as a recommendation [for] . . . exemplary work in the library system in Pueblo, Colorado . . . The staff not only provides guidance in the valuable tool of reading but they provide a nurturing environment which is often lacking in the family home.  In this quadrant of the city, the population is underserved.  The . . . community is beset with gangs, prostitution, and unemployment.  The [library] is a haven for the children and youth because it provides a calm sanctuary of safety . . . [S]taff provide snacks during the school year and during the summer, in conjunction with the Pueblo City Schools, free meals.  Many of these children are being raised by grandparents, single parents, or in some cases another family member.  A birthday celebration to them might be a visit to a local fast food restaurant.  [S]taff make sure that a birthday is special by providing a cupcake and a candle and singing them Happy Birthday, and a small gift of love.  At the library . . . staff present programs for drug prevention, bullying, gang prevention, and proper social skills.  Parents of these young people are also given the same opportunity to participate.” 

PCCLD periodically conducts focus group forums.   This involves gathering small groups of people together who represent a cross-section of local citizens.  A facilitator works with each group to foster discussion about quality of life matters, how the community can be improved, and the role PCCLD can play in helping.  Gathering this information is useful to comprehend how our libraries are perceived and opportunities for us to successfully engage.  This effort has resulted in the extrapolation of seven themes.  These include expanding PCCLD’s role in (1) creating young readers, (2) enhancing marketing and communication tools, (3) balancing book reduction and media expansion, (4) providing targeted collections, (5) augmenting adult programming, (6) promoting the library as vital community hub, and (7) increasing fundraising awareness and strategies.  Additional themes from stakeholders include descriptions of the public library as a welcoming and happy place along with ideals connecting PCCLD to individual self-improvement, growth, and enhancement.  We translate these understandings into specific activities resulting in PCCLD’s dramatic increased utilization with circulation, digital use, library visits, and attendance at library-sponsored cultural and educational classes and events reaching all-time highs. 

An effective tool for learning about our client base derives from customer surveys.  PCCLD carries out regular surveys.  These consistently validate several findings.  Respondents overwhelmingly hold a favorable view of the library and positively perceive service offerings.  Motifs include the value of the library in early childhood literacy followed by support for lifelong learning, public computing; adult, teen and family literacy; and helping people find, evaluate, and effectively use information.  PCCLD builds on these findings to establish impactful and well-received services such as circulation of mobile devices like tablets, laptops, and WiFi hotspots; and providing our community among the nation’s most highly attended library-sponsored cultural and educational programs and events offerings.  A detailed account of a recent PCCLD community survey is available on pages 5-10 at http://www.pueblolibrary.org/sites/default/files/2015_ALLappendices.pdf.

It is an exciting time for our community and our libraries.  Not a day passes when PCCLD is not aggressively pursuing an agenda of positive community impact.  We regularly study library industry trends and adopt best practices from our colleagues from across the country.  As a result, PCCLD has established itself as a clear leader, not only in our local community but also among public libraries nationally.  For example, in output measures such as visits per capita, circulation per capita, and program attendance per capita, PCCLD is at or near the top of the rankings among its peers: http://www.pueblolibrary.org/sites/default/files/press_releases/150702_Libraryranksfirst_PR.pdf.  To make this so, PCCLD actively utilizes information, tools, programs, and activities from professional colleagues and associations, including the Institute for Museums and Library Services, the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, OCLC, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and more. 

PCCLD strives to bring our community a world-class public library experience.  Our game plan to accomplish this is clear.  We care about what we do and we go about our duty with careful dedication and study.  The results have been encouraging. 

 

LIBRARY ROI


Recent studies consistently show that communities see a positive return on investment (ROI) from public libraries.  Research published in 2017, for example, determined that for every one dollar invested in public libraries there is $4.64 in value returned in access to books and materials, educational programs, technology, and other library services.* 

PCCLD provides a great ROI.  The use of library services here—as measured by checkout of materials, the number of visitors and researchers utilizing our facilities, usage of digital resources like computers and e-books, and people attending library-sponsored educational and cultural events—has skyrocketed to all-time highs in recent years.  The library district’s positive local impact is directly related to resources available, monetarily and otherwise.  Public financing for our libraries is strong and private donations also are vigorous. 

Libraries here currently cost approximately $10 million per year to operate.  A property mill levy provides most of PCCLD’s funds at 87 percent with other revenue sources accounting for about thirteen percent.  These other sources of library income include gifts and grants, fees, other taxes, and miscellaneous revenue.  During our annual planning process, we review and update long-range financial forecasts and project future expenses in preparation for responsible budgeting.  The full measure of the 2018 library district planning documents are available for review online at   http://www.pueblolibrary.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2018AnnualPlanBudgetFINAL121417.pdf.

The Friends of the Library is another major supporter of PCCLD.  The Friends have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to help sustain the library district in recent years.  They offer significant funds to help with library capital needs and to assist with literacy programming efforts.  The Friends raise money primarily via their Books Again bookstore, selling used and donated books.  The introduction of Books Again in 2005 moved Friends’ contributions from a few thousand dollars per year on average to several tens of thousands annually.   More information about our Friends of the Library can be found here:  https://booksagain-pueblo.com/friends.html.

The Pueblo Library Foundation was formed in 2011 to further assist in building a strong financial underpinning for local libraries.  The Foundation played an instrumental role when PCCLD constructed three new branch libraries in 2014.  It has been building an investment fund more recently to reinforce local library financial strength.  The Foundation has additional information online: http://www.pueblolibrary.org/Foundation.

PCCLD carefully plans around its financial and other relevant assets like personnel, collections of materials, buildings, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.  We do this in order to best leverage these for the most productive possible outcomes in support of our mission to deliver the best possible public library services for the members of our community.   PCCLD’s economic and cultural benefit to the community is clear.  It is equally apparent that public and private support for public libraries here is robust.  Great communities have great libraries.  Pueblo is no different in this regard.

 

 

* https://www.tsl.texas.gov/roi

A FOUR STAR LIBRARY


PCCLD is honored with its recent selection as a Four Star Library.*  This recognition places our library district in the top echelon from among more than 7,000 libraries in the United States.

The beginning of the public library here dates from 1891, but the most recent years at the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) are remarkable. Our results are so noteworthy that this could well be a golden age for public libraries here: beginning in 2003 with the completion of the signature Rawlings Library through 2009 with the expansion and renovation of the Pueblo West Library and continuing through the recent construction and opening of four additional new public libraries.  PCCLD today consists of eight full-service outlets plus a host of outreach programs provided ongoing throughout the entire community. 

We have seen a dramatic increase in commitment to local public libraries as measured by overall utilization.  More people are visiting our libraries to use more books and other resources than ever before. During a period when the area population increased by a modest 8.5%, PCCLD library program attendance grew seven-fold, annual circulation and library visits both more than doubled, and use of digital library resources skyrocketed. 

Without the community’s support, PCCLD would be hard-pressed to provide quality resources, spaces, and services in this fast-changing, dynamic world.  We concentrate on six areas of strategic focus, founded on the thoughts and sentiments of the community we serve:  (1) improving early literacy by creating young readers is a priority for the library; (2) partnering with other institutions to ensure PCCLD’s continuing relevance to local citizens; (3) focusing on the whole family at all stages of life through specific library programming and collections, (4) bridging the digital divide by promoting access to the Internet and providing the best current information technology; (5) planning for the use of our limited resources based on concrete data to maximize community impact; (6) ensuring support for PCCLD staff, who are crucial to the successful fulfillment of our mission.

These themes serve as the framework for PCCLD’s many accomplishments.  Not only have we built several new libraries in recent years, but we also demonstrate institutional transparency such as with regular GFOA-certified financial reports, ensure our future financial needs via establishment of the Pueblo Library Foundation, and collaborate with the Friends of the Library to recently triple membership and raise millions of dollars for our local libraries.  We enhance service delivery with mobile staff technologies, maker programming, and special efforts to digitize historically-significant local documents. PCCLD’s achievements include establishing the annual Booklovers Black Tie Ball fundraising event featuring personal appearances by noted authors of national notoriety, All Pueblo Reads cultural event series that attracted over 40,000 participants in 2017, an endowed program supporting personal local appearances by nationally-prominent children’s authors, teen centers at all libraries helping significantly increase use of young adult materials and services, the Hispanic Resource Center focused on celebrating the richness of our cultural diversity, the Doris Kester & Southern Colorado Community Foundation Nonprofit Resource Center, Accessible Avenues services for library customers with special needs, Books in the Park and Books a la Cart outreach programs, InfoZone News Museum, Adult Literacy Program, Idea Factory makerspace, Library @ the U establishing a robust public library presence at local institutions of higher education, and more.  Nothing we do, however, is more important than our support for early childhood literacy.  Our summer reading program for young people is awarding winning, and we recently pioneered SPELL (Supporting Parents with Early Literacy through Libraries) to better reach socio-economically challenged families with early literacy support.  Now we are implementing ConnectED in partnership with local school districts, so that every local student automatically receives a library card when enrolled in school.  PCCLD is governed by an appointed board consisting of seven trustees, operates with an annual budget of about $10 million, and employs approximately 150 staff.  PCCLD was selected as the best service in our community according to a public opinion poll conducted independently by Ciruli Associates. PCCLD also has been chosen by the Colorado Association of Libraries as the Library of the Year and recognized as a finalist for the prestigious El Pomar Award for Excellence. 

Our goal is simple.  We aim to provide the best possible public library service for our local residents.  The people deserve nothing less. PCCLD has worked diligently to deliver on this, and our recent selection as a national Four Star Library is acknowledgement of our success.

 

*http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2017/12/managing-libraries/lj-index/class-of-2017/americas-star-libraries-top-rated-libraries-lj-index-2017/

1/2/18

LIBRARY SERVICE by Jon Walker

PCCLD is a full-service public library.  There are eight PCCLD facilities each providing a complete range of library activities.  These include information services such as readers’ advisory, reference, and information literacy instruction, robust collections of library materials for public use including print, video, and audio formats; local history and archival collections, interlibrary loan, online and digital services, public meeting rooms and plenty of space for individuals and groups of all sizes to study and exchange ideas, and wide-ranging cultural and educational programs and events.  All this and more is available free and open to the public.  Specific PCCLD-sponsored activities also include literacy tutoring for all ages, maker clubs and programs (both tech and non-tech), computer and Internet instruction, WiFi hotspots and tablets for checkout, language classes, a high school diploma program for adults, citizenship preparation classes, gang intervention counseling, community bookshelves, outdoor programs in local parks, and more. 
PCCLD excels in most areas of library service, but we are particularly pleased to be a national leader in our cultural and educational event programming.  “Learning by doing” is something we focus on a lot.  Here is one example of how PCCLD takes this to the next level.  Progressive public libraries somewhat commonly now provide public-use 3D printers.  PCCLD goes a step further by involving community members of all ages in constructing its own 3D printer as a maker for around $300 in parts purchased mostly at a local hardware store.  We take pride in such out-of-the box creativity with all of our cultural and educational programming.  In addition, we regularly partner with local, regional, and national institutions, including, for example, with local schools to provide library cards to every student in the community, thereby providing classrooms with full access to public library resources.  In the last year, PCCLD has collaborated with numerous organizations of national, regional, and local prominence, such as the Smithsonian Institution for Human Origins: What Does It Mean to be Human, the National Center for Learning in Boulder, Colorado, for Discover Tech, and the local Sangre de Cristo Arts Centre for Ansel Adams: Classic Images.  PCCLD recently sponsored a community-wide series of educational programs and exhibits honoring the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I entitled Lest We Forget: Pueblo Remembers World War I.  PCCLD also co-sponsored the recent Congressional Medal of Honor Convention in our community, which included a special recognition event at our Rawlings Library with most of the living Medal recipients from across the nation in attendance.  The library enjoys partnerships with many other institutions, including businesses, nonprofits, governments, and schools.  This further enables PCCLD to leverage its success locally.  Relationships between people and the institutions they represent is a key factor in the success of many programs like SPELL (Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries) providing outreach to daycare providers and parents to employ practices in support of childhood literacy.  Other organizations such as Colorado State Parks, the Pueblo Zoo, Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center offer passes circulated freely to community members by PCCLD to give individuals and families access to fee-based services at no cost.  PCCLD collaborates with local colleges and universities to provide programs such as collections of public library materials on-campus available for use by students and faculty, and even a seed-sharing library, operated in conjunction with Colorado State University Extension Services, so families can “check out” seeds to grow their own vegetables and flowers.  It also is important to mention several signature PCCLD programs such as the annual All Pueblo Reads fall literature program series, which attracted more than 39,000 participants last year; our Summer Reading Club, which witnessed well over 20,000 participants this past summer; and the seventh annual “READ OUT LOUD!” earlier this year when thousands of kids locally attended local appearances here by a nationally-prominent author of young peoples’ literature. These programs are endowed by our Friends of the Library. 
PCCLD recently refreshed its Assistive Technology Center—sometimes affectionately known as Accessible Avenues—in collaboration with local accessibility advocates to better meet the needs of this special needs community.  A local disabled community advocate recently wrote:  “After several visits to see if things were really going to happen with the Assistive Technology Center at Rawlings, the public center has a real possibility of succeeding…From a wimpy Dell with an AMD processor to a Dell XPS all-in-one with Dragon version 15, with an Intel i7 processor, we are beginning with a robust workhorse.  The uses for this equipment are huge…it will be another jewel in Pueblo City-County Library’s outstanding library system.”

In 2014, PCCLD opened three new libraries to reach underserved communities in our service area.  The Patrick A. Lucero Library serves Pueblo’s East Side neighborhood, which suffers endemic poverty and all the related social challenges, putting their community at risk.  The Lucero Library provides a safe place for visitors to attend English classes, food programs and ongoing gang prevention programs to help redirect youth along a better path and overcome their challenges.  The new Greenhorn Valley Library is located in the somewhat isolated southern portion of PCCLD’s service area, while the new Tom L. and Anna Marie Giodone Library is located in the mixed rural/suburban area in the eastern section of PCCLD’s geographic zone.  Each of the new libraries serves their neighborhood’s individual needs.  These three, along with the Robert Hoag Rawlings Library, the Frank and Marie Barkman Library, the Frank I. Lamb Library, the Pueblo West Library, and the Library @ the Y (a collaboration with the Pueblo YMCA), work interactively with one another and the various PCCLD outreach activities to provide an outstanding public library presence in the community.  

LIBRARY IMPACT by Jon Walker

The Pueblo City-County Library District prides itself on seeking and responding positively to feedback from all. The institution regularly collects information in this regard via a variety of sources. Tools include community surveys and focus groups. We also solicit evaluative data ongoing via online and paper comment forms, and practice a philosophy known as Community Librarianship, whereby we encourage our professional staff to become embedded in the community we serve. In addition, PCCLD was an early adopter of the Public Library Association’s Project Outcomes, and continues to actively use this tool (http://www.ala.org/pla/initiatives/performancemeasurement). This helps us better understand overall library impact locally.

There are many examples of positive outcomes feedback. Here is one regarding PCCLD’s value in support of local educational and cultural learning activities: “The Southern Colorado Photography Society has been associated with the Pueblo City-County Library District for the past ten years. I have been president during that period. Our group has availed themselves of many of the available services and facilities. We hold our monthly meetings at the Lamb branch meeting room each month at no charge. The last four years, we have held the largest regional photography show at the Infozone are of the Rawlings Library. The staff assists us with the room needed, advertising, and refreshments. Visitors from other towns always compliment us on what a fine library we have. Members of the club have held individual and small group photography shows at a number of the library facilities. Not charging for these gallery spaces allows so many to exhibit their work. Our organization has also joined with the library staff to provide photography workshops, free to the public. Several of our members have hosted personal travel videos they created. We have all the library staff to be helpful, accommodating, and pleasant in helping our organization. All our members are huge fans of Pueblo City-County Library District. Individuals I have talked with, outside our group, who utilize the facilities, give the same positive reviews.”

The success of PCCLD’s many programs frequently is measured by attendance. For example, the goal of the annual summer reading program is to keep children reading during the summer months. We carefully measure participation. Part of this program includes setting up a temporary library outdoors in two parks where neighborhoods do not have easy access to library services. Summer reading activities at the library also include providing meals to children who are in need. The summer lunch at the library in partnership with local schools served 4,004 lunches to children this year, and many young people reported they would not have been able to eat lunch at all without the program. A legal assistance online program at the Lamb Library with limited spots available is regularly filled to capacity. Computer classes with limited space are well attended. The library’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program is carried out in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. It has had to turn people away and has plans to provide even more hours of service next year. PCCLD’s Adult Literacy project, which uses volunteer tutors, has more than seventy active learning teams with more on the waiting list ready to get started.

One recent comment sums it up this way: “I am a huge fan of the Pueblo City-County Library system. It is a wonderfully run system brimming with activities and resources. The catalog is wonderful, the array of programs the library offers is impressive. But my favorite of all, and the reason I write you today, is the beautiful culture the library system has created for our community.”

A HIGH ACHIEVING LIBRARY by Jon Walker

The Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) is renowned for its high achievements.  A recent example of this is PCCLD’s recent selection for the current Library Journal Star Library award.  This prestigious recognition came about as the result of key findings showing PCCLD is more actively engaged with our community than most other public libraries around the country.   We are proud of this and, so, we anxiously awaited the first reports about 2016 outputs to see how well we continue to stack up.  The Library Research Service recently released this data for Colorado.
This study shows PCCLD’s ongoing strong scores when compared with peer libraries in Colorado.  There are thirteen public libraries in Colorado serving populations of greater than 100,000.  In addition to PCCLD, these are the Arapahoe Library District, the Aurora Public Library, the Boulder Public Library, the Denver Public Library, Douglas County Libraries, the High Plains Library District, the Jefferson County Public Library, the Mesa County Public Library District, the Pike Peak Library District, the Poudre River Public Library District, the Rangeview Library District, and the Westminster Public Library.   Among these in 2016 PCCLD ranked third for number of items checked out per capita, second in library visitors per capita, and first both for library computer use per capita and program attendance per capita.  These measures frequently are considered most important when gauging public library success.

It is fair to say that PCCLD’s strong attainment remains unabated.   

DO YOU DOWNLOAD? by Jon Walker

Do you download?  I do and, maybe, you should, too. 
Downloading via PCCLD platforms allows me to enjoy great print, audio, and video at home and on the go.  It is free and available 24 hours per day, seven days each week, and 52 weeks every year.  Books, audiobooks, music, and movies.  Download all these to your phone, tablet, computer, or TV.  If you don’t own a compatible device, not to worry.  PCCLD can lend you a tablet, too. 
The library district has invested heavily in recent years in e-content.  The result is PCCLD provides you with more access to more books and other library materials than ever before.  The breadth of titles available from your public library now is truly fantastic.   We estimate today PCCLD provides our customers with their choices from among upwards of twelve million e-titles, including books, music, audiobooks, and movies.  That’s right, 12,000,000! 
There are several ways to gain access to this treasure trove of content.  I will begin here with a personal favorite of mine.  It is Hoopla.  PCCLD’s Hoopla platform provides over 500,000 titles across six formats: audiobooks, movies, music, books, comics, and television.  This includes movies from companies like Lionsgate, Disney, Warner Brothers, Starz, and others; and audiobooks from publishers such as Tantor Audio, Blackstone Audio, and more.  Hoopla also contains a growing list of ebooks from favorite publishers, like HarperCollins and Harlequin.  Hoopla content principally consists of an excellent catalog of backlist titles delivered via easy-to-use apps with focus on the latest browser, phone, tablet, and TV products to deliver a grand user experience.  I personally use Hoopla all the time.
Another superb digital media platform is PCCLD’s cloudLibrary.  Content in cloudLibrary is centered around ebooks and e-audiobooks, and does not include movies and music.  CloudLibrary encompasses a wide variety of popular fiction and nonfiction backlist titles, but, importantly, it also enjoys the significant advantage of providing you with an abundant list of current best-selling titles, too, including popular recent releases and frontlist titles from the Big Five publishers: Macmillan, Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin/Random House, and Simon & Schuster.  CloudLibrary is easy to use and delivers an outstanding experience.  Right now, I am reading the 2017 All Pueblo Reads selection Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel from Penguin/Random House on my PCCLD cloudLibrary app. 
Next on my list of favorite PCCLD digital media platforms are the companion services Freading and Freegal.  Together these two provide over 50,000 backlist and classic ebook titles from more than 1,000 publishers plus an amazing eleven million music recordings, including all genres such as classical and opera, country, pop, rock, and more from top music publishing houses like Sony Music Entertainment.  I personally find using my PCCLD Freegal app an especially satisfying way to listen to my favorite music.
A fourth platform is Project Gutenberg.  It provides nearly 60,000 ebook and e-audiobook titles and features works currently in the public domain.   

Whatever I like and whenever I like.  PCCLD’s impressive array of downloadable and online content serves as a pleasant way to read great books, listen-to wonderful music, view outstanding movies, and learn. To get started, all you need is a library card, then click on http://www.pueblolibrary.org/digitalmedia or ask your friendly librarian for assistance.  

PEERS by Jon Walker



Our goal at the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) is simple. We aim to provide the best possible public library service for our community. We work diligently to track our progress toward this end. One way we do this is comparing PCCLD with peer institutions.

An important yardstick is looking to those public libraries in Colorado, which, like PCCLD, serve larger populations. The Library Research Service (LRS) recently revealed new annual statistics that helps with this. It is part of their Colorado Public Library Annual Report (www.lrs.org), and includes research results and statistics for public libraries throughout the state. PCCLD’s outcomes fared quite well in this analysis.

There are thirteen public libraries in Colorado serving populations greater than 100,000 people. These are, in addition to PCCLD, the Arapahoe Library District, Aurora Public Library, Boulder Public Library, Denver Public Library, Douglas County Libraries, High Plains Library District, Jefferson County Public Library, Mesa County Public Library, Pikes Peak Library District, Poudre River Public Library District, Rangeview Library District, and Westminster Public Library.

Public libraries account for many facets of their service. A helpful guide to what is most important among these is provided by Library Journal, which, working in concert with the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the National Center for Educational Statistics, has consistently touted four key measures as critical in determining the success of public libraries’ overall community engagement. These are the number of (1) library visits, (2) circulation, (3) program attendance, and (4) public Internet computer usage. Library Journal uses these to determine its annual Index of Public Library Service that ranks public libraries across the nation (http://lj.libraryjournal.com/stars-faq/).

LRS released data recently for Colorado libraries for calendar year 2015 for each of these four key measures. We can refer to this study to compare PCCLD with the other large Colorado public libraries. When we do so, this is what we find.

PCCLD ranks second in the state in circulation per capita when compared with its peers.

The news is even brighter with visits per capita to our local public libraries. In this category, PCCLD ranks number one among its Colorado peers.

PCCLD also does well with regard to program attendance per capita. Our local libraries are first among peers statewide.

Finally, in computer use, PCCLD also is doing quite well. PCCLD is third among its thirteen Colorado peers in this category.

PCCLD strives to provide the best possible library service for our community. The most recent annual data from LRS ranks PCCLD number one in two of the most important public library measures, and number two and three of thirteen libraries in the other two key categories. This confirms that PCCLD is quite successful in achieving great results.

LIBRARIES FOR LEARNING: HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS FOR ADULTS

The library is a learning institution.  First and foremost, the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) exists to ensure members of our...