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.  

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...