This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, April 25, 1990

April 25, 1990 - Stars

According to the poet T.S. Eliot, "April is the cruelest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain."

But other people have other opinions. According to the American Chiropractic Association, April is the "Correct Posture Month." To the Fraternal Order of Eagles, April is "Boost Your Home Town Month." To the National Exchange Club, April is "Freedom Shrine Month."

It could be that you think of April as just another month with the usual four or five weeks. But as it happens, April has at least thirteen. To name just a few, there's Publicity Stunt Week, Week of the Young Child, Victim's Rights Week, and Professional Secretaries' Week.

In that constellation of special months, weeks, and days (Easter, Earth Day, etc.), you might not have seen anything about (drum roll please) NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK. But in my unbiased opinion, National Library Week (April 23 through April 28) is the brightest star of them all.

Appropriately enough, "Nights of a Thousand Stars" is the theme for this year's National Library Week. On Tuesday, at 7 p.m., the Oakes Mill Branch hosted a puppet show, some storytelling for children, and a reception. On Wednesday, also at 7 p.m., the Parker Branch will spotlight some local storytellers, readers, and puppeteers. On Thursday, again at 7 p.m., patrons will be dazzled by the play, "Miss Nelson is Missing" -- as well as more stories and puppet play -- at the Philip S. Miller Branch in Castle Rock. All of these nights feature local artists and dignitaries, people who deserve to glow awhile before an appreciative crowd.

The idea behind "Nights of a Thousand Stars" is simple but intriguing. In any community, there are grown-up book-lovers. Most of those people can point back to some influential book or books in their childhoods. I don't mean necessarily, the "good" stuff, like stories with morals, or the Boy Scout Manual. I mean the books children love to death just because the stories are fun.

When I was a kid, I was wild about Dr. Seuss books. Now that I've got a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, I'm discovering the good Doctor's books all over again -- and enjoying them more than I did the first time. I know lots of very intelligent and successful women who admit, sheepishly, to having loved Nancy Drew mysteries. I don't find that surprising at all. Nancy Drew was one resourceful, adventurous young lady. Who wouldn't like her?

During our "Nights of a Thousand Stars", local celebrities will get the chance to read some of their favorites to a new generation of youngsters.

Think of National Library Week as an echo of those moments of your childhood when you looked wonderingly at the stars and thought that anything could happen, a time when you didn't have the words to describe what you wanted or felt, but then had the good fortune to discover a book that gave you those words, and thereby introduced more light into the darkness of your inexperience.

National Library Week: why not check us out?

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