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.

Saturday, August 8, 1992

August 5, 1992 - Highlands Ranch birthday

The Highlands Ranch Library opened on August 12, 1991. At that point, we didn't even have a sign for the building. In fact, we hadn't done any formal advertising at all, so didn't expect to see much of a turnout.

We were hoping to use the week between our actual opening and the official opening (featuring Colorado's First Lady, Bea Romer, reading stories to children) to iron out any procedural kinks.

But on that first day of operations, the Highlands Ranch Library accounted for 10% of the business throughout the entire library district. So we ironed out the kinks on the spot.

The location of the library -- in the convenience center kitty-corner from the Highlands Ranch Recreation Center -- quickly proved to be just about ideal. To be successful, a library really ought to be located along the usual lines of traffic -- for cars, and for kids. University Avenue, just south of C-470, sees plenty of both.

By the end of the month -- and a very short month it was -- the Highlands Ranch Library had accounted for a little over 13% of all the circulation activity throughout the district. In the last six months of 1991, the new Highlands Ranch Library accounted for 15 percent of the library's business (and remember that it didn't open until half way through August).

So how's it doing lately? In the first six months of 1992, Highlands Ranch racked up 21.7% of the district's circulation. And thanks to the contribution of the Highlands Ranch location, use of the library district overall has jumped by 46 percent over last year. (The national increase in library use was about three percent.)

In raw numbers, From January through June, 1992, Highlands Ranch checked out 72,758 library materials to our patrons, out of the total of over 335,939 items checked out at our other automated libraries. Figuring the Highlands Ranch population at roughly 15,000 people, that's as if everybody in the area checked a little more than 4 books per person.

In short, the library has enjoyed good, solid use, from the day it opened to every day since -- yet another sign that Douglas County citizens place a high value on books.

But enough numbers. Now for some ... dates!

If you'd like to stop by the Highlands Ranch Library to help celebrate its first birthday, post the following schedule some place:

On August 12, 7 p.m., I will be doing some storytelling at the library (featuring my own, slightly askew version of "The Frog Prince.") There will be a Birthday Party with cake and games. In addition, the Highlands Ranch Library will be offering Cookies and punch at the following times: Monday, August 10, at 10:30; Tuesday, at 10:30 and 4:00; and Thursday, August 13, at 9:30 and 10:30.

My compliments to the patrons of Highlands Ranch, my appreciation to the staff of the library, and finally, my sincere wishes for a happy first birthday, Highlands Ranch Library! May you see hundreds more.

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