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.

Tuesday, December 20, 1994

December 20, 1995 - Changes for 95 - loan periods, book budge

There will be some changes in the library next year.

Perhaps most significant to most people is that the library will lengthen some of its loan periods. Thank you to the many folks who responded to my informal survey back in November. Thanks also to the Library Board, who unanimously approved the changes at our December Board meeting.

Effective January 1, 1995:

* Most materials that now go out for 2 weeks (most books, periodicals, paperbacks, audiocassettes) will be checked out for 3 weeks.

* These items may only be renewed twice (or until someone else places a hold on it, at which point no more renewals can be made).

* Our new fiction (called "Green Dots" because of the green sticky dots we put on them) will have only one renewal, and again, only if no one else has a reserve on it.

* Our former "grace period" (which allowed patrons to return a book up to six days late without receiving any fines) will be shortened to three days for most materials. That is, if you return the book within three days after the stamped due date, there will be no fine. On the fourth day after the stamped due date, you'll be fined for four days overdue. New fiction, as always, will NOT have a grace period. We want to encourage you to get them back, because odds are good that people are looking for them even if they haven't put them on hold.

* The videos that now circulate for 2 days will circulate for 4 days. There will be no grace period, and no renewals.

* Instructional videos will continue to circulate for 1 week, with up to two renewals, and with the 3 day grace period.

There are also a few other library changes I'd like to highlight for 1995.

* We expect to see a significant build-up of our overall collection. The basic inflation rate for most library materials is about 4 percent. In 1995, we'll be increasing expenditures for books by about 13 percent. Our goal since 1990 has been to have at least 4 books (or other library materials) per Douglas County resident. We're up to about two-and-a-half. This will enable our collections to maintain an aggressive growth rate, and to build up an "opening day" collection for the new Parker Library, projected to open in the last quarter of 1995.

We've beefed up our budget for Audio and video cassettes by even more -- 17.7 percent (although this will still constitute a fraction of our budget for books). AV materials have somewhat less of an effect on overall space needs in the library, and, after books, have become our most popular offerings.

* We're budgeting new money for electronic resources. We will replace a lot of our older public terminals with terminals that make it easier to cruise the Internet (and other Colorado libraries, such as the joint catalog of the Arapahoe Library District and Aurora Public). We'll be picking up some new CD-ROM titles. We're still working on installing full text periodical articles through our system, and hope to have a demo up by February 1.

Overall, thanks to your support, we believe the Douglas Public Library District will be an even better library next year. Thanks again for telling us what you want.

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