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, December 20, 1995

December 20, 1995 - new Parker Library

Last weekend marked the opening of the Parker Library -- a project that the library board and staff have been talking about for 5 years. My relief is great.

But so is my pride. I honestly feel that this is one of the best things the library district has accomplished. Why? Because 1) so many people were involved in it, and 2) everybody came through. They did what they said they would do, and they did it well.

Not only did we get enthusiastic support from virtually every community group we spoke with, we also got great ideas. We used almost all of them.

The community supported us financially, too: we raised over $60,000 in cash and in-kind donations. This enabled us to significantly upgrade the interior finishes, and to add the kinds of touches -- artwork, nice meeting room chairs, oak end panels -- that people told us they wanted, but we couldn't have afforded otherwise.

I was also impressed with at a classic example of intergovernmental cooperation. When we announced that we had purchased the bowling alley building, the Parker Water and Sanitation District quickly offered us a deal we couldn't refuse. Based on an independent appraisal of our old library, the water district paid us the market value, in cash, right up front, then let us live in the building, rent free, through the year.

That's worth an extended thank you, to the Board of the Parker Water and Sanitation District: Doug Neves, Randy Huls, Paula Makar, Richard Gallegos, and Chip Stern. If only all governments could work so well together.

There are many other folks to thank. In addition to our visionary architects, Dennis Humphries and Joe Poli, and our frugal and hard-working building crew, Ash & White Construction, we have a host of folks who each donated more than $1,000 in cash or services:

Here's the honor role of community and library supporters:

Reggie Barrett Black Creek Capital, Developers of Canterberry Crossing and Bell Mountain Ranch Community Bank of Parker Douglas Public Library Foundation Steve Evans Friends of the Parker Library Kiowa State Bank-Parker Library Crossroads Campaign Committee Adams & Dorothy Miller Estate Norwest Bank of Colorado, Parker Parker Breakfast Club Parker/Johnson, Inc. Stonegate Developments, Inc. Town of Parker Mrs. and Mrs. Dean Weaver Bob Weil

And of course, a thank you to all the folks who got their bricks onto the floor of our new "Mainstreet."

You hear a lot of stories these days about how communities are falling apart, or how there's no civic spirit. But the people who tell such stories weren't in line at the Human Bookworm, as the 25 books chosen to pass from the old library to the new, bobbed through the hands of over 500 people, all of them smiling.

And for the record, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that somebody tried to slip their overdue books into the line. A great idea, though.

So again, to the people of Parker, a hearty "well done!" and "thank you."

From all of us at the Douglas Public Library District, very Happy Holidays.

No comments:

Post a Comment