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, November 4, 1998

November 4, 1998 - Library Programs

A couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail message from a patron who located the library’s web page before she found information about various library programs in the newspaper. She asked how difficult it would be to post the same listings on the Internet.

It turns out that it’s not difficult at all. You can now find weekly programming updates at http://douglas.lib.co.us -- and thanks for the suggestion.

In the process of converting the information, I noticed some things. During the week of October 28 through November 4, we offered 8 programs at the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, 16 at Parker, 7 at the new Lone Tree Library, 15 at Highlands Ranch, and 1 at Louviers. That’s 47 programs in just one week.

Of the total, three were targeted toward adults (one at Philip S. Miller, 2 in Parker, one at Highlands Ranch). All of the rest were for children, primarily story times.

These story times are among the key strategies the library has for recruitment. Some of our richest offerings “take” best in young minds, and build a lifelong pattern of literacy. That pattern not only benefits our libraries, but our entire community.

Our enthusiastic staff has spent a lot of time the past year coordinating children’s story themes, working up new puppet shows, learning new songs and finger plays, and generally working hard to ensure the highest quality library experience for young children. Incidentally, the themes of our story sessions, as well as the ages of the target audiences, are also listed on the web page, just as they are in the paper.

While a good many adults make use of library facilities for meetings (we’re booked almost every night, at almost every one of our buildings), we don’t right now have an aggressive menu of programs for adults.

There are exceptions. The Parker Library has had great success with its Travel Series. A prime example is this November 4’s "London to West Africa" presented by Al Batik. The peripatetic Al hit the "Chunnel" Train, lighted in Paris, then visited the Cape Verde Islands. The Friends of the Parker Library provide their usual tasty refreshments. The time: 7 p.m.

In addition, the Parker Library also announced an art exhibit by Nate Liederbach (surrealism in oils) and Jeff Michalek (photographic creative portraiture), which will run through October 31.

Coming up shortly will be Philip S. Miller’s durable Lunch ‘n’ Learn programs -- the opportunity to brown bag it and listen to programs rounded up in cooperation with CSU’s Extension Service.

Another district program for adults is our Internet training class, which mostly happen in Parker, but pop up anywhere there’s interest (this week, it’s Highlands Ranch).

It is the experience of most libraries that adult programming simply isn’t as popular as children’s programming. Adults are busy. In a commuting county, most folks stay put when they get home. Besides that, they have access to a range of educational and recreational choices not so readily available to kids.

But every now and then I do like to poke at my own professional prejudices. Moreover, sometimes patterns change. Are we missing something?

If you have ideas about some library program the library should be offering on a regular basis, something you yourself would leave home to attend, please let me or your local librarian know about it.

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