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, October 13, 1999

October 13, 1999 - Library Commercials and Signs

Some months ago, I was asked to give a career talk to some local elementary kids. I couldn't help but notice that nearly everybody went to see the cops and firefighters. Librarianship just didn't seem to generate as much excitement as a career option, at least for that age group.

But one of the kids that joined me had something important to say. I commented that it never ceases to amaze me that very small children -- and I mean 2 years old and under -- can spot a McDonald's, but often seem clueless about the whereabouts of their local library.

The young man in my career session put his hand up. "It's simple," he said. "Libraries don't advertise on TV. And you don't have signs you can see from the highway."

Well, I think he's right.

That's why I'm heartened to report that the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) recently announced the winners of its 13th annual government programming awards. According to their press release, "The Awards recognize excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming developed by municipal agencies." There were over 700 entries nationwide this year.

In the category of "Public Service Announcement (Operating Budget to $200,000)" the winner was (envelope, please) ... "The Game (Library)" by Douglas County Television. (Applause!)

You may remember that I reported back in March of this year that Douglas County Television shot a truly zany series of library commercials. The locale was out at Bob Schultz's historic saloon. You may have caught these on our own local Channel 8.

The production team at Douglas County TV DESERVES the award. Furthermore, it is my hope that by demonstrating that the local public library can be a place just packed with pulse-pounding drama, we will encourage more municipalities to cast a promotional eye on our services. That goes for Chambers of Commerce too -- let's not overlook the big contribution to the quality of life from an intelligently staffed and well-stocked library.

And speaking of drama, I'd also like to encourage people to check out the Castle Rock Players' Masquerade Murder Mystery Silent Auction Gala. This interactive murder mystery will be held on Saturday, October 30, 1999 from 5:30 p.m. to Midnight. The location is Kirk Hall, on the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The event also features a meal, catered by the Carrabbas Italian Grill. For tickets, call 303-814-7740 or www.crplayers.org. The prices are $30 for single attendees or $50 per couple. For those of you who haven't attended a live mystery before, it's an exciting way to match wits with cast and your fellow diners. It's also a wonderful excuse to dress up in costume. All proceeds will benefit future productions of the Castle Rock Players, a youth-oriented theatrical group. It happens that your local library director will play a truly modest role at the conclusion of the event -- hauling off the miscreant(s).

So the library is doing its bit to break into show business. Now to get cracking on that 75 foot library sign. I'm thinking neon.

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