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, January 15, 2003

January 15, 2003 - Phone Book Listings for Library

The new phone books are out AND ... the listings for the library are wrong.

Well, not completely. But despite our best efforts, year after year, we have yet to get it all to come out the way we've asked for.

Yes, we do give Qwest the exact information we want to be displayed. But somehow, by the time it hits the four phone books that serve the county (Denver, Highlands Ranch, South Jeffco and Castle Rock/Parker), that information has morphed in four different directions.

Here's what we were shooting for. In the business white pages our listing should refer to the government section. Under "government county," the Douglas Public Library District should be listed with all the phone number of our branches. We also requested that our listing under the "government city" section, which is where the special
districts are normally listed, be replaced with a referral to the county section.

A bit of background here. The Douglas Public Library District is in fact an independent entity. We broke off from the county in 1990. For the past dozen years we have been publicizing our name through countless columns, ads, fliers, bookmarks, posters, and brochures – not to mention
the tens of thousands of library cards floating around the county.

Nonetheless, the plain truth is that hardly anybody knows our right name. They look for us under Douglas County.

OK, so got that? Our name is the Douglas Public Library District. We put a listing under Douglas County to help people find us based on the way we know they look for us.

Here's how things came out: the Highlands Ranch and South Jeffco business white page and government county listings are fine. These two phone books also have a detailed listing under the government city section.

In the Castle Rock/Parker phone book, the business white pages refer to the government section. However, they also, inexplicably, list the Literacy Hotline and the Parker Library. Under the government county section, Literacy Hotline and Parker are missing. The other branches are
there – but listed in a peculiar order. (Librarians HATE it when people don't alphabetize.)

In the Denver phone book, the business white pages refer to the government section, with the government county section also failing to list Literacy Hotline and Parker. But then they do show up with a partial listing of numbers under the government CITY section!

In both the Castle Rock/Parker and Denver phone books' business white pages our maintenance facility is showing up as "Douglas Public." This number shouldn't have been listed at all, as it's for purely internal use. But we're used to that. Last year, the Administration number was the only one that showed up in somebody's book. I used to get, and still
get on occasion, calls from people asking me to renew their books. (I just renew them – it's easier than explaining.)

In the yellow pages I believe all the phone books display our ad correctly under "Libraries," except for Highlands Ranch, which fails to include the telephone renewal/hold number.

Oh, and as a consequence of listing the district under Douglas County, we just found out that the caller ID for the library is now identified as the county. This is, of course, very misleading to patrons. We have been assured that this can and will be fixed.

It would be easy to get discouraged, but I'm an optimist. I have confidence that all will be made right. For instance, I just know that the bill for our phone book listing will go to Douglas County. Or possibly Parker.

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