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.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009 – thank you Castle Pine friends

Last Saturday, September 19, 2009, we opened a new storefront library in Castle Pines North. (Address: 7437 Village Square Drive - #110, Castle Pines North.) Called "The Castle Pines Library," it's not very big: about 2500 square feet, with some of that taken up by bathrooms, storage space, a checkin area, an office, and a staff break room.

Several people spoke at the opening: Castle Pines North Mayor Maureen Shul, Douglas County School District Board President Kristine Turner, Library Board president Mark Weston, and me.

There's always a tension at these occasions. On the one hand, there are so many people to thank. On the other, the audience just wants to get in there and check out some materials!

So I fear that I did too little thanking, and that's a shame. This column is dedicated to the many people without whom the Castle Pines Library would never have come to be.

The many people who had a hand in making this library fall into four categories:

* People working for other community organizations, mainly the City of Castle Pines North, the Castle Pines North Metro District, Castle Pines North Master Association, and the Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce. I expect most people really don't realize all the meetings, emails, and phone calls that go on behind almost anything significant. Mayor Shul and City Treasurer Doug Gilbert were particularly active on our behalf, seeking out potential locations. The Chamber of Commerce, and in particular President Sharon Kollmar, Vice President Carla Kenny, and Chair Don Bobeda offered printing services, office space, fundraising ideas, manpower, endless enthusiasm, and more.

* Castle Pine Citizens. If the Chamber provided strong leadership, the community itself stepped up to provide many glad hands. Among these tireless volunteers -- who shlepped around donated books, etc. -- were members of the event planning committee Sharon Kollmar, Carla Kenny, Linda Day, Sandy Dempsey, Lindsay Kamel, Vicky Kellen, and Bryan Rudiak,led by Douglas County Libraries Foundation Manager, Margie Woodruff.

I want to specially thank Warren Lynge, who has been working steadily, for 3 years now, on keeping the dream alive. A special thanks to everyone who bought tickets for the Pancake Breakfast, all our guests at the Authors’ Reception, those who donated, browsed, and bought books at the Book Sale, and everyone who played at the Kids Book Swap.

* Local business people and donors. A special mention should go to Chuck Lowen, and property manager Paul Mitchell, for working with us secure and remodel a space they had helped make affordable. Of course, none of this would have been accomplished without the financial donations from Castle Pines residents and Douglas County supporters that brought us almost $50,000.

There are also some business names that you'll find on a plaque at the new library, certainly worth repeating here: The Barking Goat Tavern, Big O Tires, The Bundt Shoppe, Canyon Ridge Chiropractic, Castle Pines Athletics, Castle Pines Connection, Castle Pines Crocs and Storm Swim Team, Castle Pines Eye Care, Castle Pines Family Dentistry, Castle Pines Family Eye Care, Castle Pines North Cleaners, Castle Pines North HOA 1, Castle Pines North HOA 2, Castle Pines Orthodontics, Castle Pines Veterinary Clinic, City of Castle Pines North, Cherokee Ranch & Castle, Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry, BBVA Compass Bank, Creme de la Crème Early Learning Centers, DAZBOG Coffee, Douglas County School District, Douglas County Sheriff, FirstBank of Douglas County, Faze Two Children's Consignment, Hallmark Management, King Soopers, Castle Pines Kiwanis, The Johansen Law Firm, La Dolce Vita, I-25 LLC, Little Italy Pizzeria, MedExpress Urgent Care, Party Stylings, Prudential Preferred Real Estate, Safeway, Sam's Club – Lone Tree, SecureSearch, Sylvan Learning Center, Tattered Cover

* Library staff. Yes, our Facilities, IT, Community Relations, Foundation, Collection Development, our managers, and front line staff all get paid to work for the library. But they bring extraordinary passion and pride to that work. From the signing of the lease through opening day just 10 weeks passed -- that's pretty quick! And the library is beautiful.

For me, the moment that makes it all worthwhile was this snapshot: the four- and two-year old, huddled together on the floor, and fascinated by a picture book. It was their very first trip to the brand new Castle Pines Library. It took a lot of people to make that happen.

LaRue's Views are his own.

No comments:

Post a Comment