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A Note from the Executive Director 2008
The Fort Collins Regional Library District announces the departure of its executive director Brenda Carns. Carn’s last day was Nov. 21. The District's Harmony Library Manager Ken Draves has been named interim director and a national search will be launched to fill the executive director's position.
Carns worked with the District Board of Trustees to lead the library through the operational transition from city-owned library to Library District. "Now, thanks to the hard work of the entire team, the District is well positioned to provide library services to a broader region." said Mary Atchison, Board of Trustees President. "We've reached a natural transition point."
Carns joined the Fort Collins Library in 1997, having previously served as director of human resources for the Arapahoe Library District. "The Board of Trustees appreciates the dedication and passion Brenda brought to local library services and we thank her for her many contributions to the Colorado library community" said Atchison.
Draves is looking forward to the opening of the new Council Tree Library in March along with other new activities associated with the Library District's Strategic Plan. He can be contacted at the executive directors phone and email.
IN THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (November 2008)
During the busy holiday season, I like to take every opportunity to reflect on what really matters to me. Although family is at the top of the list, the fact that I live in such a beautiful community is part of my reasons to be glad and grateful for the life I enjoy. And I am thankful for the foresight and wisdom that was demonstrated when the Fort Collins Regional Library District was established two years ago.
Under the capable governance of the Library Board of Trustees and through the talent and hard work of the District’s staff, the Library District was able to fulfill the campaign promises that were made when the District was created. I am thankful that the people from the Wyoming/Colorado border to the southern reach of Fort Collins and within Larimer County’s east and west boundaries enjoy restored hours of operation, expanded on-line library services, use of the nearly half-million books and media items from the District’s collection and look forward with great excitement to a new 18,000 square foot branch library that will open on March 28, 2009. I am grateful for the continuing partnership of the Library and the City of Fort Collins that has allowed funds collected through growth to pay for the construction of the soon to be opened Council Tree Library.
More residents than ever before are using the Library District’s services and collections, and I am thankful to be the person who oversees District operations and serves as the link between the library staff and Board of Trustees in fulfilling the communities’ public library dreams.
READ ON! (October 2008)
Our community has been blessed with passionate readers. For six years ReadOn! Fort Collins has encouraged people within our community to read a book, to discuss it with friends, to participate in community activities related to the book, and to hear the author speak. This year's "read" is the Julie Otsuka novel, When the Emperor Was Divine. Ms. Otsuka's family was interned during WWII. Her grandfather was arrested by the FBI the day after Pearl Harbor and her mother, then 11 years old, and her uncle and grandmother were sent to Topaz, Utah for the duration of the war. It has been my experience that most of the Japanese families I have known have family members who were sent to camps. I am saddened, yet inspired by their private acceptance about the ways these events changed their families' fortunes, as one of my earliest memories is of the kindness I received from the Japanese family who lived next door to us when I was very young. The grandparents who didn’t speak English always had time for the lonely little girl who came to visit them.
Join me in participating in this fascinating examination of the history of our Japanese Americans who lived through this time by attending some of the scheduled events, especially when the author Julie Otsuka speaks at the Lincoln Center on Saturday, October 26, at 7 pm. Go to www.readonfc.org for more information.
Another great cultural opportunity offered through the Library District in October is El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). This is a blended tradition stemming from the combination of a day of celebration observed by the people encountered by the conquistadores in the area known today as Mexico with practices from the Catholic religion later introduced to the region. Traditionally, families build altars in their homes in memory of their loved ones who have passed on. The library provides space for families, schools and community organizations to participate in decorating an altar. There are fun activities, music, food and interesting information provided about this tradition celebrated predominantly in Mexico and increasingly in other areas of Latin America and the U.S. For information about these and other programs available through the library, go to http://poudrelibraries.org.
The Best Back to School Supply (September 2008)
With students returning to classes now is the time to make sure that a Fort Collins Regional Library District library card is part of your panoply of back to school resources. I attended a country school in the San Joaquin Valley and my favorite school principal recognized the importance of a free public library in my education. Perhaps he realized the positive impact that access to a public library would have, not only in my life but for every child who had this experience.
Library staff and Poudre School District staff are exploring ways to help assure that all kids in the district schools have the same opportunity AND a current library card. Students will be encouraged to take advantage of the ways available to get their card. Library staff is working closely with school district staff to create opportunities for school visits to the library and for librarians to visit the schools to promote card sign up and familiarize students with services, databases and collections that are free and even accessible from home.
The partnership with Front Range Community College that provides for the joint use of the Harmony Library places the Fort Collins Regional Library District in a unique position… there are in-depth collections and specialized research-oriented databases that we provide which a public library in a community our size might otherwise not be able to afford. Front Range student sign up includes the activation of their student I.D. barcode as another way to use the library’s resources.
At every age and stage of life, the newly established Library District has great resources that are a phone call, an email or a click away. By making sure that your card is currently active (cards that have not been used for two years are typically taken off our records), you or your favorite student can access specialized databases for independent learning or curricular purposes, place requests and holds on materials, check on your account, renew items that are checked out and much, much more.
Catch the Reading Bug (I did!) (June 2008)
We are blessed in this community with a strong, vibrant library, thanks to your support of the Fort Collins Regional Library District. Our library collection is substantial but we don't own a copy of everything in print. So our knowledgeable staff can help you borrow almost any book you want through our shared collections amounting to over 22,000,000 titles statewide.
Our summer reading program is very special. We have outside programs that entertain and encourage readers to visit the book stacks for fun they can take home. When I was a child summer reading programs were a modest undertaking at my hometown library. The joy of borrowing an arm load of free books that kept me happy over the long hours of summer was what I loved the most. I read every fiction book about horses and dogs that I could find in my little neighborhood library and discovered some of the wonderful adult authors as soon as knew I could borrow from the classics.
Kids are encouraged to fly, hop, wiggle, jump, or buzz to the Fort Collins Regional Library District's "Catch the Reading Bug" Kids' Summer Reading Program. Registration for this free, take-home program began on Wednesday, May 14 and will continue through Sunday, August 31. Teens and Adults can also read for prizes or visit one of the 150 programs that will be happening summer.
Sign up for the free, take-home Kids', Teen, or Adult Summer Reading Programs through August 31! Find out the complete buzz by visiting the Library website or call 221-6680 for more information.
New District Maintains Focus (May 2008)
There are soon to be three facilities serving residents of the Fort Collins Regional Library District (FCRLD), thanks to the citizens of northern Larimer County who recognized the need for stable library funding. They voted to create the Library District in 2006. The new funds pay for the current library services and will allow a new branch to open in March 2009. The Library District Board, staff and community volunteers are in the midst of a public planning process to determine how to best serve all parts of our new District. It will include meetings in the towns and regions that comprise our District to ensure we get the true picture of what our residents want from their library.
I look forward to the opportunities we have to solicit ideas from residents in all parts of our District and to provide information about the services currently existing and those newly developing as a result of the stable funding residents provide.
You may not realize you can:
Join the Circle of Knowledge (April 2008)
Who would have thought back in the 1950s that text messaging, iPods, or satellite technology would be available to the average person? Yet, even with the increasing competition from on-line activities, video games, time spent watching the television, people in our community used the library in record numbers. In January 2008 nearly 193,000 items were checked out and in February nearly 185,000 items were put into patrons’ hands. Both were the highest ever for these months.
The National Book Committee, a collaboration of the American Library Association and American Book Sellers, formed in 1954 to address a growing challenge…research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. “National Library Week” (NLW) was born out of this effort and is still observed at libraries throughout the U.S. each April.
As a child growing up in the 1950s, the library played a large part in my life in rural California. Twice each month our small school of barely 100 kids would get on the school bus to go to the public library. I thought that being a librarian must be the best job in the world because of all the wonderful books that would surround me. I always had my nose in a book and my mother would have to order me to stop reading and go outside to play. After working in public libraries for 30 years, I still think it is the best job in the world!
This year’s NLW theme is "Join the circle of knowledge @ your library." Go to the Library web site, to find out all the great activities we’ve planned for this year’s NLW to be held April 13-19.
Monthly Director's Report to the Library Board of Trustees
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