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"My Library Story" Essay Contest

Many prominent people have articulated their love for the library and the importance of libraries in their lives. Scientist and author Carl Sagan states "I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture, and our concern for the future, can all be tested by how well we support our libraries." Studs Terkel has this to say: "All you need in life is truth and beauty and you can find both at the Public Library." Comedian Paula Poundstone: "It's funny that we think of libraries as quiet demure places where we are shushed by dusty, bun-balancing bespectacled women. The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community." And finally, rock star Keith Richards: "When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully—the church which belongs to god, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a good equalizer."

Now it's your chance to tell your story about how libraries have changed your life. Whether you’re someone just discovering the many possibilities your library holds or were lucky enough to have grown up with the library nearby, we want to hear about it! The Library District is once again having an "My Library Story" essay contest for library-lovers of all ages. Five winners will be picked, one from each category according to age: young child, youth, teen, adult, and senior. The winners will be awarded a prize and winning essays will be featured on the District website. Essays should be no more than 500 words and children ages 6 and under may draw a picture instead.

Submissions should be emailed to and drawings may be sent to Webster House, Attn: Library Lovers at 301 E. Olive, Fort Collins, CO 80524 no later than February 28. Be sure to add your name, address, phone number and age.

For more information contact the Library District at 221-6740.

Library District Has Board of Trustee Opening

The process to select a Library District Board of Trustee to replace an outgoing member is underway. The District is governed by a 7-member volunteer Board of Trustees.

City and County officials are seeking applications from individuals who wish to serve on the Board. The Board of Trustees provides policy oversight and supervision of the libraries within the district, including the budget. The deadline to apply has been extended to Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

Applications can be submitted online, at or completed and returned to the County Commissioner's Office, 200 W. Oak.

Four local elected officials, two from the Fort Collins City Council and two from the Larimer County Commissioners will lead the effort to fill the 4 year vacancy on the Board of Trustees for the Poudre River Public Library District. The Board of Trustees is looking to have the new member seated for the March board meeting.

For more information on the application process and the role of the Poudre River Public Library Board of Trustees go to

Trustees must be residents within the legal service boundaries of the Library District. A link to the District map is located at Application may be subject to the Colorado Open Records Act and should not be considered confidential.

Short Short Spooky Story Contest

Spooky hand writing Congratulations to everyone who submitted a story! We had so many entries it was very hard for the judges to choose, but here are the Short Short Spooky Story Winners by age group…

Ages 6-9
1st – "Kraken Attack" by Finnegan Connors
2nd – "A Mid-Summer Scare" by Adarsh Payyakkil
3rd – "The Night of the Death of Gloria" by Benjamin Gage

Ages 10-12
1st – "The Madness" by Olivia Chatfield-Scott
2nd – "The Haunted Dress" by Katie McDonald
3rd – "The Pencil" by Emma Beatty

Ages 13-17
1st – "Siblings" by Robert Dekari
2nd – "Trick or Treat, My Princess" by Amy Beery
3rd – "Nothings" by Mounira Aboellail

Age 18+
1st- "The Lighthouse on Crooked Man Island" by Nathan F. Johnson
2nd – "Night Conversations" by Charles Kaine
3rd – "The Hunger House" by Miriam Engle

All winners will be contacted and within the next month all of the submitted stories will be put into an eBook that can be read off of our website. Caution! Some are really scary and will stay with you… like any great read!


The Library District is excited to announce the roll out of our new Discover Catalog system. This system will make it easier to find materials in the Library District collection. It is designed to work similar to commercial search engines using keyword searching for titles, authors or topics.

Facet Limiters: The new facets located on the left hand sidebar will allow you to quickly filter on Format, Branch, Collection, Language, Tag, Publication Date and more without the need to leave the results page. The screen will redraw the results as more or less filters are applied. No need for multiple pages to see the results. Click on a title and you can see the full bibliographic record, series information, status, read an excerpt, see reviews and more!

Articles: The new article section within the Discovery catalog will allow you to utilize many of our AnswerCache eResource databases in one single place. This will facilitate the ability to search and compare against multiple databases without the need to open multiple pages or tabs in your browser. You can start a search on the Discovery catalog and easily switch to the Articles tab to find more detailed research on any given topic.

Tagging: The new Discovery catalog will allow you to tag items. Tagging is simply a keyword or term assigned to a book, DVD, AudioBook, etc., to describe the item or the contents within it. In its most basic form, it is a bookmark to help you quickly find an item or a series of items on our catalog. Some libraries currently use this functionality to tag books and/or music included on a story time. This way, parents can easily get the full list of items by just remembering the tag (i.e. ToddlerStoryTime).

Rating and Sharing: You can give a book a rating that other users may find helpful. You can also share your favorite books with friends and family though social media integration.

Other Features: Place multiple holds at once through your Book Cart. Email a book list or save it for later in your Account. On the New My Account page view your ratings, lists, reading history, holds requests and more. Do you wish to be notified about your holds and overdue items via text message? If so, sign up for text alerts on your mobile phone by clicking on “Modify Personal Information” in your account.


Freading This new service will allow the Library District to increase the size and diversity of its eBook collection by offering over 20,000 titles, none of which require you to place on hold and wait to use! This service provides simultaneous use of all titles.

Here's how Freading works:
  • Library patrons can download free books for a two-week loan period with a two-week renewal option.
  • Multiple users can simultaneously check out the same book.
  • Patrons are allotted five tokens per week to check out books. Patrons can accumulate up to 20 tokens in a month but they expire at the end of each month.
  • Each book has an established token value of one to four tokens, depending on its popularity and release date. In most cases, newly-published books are valued at four tokens. Older books are valued at either one or two tokens.
  • One token is needed to renew any book.
Freading works with Nook, Android, Mac iOS and the Kindle Fire

Go to our NEW webpage at to access all of our downloadable materials.


Teen girls From over 300 applications submitted, the Board of the National Book Foundation has awarded its fourth annual Innovations in Reading Prizes to five individuals and organizations that are demonstrating passion, creativity, dedication, and leadership in the service of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading.

The winners are: Bookends, a book-centric television program created by and for teens; Lilli Leight, a fifteen-year-old who established a "giving library" for the children at a homeless shelter, developed a "reading ecosystem" within her community to continually stock the library, and started a teen book club that gives her peers the opportunity to discuss books, meet authors, and volunteer at the homeless shelter; Literacy Chicago for Reading Against the Odds, a discussion group dedicated to enhancing the reading and critical thinking skills of diverse adult literacy learners by introducing them to intellectually challenging books and cultural events; Street Books, a bicycle-powered mobile library that gives people who live outside the means to check out books and the opportunity to have conversations about literature; and Inger Upchurch for Real Men Read Storytime and Mentoring, a program in which African-American men volunteer to read books and act as positive role models and mentors to children between the ages of three and five enrolled in urban child care centers.

The winners hail from Fort Collins, Colorado; Coral Gables, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and Memphis, Tennessee. Each winner will receive $2,500, a framed certificate, and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to attend a special luncheon at the Ford Foundation, where they will present their work to funders, other people in the field, and reporters, as well as attend the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street on November 14, 2012.

The local winner is:

Bookends: A Television Program for Teens Who Like to Read

Started in 1999, Bookends is a television program for teens who like to read. With two Teen Services Librarians from the Poudre River Public Library District, Diane Tuccillo and Sue-Ellen Jones; one Director & Video Production Coordinator from the Poudre School District’s Channel 10, Herb Saperstone (plus assistant, Matt Gohl, Video Producer); and teens from the Interesting Reader Society (IRS), the library teen advisory group, the program documents reading-related information and activities for viewers of Channel 10 and also via the Internet (Teen Lounge, PSD Bookends, YouTube). The IRS Bookends shows, hosted and presented by the teens themselves, allow teens to share reviews of favorite books and interview local YA authors. The aim of the IRS Bookends shows is to promote reading among their peers through a forum to which fellow teens can relate. Parents, teachers, librarians, and other adults can also learn what teens are reading through the show and use it to promote teen reading in schools and beyond.

For more information on the awards and the other four winners go to:


Nook Color Nooks and Simple Touch Nooks are here, preloaded and available for you to check out. We currently have 60 Nook Simple Touch and 30 Nook Color eReaders for circulation. Nooks are wireless, portable, and easy to use.

We have preloaded many wonderful books for you. We have chosen new and popular bestsellers, mysteries, biographies, and YA novels and loaded them onto our Nook Simple Touch eReaders. For families with young children, we have chosen wonderful titles aimed at a younger audience and loaded them onto our Nook Color eReaders.

Any library cardholder in good standing may check out a Nook for three weeks. One of our goals of this project is to bridge the digital divide; we encourage responsible use for all patrons. Please be aware that the Nook provides unfiltered access to the Internet. Please do not enter personal data on the Nook, including email, passwords, credit card numbers, etc., as they may become accessible to other patrons.

Just like a book, circulation is three weeks. Renewals are allowed, if the Nooks are not on hold to someone else. You may also put an eReader on hold, as you would a book. You will be notified when one is available to come and pick-up.

A list of loaded books is available on our website at

If you're unsure about eReaders and switching to digital books, check out a Nook in time for your spring vacation and give it a try!


Woman on computer Need to brush up on your computer skills? Poudre River Public Library District is offering a variety of basic computer classes that will teach you how to manage Windows, Access, Facebook, Microsoft Office 2010, and the Internet so you can feel at ease with your computer.

All classes are held at Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields. Classes are free but registration is required - please call 221-6740 to register. View complete class schedule or pick up a brochure at one of the libraries.


Harmony Library The excitement is building... again! The Harmony Library Remodel is underway as well. This remodel will bring an improved entrance through the atrium area, a more attractive entrance to the quiet reading room and children's area, more lighting to accommodate later night hours, and increased acoustics for a quieter library.

There will be new colored carpeting and improved signs to help you find what you are looking for, increased space for tables and chairs, and mobile displays for easy readjusting when needed. The staff will be able to assist customers more quickly and become more mobile due to smaller staff desks, and if you like to look at the Secret Garden and Sunlight Peak, 40 additional countertop seats, equipped with electrical outlets, will be added for your enjoyment. The remodel will start in December 2011 and is expected to be completed by February 2012. The majority of the remodel efforts will be accomplished during the closed hours, but please excuse our mess as the staff needs to shift books and do other tasks during their shifts.


Library Card 1.21 Gigawatts. That was the amount of energy needed to send Michael J. Fox's character through time in the movie Back to the Future. One gigawatt is one billion watts. One kilowatt is one thousand watts. Your average refrigerator won't use as much energy as the flux capacitor, but can consume upwards of 1,000 kilowatts per year.

Other appliances, especially if they are older, can use up copious amounts of energy. Now you have the opportunity to find out just how much electricity these appliances are using and how much they are costing you with the Kill-A-Watt or Watts Up? meter reader.

You can check out a Kill-A-Watt or Watts Up? meter reader through the Poudre River Public Library District. Please ask for them at any of the three libraries information desks. It is easy to use. Plug it into an outlet then plug the appliance to be tested into the meter. With this information, you can find out how much electricity is used by the appliance. Find out if that old refrigerator is costing you too much. The meters can be checked out for a week at a time with your library card or placed on hold through the library catalog like other materials.

For questions about checking out the meters, please call the Library information desk at (970) 221-6740.


Freegal Freegal Music - Choose from hundreds of thousands of songs in over 100 genres of music from the Sony Music Entertainment catalog. Download and keep up to three songs per week for free! The Library District is using the next 5 months as a trial period for this service. In order to access the website, you will need to enter your library card number. You can add titles to "My Wishlist" to download songs in the future. Every song has a sample clip so you can listen to it before deciding you want it. Enjoy the music and let us know if you like this service.


Flash Your Card! Library members get extra benefits around the city, just by flashing their Library Card! As a card carrying member of the Poudre River Public Library District, you have access to a world of information through not only books, but Internet research, eResources, programs and events as well. And now as an added benefit you can also use your card to get discounts at area businesses with our "Flash Your Card" program. For a list of participating business partners go to .


Woman at computer Check out the NEW Research and Information page of our website. The newly designed page includes the following resources: An Online Resources Center that groups together online databases, eResources, and web links that range from art to weather. From this center you can access very helpful databases like JSTOR, an archive of significant professional journals, and EBSCO, an academic research database, which are perfect for students and anyone who needs to do research.

The Genealogy and Family History Center offers historical information about the names and places of Fort Collins as well as your own familial name. Find databases and books about Genealogical information and find out where your family name came from.

The new Reading Room link is brimming with great book suggestions and lists that include books by awards won and the New York Times Bestsellers list. There is even a link to a digital library where you can download an entire book to listen to. This "room" is one great place to find out which book you should read next.

The Web Link of the Month and Reference Book of the Month links offer ideas and books every month that you might find useful. Check out these new pages and links as your first stop for great information that you might not know you needed!


Overdrive Many library users agree that nothing can compare to the feel of a book in your hands, the crinkle as you turn the pages, or the way it falls open flat when you set it down, showing how many times you have read it. However, we live in a world of constant change where the introduction of new technologies is the norm and convenient service is expected. As use of hand held devices and e-book readers for reading, viewing and listening increases, the Poudre River Public Library District is increasing its collection of downloadable media to meet a growing demand. In April the Library District introduced its "Downloadable Library", featuring videos, e-books and music in addition to the extensive digital audio book collection of over 2000 titles provided by NetLibrary.

The Library has purchased a collection of e-media from OverDrive, a distributor of digital content. Library card holders will have 24/7 access to this new downloadable collection that features hundreds of popular film, book and music titles. OverDrive downloads are supported through PC, Mac, Sony Reader, Nook, BlackBerry, Android, and iPod. This collection of e-media is accessible remotely from the comfort of your home or office.

A second electronic resource recently added is the foreign language tool, Language Learning by Byki Online (short for Before You Know It and pronounced bye-key). Byki is a rapid learning system employing spaced interval repetition for learning a foreign language. The Byki learning method takes users through a series of simple steps to memorize words and phrases in a new language, including their meanings and proper pronunciation, in the shortest possible time.

Language Learning by Byki Online offers exercises in listening, reading, writing and speech recognition to help English speakers learn over 80 languages including: Spanish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese & more. Likewise, this resource helps speakers of Spanish, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese & Japanese learn English. Byki Online also provides personal progress tracking, proficiency tests, picture /word associations, grammar videos and more.

The library will always be here to offer the tangible comfort of books and materials, but the tech savvy will now have access to a growing collection of e-media and electronic information to use on a variety of devices. The Poudre River Public Library District is excited about the possibilities that technology provides in making our many resources available to the public in new ways.

For more information go to main page and look for the "Downloadable Library" link under Quick Links.


The Library District sends out weekly e-mail updates every Wednesday about current events and happenings for kids, teens and adults offered through the Poudre River Public Library District. If you are interested in receiving these updates please subscribe today!


Annie the Railroad Dog "Annie" was a stray collie mix who was adopted by railroad workers in 1934. She spent her life as an unofficial ambassador to Fort Collins, greeting passengers at the train depot and bringing a bright, welcoming presence during the bleak years of the 1930's and 1940's. According to Phil Walker's Visions Along the Poudre Valley, everyone loved her. Newcomers were often amazed to see local people get off the train and run to greet the little dog before greeting their families. Today she is a cherished local legend and the bronze statue commemorating her memory will welcome visitors to the Old Town Library. Local artist Dawn Weimer created the 29" bronze statue which portrays a dog with a paw raised in greeting. Annie's gravesite, located on Mason Street, near the intersection of Laporte Avenue, is a historical landmark.

Check out the book Annie, the railroad dog : "a true story" by Arlene Ahlbrandt and learn more about Annie.

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Poudre River Public Library District, 301 Olive Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524, (970) 221-6740
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