Monthly Archive for May, 2014

Johnstown Flood 125th Anniversary

In late May 1889 heavy rains began straining the South Fork Dam, 14 miles upstream from Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  The Dam created Lake Conemaugh, a former reservoir above the valley. Members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, including Andrew Carnegie, used the area as a private recreational lake.  Workers rushed to do emergency repairs to the dam during the rains, to no avail. On the afternoon of May 31, the dam failed and in 10 minutes the rushing waters washed away 2,000 people and 1,500 structures in Johnstown.

Heavy Flood
Aspen Weekly Times
June 1, 1889

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 155th Birthday

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  He trained as a medical doctor and turned to writing later in life.  His first big writing success came with the publication of Study in Scarlet, a tale starring a character named Sherlock Holmes. Doyle was famously paid $25 for the publication rights.  It has been suggested that the character of Sherlock Holmes was modeled after Joseph Bell, a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh medical school.

Sensible Conan
Herald Democrat
January 30, 1896

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Tornadoes in Colorado History

On May 21, 2014 Colorado’s Front Range was surprised by a series of violent storms, including some funnel clouds and tornadoes.  Colorado has not seen a lot of tornadoes in its short history, but a few have touched down here or there through the years. Read on to find more about these storms and some amusing articles about how Colorado is always safe from tornadoes.  These articles all come from the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, a service of the Colorado State Library, History Colorado, and libraries, historical societies, and community organizations in Colorado.

Foster’s Predictions
Aspen Daily Chronicle
June 4, 1891

 

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Next CSL in Session – Tending the Garden of Innovation

CSLinSession

  • Does everyone have the potential to be innovative?
  • What does it take to cultivate your own creativity?
  • What tools could you use to stimulate the growth of new ideas from the group you’re working with?
  • What are three key tools to ensure that your project is grounded in fertile soil?

Please join us as Jane Martel, Customer Experience Coordinator for the Arapahoe Library District shares practical information and tips for harnessing your inner innovator!

The session will be offered via Adobe Connect. You can access the classroom via the CSL in Session website. No registration is necessary!

2014-2015 LSTA Grants now available!

posted on behalf of Jean Heilig

2014- 2015 Grants Available for School, Public, Academic and Special Libraries

The Colorado State Library has announced competitive grants for fiscal year 2014-2015 through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program, designed to distribute federal funds to eligible school, public, academic or special libraries. Total amount awarded during this funding period will be approximately $250,000.

For the purpose of this grant, project activities must focus on the following goal:

“All Colorado residents will have access to services from libraries that support educational achievement, lifelong learning, economic development, and digital literacy.”

*Projects must develop public and private partnerships with other agencies and/or community-based organizations.

Join me for a Grant Project Discussion webinar being held on:

June 5, 2014, 11:30am – 12:30pm    OR

June 10, 2014, 9:00 am – 10:00am

No need to RSVP. Just click on the “join” link next to the date on the LSTA web site. http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/LSTA/

For additional information:    http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/LSTA/  or contact me directly at Heilig_j@cde.state.co.us

 

Courtesy Renewals: Keeping Customers Happy Keeps Customers

On April 1, Pueblo City-County Library District began a new service: Courtesy Renewals. Simply put, the first time that your item comes due, we will automatically renew it. If someone else has a hold on the item, you will be notified, and if you bring it back within a day or two, we will not charge you late fees.

Netflix realized that people hate overdue fees a few years ago. We recognize this, too. The Courtesy Renewals service is our attempt to keep our customers happy.

Each year, customers stop using the library for a number of reasons. 20% of them stop because their accounts have become blocked due to fines. We felt we could change this by preventing the items from becoming overdue in the first place, and in fact, we billed 27% fewer people compared to the same month one year ago.

In addition, we realized that Courtesy Renewals could have an impact on the very heart of library services: children. 40% of the Courtesy Renewals to date have been for juvenile or young adult materials.

And it hasn’t hurt our bottom line, either. Renewals have increased 138% over this month last year, giving us a considerable leg up on our internal circulation goals.

Our only cost for this service was to write the code in our ILS. We will be monitoring the circulation and fine data closely as the program progresses, and will publish our results so that other libraries might benefit from our beta testing this new service.

Speaking of, Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio began a similar service on May 1. We look forward to seeing this idea spread to libraries far and wide, for as one colleague told us, “What a great idea. I wish my library did this for me.”

Michael Cox, Director of Public Service
Pueblo City-County Library District

Courtesy Renewals: Keeping Customers Happy Keeps Customers

Posted on behalf of Michael Cox, Director of Public Service,  Pueblo City-County Library District

On April 1, Pueblo City-County Library District began a new service: Courtesy Renewals. Simply put, the first time that your item comes due, we will automatically renew it. If someone else has a hold on the item, you will be notified, and if you bring it back within a day or two, we will not charge you late fees.

Netflix realized that people hate overdue fees a few years ago. We recognize this, too. The Courtesy Renewals service is our attempt to keep our customers happy. Continue reading ‘Courtesy Renewals: Keeping Customers Happy Keeps Customers’

Americans with Disability Act & the Library

Submitted on behalf of Alejandro Marquez, Reference Librarian at the Fort Lewis College and recent ILEAD USA graduate.

What is the effect of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) on libraries almost 25 years after it was enacted?  ADA is a wide ranging civil rights law that provides access and prohibits of discrimination. Disability is defined by the ADA as “…a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” Continue reading ‘Americans with Disability Act & the Library’

Denver Mini Maker Faire Recap

The State Library hosted a booth at the Denver Mini Maker Faire this past weekend, and were joined by the Aurora Public Library, Arapahoe Library District, the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC), Douglas County Public Libraries, and Jefferson County Public Libraries. Everyone brought something along for attendees to play with, and it was a blast!

Everyone loved Aurora’s marble roller coaster, made with just cardstock and tape, particularly the younger set. You can find the kit online, and each of the Aurora branches will be building their own to coincide with summer reading.

The Occulus Rift that Arapahoe brought was certainly the biggest draw, with a line most of the day both Saturday and Sunday. However, people loved playing with all of our tech, and making buttons and LED badges to wear.

We also happened to be just across from the Denver Public Library’s “Toy Hack,” which lead to some inventive, and at times disturbing, creations.

Overall, the Maker Faire was a great opportunity to get to talk to people about what libraries are offering in the way of new technology and makerspaces, and we were able to have fun while doing it!