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Price Strobridge

“Art is a community force,” asserts Price Strobridge, who currently wears, in his words, the “poet’s tunic.” He was recently named this region’s third Pikes Peak Poet Laureate. His journey there wasn’t textbook, but it would make a great novel. Or at least chapbook.

“My father abandoned us,” he recounts of his early years. He lived for a time at the Myron Stratton Home, making him “the progeny of the gold miner” Stratton, who struck it rich in Cripple Creek in the 1890s and funneled much of his earnings into the formation of Colorado Springs and bequeathed funds to establish the home for the poor that still bears his name.

Strobridge’s high school English teacher assigned a reading of the prologue to The Canterbury Tales, and he can still “feel the music and those syllables rolling around.” He also cites Poem #15 of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island of the Mind as an early influence.

Listen to Price Strobridge discuss his influences.



In his 20s, Strobridge watched the film Dr. Zhivago and fell in love with Russian poetry, especially the works of Andrei Voznesensky and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. He has also found inspiration in the work of Emily Dickenson, the essayist Thomas Carlyle, and the scientist Nikola Tesla.


He has driven contracted rural mail routes near Fowler, Colorado and currently lays carpet, proudly “self-employed for 43 years.” Carpet-laying demand is heavy after the recent hail storm and ensuing flooding, so business seems to be good. He fielded several carpet-related calls during a recent interview, and another call from his wife, his “main muse” and “CEO” who illustrated his lone published book Unmasking the Heart.

His tunic comes with the phantom weight of unworthiness. Because he did not attend college, he humbly felt unqualified when he was named laureate, a position normally filled by traditional scholars. “I read here and there and bounce around like a fly. I’m not a real poet.” But advice from local poet Malcom McCollum helped: “Get over it, Price. We are all self-taught.”

Listen to Price Strobridge talk about polishing his poem
"Propitious Palindrome," which you can view below-right.

Strobridge partly educated himself while “crawling on floors,” laying carpet and listening to audiobooks checked out from PPLD, including works by Robert Graves, W.H. Auden, T.S. Elliott, and Robert Frost. He is fond of reciting “I got my degree / In poetry / From PPLD.”

He also learned from other local poets, who he calls his “professors,” such as previous poet laureates Jim Ciletti (a gardener/chef/poet who conveys “a sensate burst of joy. He paints that plum” with words) and Aaron Anstett (“a real energetic voice” who enlivened the local poetry scene upon his arrival just over a decade ago).

The tunic-wearer now looks to offer similar encouragement to younger writers. “The art’s coming out of their pores! They’re a voice that hasn’t been recognized.”

So what advice does our Poet Laureate offer writers of all ages? For one, write when you are inspired. “If you don’t spear, or bring to earth, or clip its wings,” a poem will be lost. Also, “hear hints of rhythms in a waterfall.”

And how does one become Pikes Peak Poet Laureate? “ ‘Way leads unto way,’ Robert Frost said. ‘Way leads unto way.’ And here I am.”


The Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project is a partnership between Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado College, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR), and Poetry West.
“The Fledgling”
by Price Strobridge

By words the mind is winged.
~ Aristophanes

Unfledged,
unlaurelled molting heap,
heaped on the leveled ground,
grounded by gravity of self,
he wore no gold-edged tunic,
perched heavily,
like a thick book
on a narrow shelf
unopened,

brooded
on the cliff’s rocky ledge
flightless…

until learning
to line his wings
with lifting lines
(poetry his patagium)

then,
spreading full wings
to the wind in the words
rode up the thermal gust
to soar.

Below him,
the world fell away,
sloughed-off
like fledgling down.

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A&E Videos Have Arrived at PPLD!

New A&E and PBS Videos Have Arrived at PPLD!

PPLD has expanded its digital collection with the addition of new titles to the over 400 A&E downloadable videos. This collection features popular shows like The History Channel’s Modern Marvels and Biography, as well as Food Tech, Clash of the Gods and Haunted History.

The PBS video collection has close to 600 titles. This collection includes several award-winning series by Ken Burns such as Jazz and The National Parks, as well as titles like The American President and Carrier. There are also children’s titles like Zoboomafoo and Cyberchase.

These titles are available for patrons to check out from PPLD at http://cybershelf.ppld.org/. The videos are always available for simultaneous use, meaning that any number of patrons can check out these titles at the same time.

Users can browse, check out, and enjoy titles on their computer. To check out these A&E and PBS titles, users need a valid library card, computer, and Internet connection. At the end of the lending period, titles automatically expire and are returned to the collection.

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Freading

Pikes Peak Library District has a brand new eBook platform called Freading that will supplement the eMaterials already available to patrons through its Overdrive vendor. What’s so special about Freading? Freading uses a simultaneous use model, meaning more than one person can check out materials at the same time. If 100 people in El Paso County want to read Water for Elephants, then they can have it. Everything you see in Freading is available for checkout.

Freading can be accessed through the Library’s CyberShelf page. It uses Adobe Digital Editions to handle Digital Rights Management for its collection. Once Adobe Digital Editions is downloaded to your computer, click on “Login” at the top right corner of the page to enter your library card number and PIN. Then you’re free to download any of the eBooks you see. These eBooks can then be moved over to most eReaders via USB cable, if you prefer to read your book in that format.

There are a few main points to remember about Freading:

  • Freading uses a token system. There is no platform fee for the library to offer Freading; the library only pays for the items patrons check out. To keep spending in check, each patron receives five tokens per week they can use to check out materials from Freading. Any unused tokens roll over each week for four weeks. At the end of four weeks, the tokens reset back to five. Freading books check out for two weeks and patrons can renew their selections with a single token.
  • Freading has apps for Android and iOS users which can be accessed through PPLD’s mobile app link on CyberShelf: ppld.org/mobile-mayhem
  • Freading doesn’t work on Kindles, although it will work on the Kindle Fire.
  • Additional information is available on the Freading handout located on the CyberShelf Help page.

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Downton Abbey Available for Download

The first season of Downton Abbey and many other PBS and A&E titles are available to download for immediate checkout from OverDrive, one of PPLD’s eMaterial providers.

Instructions:

  • Go to the Overdrive main page
  • Click on the Downton Abbey picture on the left of the screen
  • Select one or all seven episodes of the first season and enjoy
  • Episodes can be checked out again after the three week due date

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Maurice Sendak: 1928 - 2012

Beloved children's author Maurice Sendak died May 8 at the age of 83. Best known for his award winning book, Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak transformed the face of children's literature.

Here is a list of Sendak's books in PPLD's collection.

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Winners for this year’s Dr. Seuss Writing Contest have been announced. They will receive a gift card to Barnes and Nobles and read their story for broadcast on PPLD TV. This contest was sponsored by the Friends of the Rockrimmon Library.

Ages 6 - 9
1st place:
Sydney Tucker
2nd place: Eliana Diaz

Ages 10 - 13
1st place:
Hillary Schiff
2nd place: Elise Van Arsdale

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PPLD is on Tumblr!

Hey there fellow Tumblrs, PPLD has joined in the craze! Check us out at http://ppld.tumblr.com/. Follow us and we'll do our best to entertain and amaze you.

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In order to advance early literacy, Pikes Peak Library District and Early Books Early Reading have partnered to bring the Imagination Library program into the homes of newborns to five-year-olds in District 11 and District 2.

PPLD and EBER will also offer workshops for the enrolled children and their parents.

Click here to visit the Early Books Early Reading Donation Page

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Carolyn Coulter

PPLD Information Technology and Virtual Services Officer Carolyn Coulter has been honored in Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers issue, which recognized 53 outstanding library professionals committed to providing excellent service to meet the needs of the people they serve.

Coulter has served as PPLD’s ITVS Officer since 2005. Prior to that, she was Chief Technology Officer at the Boston Public Library. Coulter was chosen as a 2012 Mover & Shaker because of her diligent work to keep public libraries relevant and on the front edge of IT and industry trends. She has had an immense impact on her IT team, on PPLD, and the Colorado Springs community. Coulter serves on the Board of Directors of Inside Out, a nonprofit that serves GLBT youth, and she was recently appointed to the Pikes Peak Community College IT Advisory Board. This year, she did a presentation on circulating eReaders at a Colorado Public Library Administrators session; she participated on Colorado's Broadband Technology Opportunity Program laptop loan webinar panel; and, she recently was a presenter/panelist for Public Library Association’s eReader webinar. She has served on the American Library Association’s Website Advisory committee, and in 2011 she assisted in writing Colorado Library Technology Standards. She has also served as advisor on IT issues to neighboring libraries.

During 2010 and early 2011, PPLD implemented a number of initiatives championed by Coulter. PPLD completed a District-wide RFID conversion; installed its first Library Express kiosk location at First & Main Town Center; moved to a Drupal based website; launched its mobile app; began circulating eReaders with pre-downloaded titles; created and demonstrated a mobile Gadget Garage throughout locations in the District; and held its first-ever virtual All-Staff Meeting, remoting-in 12 facilities, among other projects. She has been a proponent of eServices, and this year, oversaw the implementation of music downloads, increased streaming video from PPLD’s website, and emphasized and grew the eBook collection.

In 2013, PPLD will complete and launch its next innovation: C3 (C-cubed), a new 35,000 square-foot "Creative Computer Commons at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive. The facility will be a District-wide destination for knowledge creation – complete with hardware, software, media resources, and staffing to assist library users. C3 patrons will be able to create novels, videos, music, online scrapbooks, family histories, and other creative products using the resources there. Coulter led a team that drafted basic specs and a concept plan for the C3 space. She never wants PPLD users or staff to be left behind in technology developments and is constantly seeking new ways of doing library work and redefining the parameters of library service. She wants libraries to be a continuing “force for good” in the world, and to succeed through technology and innovation.

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