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Learn the art of paper quilling with paper artist, Monique Santos. You will take home beautiful cards suitable for Valentines’ Day. All tools and supplies will be furnished by the Library. Join us for this fun and creative class!

Class size is limited and registration is required.

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Drawing and Painting

Bring your creativity to this monthly gathering. Bring whatever project you are working on and work in a group setting. Local artist and instructor Deb Ross will be on hand to help inspire.

Supplies will not be provided. Registration is not required.

  • When: Last Thursday of each month from 2 - 4 p.m.
  • Where: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
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Show off your art at the Library!

The Pikes Peak Library District Art Evaluation Committee will be reviewing art for future 1 - 2 month shows by individual artists. Please bring five representative pieces of your artwork in show-ready format (matted, framed, and wired for photos, drawings, prints, etc.; wired for other 2D or 3D art.) Submissions must include a completed Art Exhibit Application.

Submissions will be accepted on Wed., Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. - noon in the Carnegie Reading Room at Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave. Pick up your submissions the same day from 4:30 - 6 p.m.

For more information, call Carol Brunk Harnish at (719) 531-6333, x2332 or email

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The Fountain Valley School of Colorado is pleased to announce its annual city-wide poetry competition. Now in its 9the year, this competition is open to all students in grades 9-12 in the Colorado Springs region.

Deadline: March 1, 2017

English - First place: $100, Second: $50, Third: $25
Bilingual - First place: $100, Second: $50, Third: $25

The competition has two categories: English and bilingual. You may submit up to three poems in each category. For the second category, please submit your original work not written in English and an accompanying original translation. No electronic translation devices should be used in either version. You may enter both categories.

All winning poems will be published in the spring edition of the Athenaea.
All winning poets will be invited to read their poems at a ceremony in April 2017.

Judge: Susan Peiffer, Pikes Peak Poet Laureate

Each poem must include the student’s name, address, school, phone, and e-mail. Each student may submit up to three poems, each on a separate page, in each category. If e-mailed, paste directly into body. No attachments. The Athenaea will have one-time publishing rights only. Poems must be original and previously unpublished.

Entries should be in the font Times New Roman, or equivalent, size 12
Poems will not be returned.

Submit entries to or to this address:
David Reynolds
6155 Fountain Valley School Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80911

While there are no formal guidelines or topics, remember that good poetry uses fresh language and images with precise words.

The Athenaea is the student literary magazine of the Fountain Valley School of Colorado. Published twice a year and featuring student poetry, prose, and art, the magazine dates to 1930 and honors Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

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It is the observation of Dr. Martin Luther King day in the United States. And unlike our several years prior—this year it has gone largely unrecognized. The celebration and remembrance have been dampened and the mission threatened—because it has never been more obvious than now that the work is not done. As the inauguration looms before us, we must focus on the revolutionary words of a civil-rights pioneer—to honor his message we are required to become heroes ourselves. Peace —SMP

Villanelle for a Burning House

Black women kneel in churches with flames around their feet as
a caustic smoke sneaks to cover this confederate place—

Black children litter American streets where both bullets & protests
stoke the heat of badges, black hoodies, and race—

Black mothers watch from barred windows with flames at their feet—

Begging for breath and throat choking a black man weeps and
drops like a concrete corpse with a blood and blue stained face—

Black boys are littered on American streets and black girls wail as
their mother’s leap from killing heights to land in defeat as
death-crazed officers attack with tasers and
black fathers perch on ledges, flames burning their feet—

We carry quick-trigger rifles and people can’t sleep while
scorched-wing black angels fall to grace in gunshot embrace.

Our black children like litter on American streets.

They gaze at those imprisoned behind steel bars and at
the freight of unnamed bodies filling cemetery space—

Black people pray in this house with flames burning around their feet—

Our black people litter American streets.

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PPLD now has Sorenson videophones and Video Relay Service-equipped laptops available for patron use. VRS allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired to communicate using American Sign Language through video equipment. It replaces TTY or Text Telephone.

Videophones are now available at the East Library and Library 21c.

VRS-equipped laptops are available at the following PPLD locations: Cheyenne Mountain, High Prairie, Manitou Springs, Monument, Old Colorado City, Ruth Holley, and Sand Creek libraries.

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Small Business SEO and Marketing Series

Library 21c is hosting a three-part Small Business SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Marketing Series. Registration is required for each free class.

Auditing Your Website
In this workshop, we will take a look at a few real WordPress websites to point out some very simple things you can do to make sure you are ready to begin ranking in Google and other search engines. This will entail utilizing Yoast SEO (free WordPress plugin) to give businesses a better understanding of how simple everything really is. We will cover everything from headlines, body text, image alt tags, urls, and more. At the end of this class participants will have the tools to conduct an audit of their own website in private and see some areas of very quick and easy improvement.

  • Thu., Jan. 19 from 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Analyzing Market Channels
So you have a business and are now ready to increase your online presence. How do you get people to visit your website and where do they come from? How can we tell who is a tire kicker and who is actually interested in buying? We will cover things such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, Competitive Analysis, Keyword Analysis, and finding our audience. At the end of this course participants will have the skills to make decisions on their own that are backed by real data so they can feel better about what marketing chances are worth taking.

  • Thu., Feb. 16 from 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Executing Your Plan
We will finally take a look at how to go about actually executing your successful marketing plan. This will go over some budget information as well as some real world examples where logic does not seem to apply. We will talk about setting up accounts as well as a few resources for companies to achieve a particular goal. At the end of this course participants will have the ability to hit the ground running and begin to develop a game plan for their marketing efforts that is structured within their budget.

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PPLD’s Winter Adult Reading Programs kicks off January 14! Click here to register or visit any PPLD location starting January 14. Click here to print a Reading Log.

Kick-Off Party
Sign up for the Adult Reading Program and enjoy coffee and hot chocolate!

  • When: Sat., Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Where: East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd.

Reading Prizes Include

  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolate bar and coupon
  • Cole’s Gourmet Popcorn mini bag of cheese popcorn
  • Reading Program mug
  • Random drawings for three gourmet food baskets

Community Library Prizes

  • Carmike Cinema gift certificates
  • Louie’s Pizza gift certificates

Grand Prizes

  • iPad Mini 4
  • Samsung 32-inch LED TV

How to Participate

  • Register with your PPLD library card in person at your library or online at starting January 14.
  • Reading logs will be available at all libraries or by clicking here, but feel free to keep track of the books you’ve read using any method you choose.
  • Prizes will be awarded while supplies last.
  • PPLD reserves the right to substitute prizes.
  • PPLD employees, substitute employees, and household members are not eligible to win grand prizes, only reading prizes.

Getting Started

  • The program is open to anyone age 18 and older with a Pikes Peak Library District library card.
  • Read any eight books of your choice — eBooks, eAudios, books on CD, and audiobook players count, too.
  • After you read your first four books, visit your library to pick up a prize.
  • Read four more books and visit your library to pick up a second prize.
  • If you read eight books by March 15, you will be entered in the Grand Prize Drawing.

Thanks to Our Partners!
Inertia Coffee, Louie's Pizza, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Cole's Gourmet Popcorn, Carmike Cinemas, and the Pikes Peak Library District Foundation

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Happy New Year, friends—

2016 was full of more challenges than joys for many people and I am not sorry to have a fresh year starting. It was a year where governments upheld cruelty, where the political climate became absurd, where countless nameless people died, where so many have had their civil liberties threatened, and where millions seeking safety were turned away. It has been a year of progress, but I don’t know in what direction—I’m afraid calling it “congress” might be an issue.

It has been a year of accomplishment and success in many areas and I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given in open doors and chances to serve others. I have learned a lot, written a lot, and shared a lot—but I’m left feeling relieved that the year is done.

May 2017 grant you each the peace and happiness you deserve. May your joy be overwhelming and your challenges be blessings in disguise. May you learn much and love much and create and be kind. May your heart be full and your motivation lively. May you make a difference and be comfortable with change. May you find and rest in a place you cherish as home and may you be always deeply loved.



Cast aside this cut-hard year
slap in the face year
pleading for change year—

Let its casket lily stench waft away—

Grieve what didn’t blossom
flowers mistaken as weeds
fruit that went unharvested

& bouquets you didn’t give

Cleave sentiments
from could-have-been calendars
Stow months with mothballs

& pack up days—

Time is fleeting on careless wings—
we only change what tomorrow brings.

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Beginning Jan. 9, 2017, PPLD will no longer charge fines on overdue children and teen items. Removing overdue fines will provide greater opportunity for children and teens to use the full range of library services. Currently, 15% of children and teen cardholders are blocked from checking out items at the library due to overdue fines.

Also, overdue fines on DVDs and games will be reduced from 25 cents per day to 10 cents per day.

PPLD seeks to foster literacy and life-long learning for children and teens. The Library regularly evaluates policies to see what barriers for service exist and evaluates how to eliminate such barriers. The Library’s Board of Trustees approved the new policy at their December meeting.

Items that will not accrue overdue fines must be designated as “juvenile” or “teen” in the Library catalog. The policy will take effect for any items checked out January 9 or after. Lost item and damage fees will still apply.

Overdue notices will still be sent as reminders to return Library items. Items not returned within 21 days of the due date will be considered lost, and the full cost of the item will be charged to the patron’s account.

Click here for more information

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All-Ages Coding Club

Have you ever wondered what makes computer programs run? Ever wanted to make a fun program or learn how to make a game?

Learn the basics of how to code!

In this club, all ages can learn together to code as we explore different programs and concepts. This club is self-guided, so everyone can learn at their own pace.

  • When: 2nd Thursday of each month from 4 - 5 p.m.
  • Where: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
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Manitou Springs Library: Planning for the Next Century

The City of Manitou Springs invites the public to review proposed expansion and remodel plans for the Manitou Springs Library.

After receiving six proposals, a team led by Architect Roger Thorp of Thorp Associates was selected by the City in July 2016 to develop plans for expansion and remodel of the historic Carnegie Library.

The team held a series of public meetings to obtain feedback and information from the community. They then took the public input, and that of personnel from the Pikes Peak Library District, which operates the Manitou Springs Library, and developed over the last five months several versions of expansion plans. The final draft proposal was presented to the Manitou Springs Historic Preservation Commission on December 7, at which time the Commission unanimously approved the conceptual design.

Click here to view the draft expansion plans.

To view a larger version of the rendering seen at upper-right, click here.


The public is welcome to attend any of these meetings to Review and comment on the conceptual drawings:

  • General Public Presentation
    Mon., Jan. 9 from 4 - 6 p.m.
    Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave.
  • Park & Rec Advisory Board
    Mon., Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.
    Manitou Springs City Hall
  • City Council
    Tue., Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.
    Manitou Springs City Hall

For more information, email

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Below are just some of the many programs being held this month in MAKE @ East, the makerspace located at East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd. Click here for a complete list of programs.

UFO’s: Un-Finished Objects
Sat., Jan. 7 from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Dust off those old projects that just never seem to get finished and bring them in to MAKE @ East! Whether it’s that sweater you never finished knitting or a sewing project forgotten in the corner, dive into the motivational spirit of the New Year and join fellow crafters to get the creative juices flowing! Warm beverages will be provided. (Ages 12 and up. No registration is required.)

Knitting 101
Sat., Jan. 14 from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Curious about knitting, but don’t know where to start? Kick off the New Year by learning how to bind on, cast off, purl, and more! We’ll supply the yarn and needles for practice, just bring yourself (but feel free to bring your own supplies so you can take your project home too!)! (Ages 12 and up. No registration is required.)

Sewing Social
Wed., Jan. 18 from 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Bring in your current work-in-progress machine or hand sewing project and socialize with other crafters while you work! Indulge in hot beverages while you share tips and techniques and get inspired by fellow creators’ styles and designs. (Ages 16 and up. No registration is required.)

Sassy Sayings: Motivational Embroidery
Sat., Jan. 21 from 2 - 5 p.m.
We’ll be making hand embroidery samplers with sassy sayings as motivation to be AWESOME in 2017!
Designs, hoops, fabric, needles and thread will be provided, but feel free to bring your own! (Ages 16 and up. Registration required.)

Ollie Robots
Sat., Jan. 28 from 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. and 4 - 5:15 p.m.
Join us this Saturday as we play with Ollie robots, ramps, and mazes! Please note that our three robots will be shared among the six participants: go teamwork! (Ages 12 and up. Registration is required.)

MAKE @ East Open Hours
Mondays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Tuesdays from 2 - 5 p.m. and 6 - 9 p.m.
Thursdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 6 - 9 p.m.
Fridays from 1 - 5 p.m.
Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
During Open Hours, MAKE @ East is available to work on your own projects while a trained PPLD staff member is present. Equipment and supplies are available on a first come basis. (Ages 9 and up. Ages 9 - 11 must be accompanied by an adult. No registration is required.)

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Countdown to Kindergarten Carnival

Discover fun ideas to help your child get ready for kindergarten! Free book, free snacks, and lots of great activities! No registration required. For ages 5 and under, with an adult. For more information, call (719) 531-6333, x1403 or x2403.

  • Sat., Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon at Sand Creek Library, 1821 S. Academy Blvd.
  • Sat., Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon at Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave.
  • Sat., March 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd.

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Ron Cousar and Dr. Wanda Tisby-Cousar

PPLD's Makers in Residence for January and February 2017 are Ron Cousar and Dr. Wanda Tisby-Cousar.

Ron Cousar has played R&B, blues, and jazz for many years. In addition to studio work with Savoy Records, he has played with bands in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Baltimore, and now Colorado Springs. He has dedicated his talents to playing blues, R&B, funk and jazz. His influences include Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, and a host of other artists.

Dr. Wanda Tisby-Cousar storytelling and dance to coach innovation and artistic ability. Sande Leadership, a model Dr. Wanda developed, is based on ancestral lineage to the Mende of Sierra Leone, West Africa. Tisby-Cousar has studied tap and interpretive dance since the age of four with Sydney King School of Dancea nd performed with Afi West African Dance Ensemble.

They will be teaching classes throughout the Library District, as well as hosting studio hours at Library 21c, when you can talk to them about work.

African Instruments and Dance
Explanation and demonstration of Congas drums, Djembe (jim-bay), Sakara, Cabasa, and Balafon will be provided. Patrons will get to try out the instruments and learn to play. An explanation and demonstration of West African (Nigerian, Senegalese) music and Dance will be provided. Patrons will get to try out different dance steps and movements. For ages 16 and up. Registration required. No experience is necessary.

Blues Era Music
Demonstrate artist’s musical styles, history and have patrons construct lyrics depicting their styles. The following artists will be covered, Mckinley Morganfield (Mudddy Waters), Mathis James “Jimmy” Reed, and Jamesetta Hawkins (Etta James). For ages 16 and up. Registration required. No experience is necessary.

Tap Dance Instruction
Discussion and demonstration of tap dance techniques. For ages 16 and up. Registration required. No experience is necessary.

Studio Hours at Library 21c
Tue., Jan. 3 from 2 - 4 p.m: African Dance & Percussion
Thu., Jan. 12 from 2 - 4 p.m.: Jazz Music & Tap Dancing
Tue., Jan. 17 from 2 - 4 p.m.: African Dance & Percussion
Thu., Jan. 26 from 5 - 7 p.m.: African Dance & Percussion
Tue., Jan. 31 from 2 - 4 p.m: Blues Music & Song Writing
Thu., Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. - noon: Jazz Music & Tap Dancing
Thu., Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. - noon: African Dance & Percussion
Tue., Feb. 21 from 2 - 4 p.m.: Blues Music & Song Writing

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

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All Pikes Peak Writes

All Pikes Peak Writes is Pikes Peak Library District’s 2nd Annual fiction writing contest for adults. Below, you will find contest rules, submission deadlines, and other useful information as you begin your writing.

You can read last year's winning entries here.

All Pikes Peak Writes is open to El Paso County residents ages 18+. Employees of Pikes Peak Library District and members of the judging panel are not eligible.

Rules for entry

  • One work may be submitted per entrant.
  • Qualifying stories are: original, previously unpublished, and no longer than 3,500 words.
  • Stories must be double-spaced and typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri font.
  • Works may be of any genre.
  • Two copies of each story must be included with the entry form and returned to any Pikes Peak Library District location OR one copy of the story submitted online to along with a submission form. Acceptable file formats include: .pdf, .doc, .docx
  • Entries will be accepted beginning Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at all PPLD locations and online.
  • All entries must be submitted/postmarked by Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. to any PPLD location or online at
  • Entrant’s name should only appear on the entry form (not any of the story pages).
  • The title of the story should appear on the upper right corner of each page followed by the page number.
  • Entries that are over 3,500 words, submitted without an entry form, submitted or postmarked after 6 p.m. on Fri., March 24, or were previously published will NOT be accepted


  • Entries will be judged by members of PPLD-sponsored writing groups, participants in the Mountain of Authors program and associated Library staff on quality of writing, use of language, plot development and resolution, believable characters, and correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place entries. An award ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 at the Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave. Winners will be notified by phone on or before Friday, April 14, 2017. Non-adherence to the entry rules will result in disqualification. Contact for questions or more information.

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Happy Holidays! When I first moved to Colorado Springs I was coming from a job as program director for a non-profit in Philadelphia whose services supported children with guardians who identified in the LGBTQIA spectrum. We ran a year-round speaker’s program and a two week long residential summer camp in the pine barrens of New Jersey. The creative arts were essential to our activities—poetry was a means of expression the young people eagerly responded to and embraced. I have found their enthusiasm to be universally present—especially among the queer youth of the Pikes Peak region.

In Colorado Springs, Inside/Out Youth Services launched as a program for LGBTQIA youth in 1990 as a program of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment. Inside/Out is known for trusted, high quality and engaging youth development and recreation programs, as well as referrals for at-risk youth. They are often the only safe space in the city for a queer or questioning young person. An army of volunteers and small staff advocate and empower young people and their allies so that safety, acceptance and liberty breathe across the city, not just behind the doors of our youth center. The creative and outspoken work they do encourages compassion and story telling.

Inside they provide safety and acceptance for LGBTQIA youth and their allies.
Out in the community they provide understanding, respect, and equality.

I am proud to share this poem, written for Inside/Out, with you.

For you whose chest is rainbow fractured—
—you tired seahorses
& unexpected heroes with the birds-nests
worried into your hair—
whose struggle to silence the screaming
has blocked out dove psalms—
There are sparrow seeds sprouting
from the shine seeping through
the cracks of your opening heart.
Your flame flickers in darkness
& grows brighter with the wind.
We have come out of the closet
& have seen scars in the mirror
We have lit candles
& left the house—
Strengthened our spines
by growing wings—
Taken aim & flown
past the moon.
We see her reflection
& plaster her glow
like a smile on the mirrors
of our faces.
We use the light of each other
to fly our way home—
In the safety of our house
nestled in the embrace of branches
& the flutter of wings
we find friends who are ever-enduring shadows
& un-lying mirrors
Candles lose nothing when they share
the warmth of their flames—
There are millions waiting in the dirt of flower pots
for the warmth of owning their own names.
When a flower fails to bloom
you build them a new home—
you do not give up
on their blossoming at all—
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
We poets who trade in our lives for a living
were once, too, parchment waiting to be inscribed—
We burn our eyes by staring too long
at our bright burning star of a sun—
& we wonder
at the burn of our own reflections
—& at the mirrors we’ve become.
Look what you can do with this world
& a wind-pipe
& a poem
—a whistling bird call
always drawing you home.

-Susan M. Peiffer

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January Business Programs

Minding Your Business

Starting a business, growing the one you have or looking for a job?
This class will identify business trends and outlook, find competition or vendors or target markets. Corporate research tools and other business tools.

Job Interview Tips

A good resume is essential for getting an interview but doing well in the interview is what determines if you get hired or not. Sometimes it may be the little things you say or do, the first impression you make or the way you answer the questions that makes all the difference. This class covers interviewing tips including how to answer a variety of interview questions and is designed to give you an edge in the interview process.

Top 6 Franchise Opportunities in the Colorado Springs Market

Come learn about 6 franchise investment opportunities best suited to Colorado Springs demographics, lifestyle, and small business communities. If you're thinking that this all be fast food focused, you'll be pleasantly surprised. These are concepts that are not fast food at all, but have a strong need in the unique market that is Colorado Springs.

LinkedIn Basics

LinkedIn is a professional social network that allows you to search for jobs or network with others in your field. Learn the basics of LinkedIn - setting up a profile, finding contacts, navigating the main tabs, giving/receiving endorsements, and how to use LinkedIn to search for jobs.

Small Business SEO/Marketing: Auditing Your Website

In this workshop, we will take a look at a few real Wordpress websites to point out some very simple things you can do to make sure you are ready to begin ranking in Google and other search engines. This will entail utilizing Yoast SEO (free Wordpress plugin) to give businesses a better understanding of how simple everything really is. We will cover everything from headlines, body text, image alt tags, urls, and more... At the end of this class participants will have the tools to conduct an audit of their own website in private and see some areas of very quick and easy improvement.

Home Buying Basics

This class covers everything you need to know, step by step, from speaking with a lender to closing on your new home. In this class Don will cover property searches, making an offer strategies, negotiation tactics, forms, contracts, and processes such as inspections and appraisal. He will also provide tips on things you should and should not do and things to be wary of during your home buying process. Presented by Don Ostrander.

Facebook Business Pages

Put Facebook to work for your business by learning the basics of Facebook Business Pages. Create your page, learn to navigate the interface, and get tips on the types of content that drives interest in your business.
Prerequisite: Students must already have a personal Facebook page and know their login information.

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Hand Built Poems: Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest

Have you ever made a sculpture, built a structure, baked a cake?
What wonderful things do you like to make?
From guesses to messes to dreams come true
We are all makers - so what kind are you?


Open to all 4th and 5th graders in the Pikes Peak Region. Meets Colorado model content standards 1, 2, and 4 for reading and writing.

Contest Rules:

  1. One entry per student. Teachers are urged to review poems and submit no more than five per class.
  2. Each poem must be the original work of the contestant.
  3. Poems will be judged on originality, including poem title and adherence to the theme.
  4. Submit two typed, double-spaced copies of each poem on 8.5”x11” paper (no handwritten submissions or illustrations will be accepted).

Poems will not be returned. Please keep a copy.


Six winners of $50 each. Winners will also receive a book and an Imagination Celebration poster.

Entries are due by Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Entries may be mailed, emailed, or faxed to:

Mailing Address:
The Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest
c/o Nancy Maday
Pikes Peak Library District
P.O. Box 1579
Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1579

Nancy Maday at

(719) 632-6043

Note: Submission of a poem constitutes full permission to exhibit, use, and publish the poem for any purpose - printed or electronic media - and to publish the name, school, and photographs of the student without compensation.

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Price at Classic Academy

Penrose Library was the scene of a winter-themed poetry reading on December 11. Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Emeritus Price Strobridge emceed the event that featured some of our areas best and best-know poets, including Jim Ciletti, Teever Handal, Loring Wirbel, Julianza Shavin, Amie Sharp, and Evan Kendrick.

The Classical Academy 5th graders brought hand-knitted hats and scarves, socks and hand warmers, while PPLD provided hot cocoa and cookies to excited Penrose Library patrons.

This is the 2nd poetry and warming clothing give-away that the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project has held at Penrose Library.

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10th Annual Teen Art Contest

Art is transformational. Paint, ink, and canvas turn into an image that touches lives through the years. We want to see your take on the theme Transformation this year. Show us how art impacts your life, or how it transforms the world around you.

How to Enter


  • Must be in grades 6 - 12 in March of 2017
  • Must be an El Paso County resident
  • Only one entry per person
  • Jurors reserve the right to decline inappropriate entries
  • Entries must be two-dimensional and no more than two inches deep, including frame. Any textural elements (glued-on items such as pencils, pennies, etc.) must be inside a frame to prevent damage.
  • If you want to display at Library 21c, art must be able to be displayed in a way that is compatible with a wire hanging system.
  • Since we have to transport the artwork between locations, frames or matting are highly encouraged for the protection of all pieces. We are very careful, but frames and matting help protect your pieces even more!


When will I know if I have won?
We will notify participants by mid-March if they have won an award. All participants and their friends and family are invited to the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m. at Library 21c in the Venue regardless of if they won an award.

Will my artwork be displayed?
Yes! You can choose from one of three locations to have your artwork displayed during the month of April. Locations are Penrose, East, or Library 21c.

When can I pick up my artwork?What are the prizes?
We award prizes for Coordinator’s Choice, 1st place, and 2nd place for the high school and middle school age groups. We also award a prize for Best in Show, which is the piece that received the highest score out of both Middle and High School. In the past, winners received a drawing mannequin and gift card to Meininger’s Art Supply store.

What can I do to improve my chances at winning?

  • Work with the theme—It doesn’t have to be a literal interpretation, but we do look for pieces that have been inspired by the theme in some way. Your paragraph describing your piece can have a big impact on this.
  • Stand out! Whether through subject matter or unusual take on the theme, we notice unique entries more. For example, we tend to get a lot of close-ups on eyes, so they tend to not stand out as much.
  • Have fun! Don’t view it as an assignment or chore. We can tell when teens submit pieces they are passionate about—so do something that you love!

Do I have to have a frame?
No, but we highly encourage it. Pieces are not judged on if a frame is present or not, but frames help protect your artwork during storage and transportation.

My question wasn’t answered here.
Email Becca at or comment on this blog post!

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2017 Colorado Teen Video Challenge

The 2017 Colorado Teen Video Challenge has launched! Sponsored by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), this contest invites teens, 13-18, to create short videos (30-90 seconds long) that promote reading and libraries to other teens and interpret the 2017 CSLP theme “Build a Better World.”

This is a great project for a library’s Teen Advisory Board; teen volunteers; a high school video production class; teens interested in acting, filming, creative writing, and video editing; and all creative teens in your community! The videos may be filmed anywhere, using any equipment.

Videos will be judged on creativity, message clarity and relevance, motivation and inspiration, and overall impact.

Find out much more about the contest at

This Entry Form for teens includes the contest guidelines:

To watch the 2016 winning video and finalists from Colorado, go to

The contest deadline is February 10, 2017.

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Add Your Book Review to PPLD.orgHave you read a really great (or really bad) book lately? Tell us all about it! Just fill out this book review form and your review will be posted in the Book Reviews section of

Happy reviewing!

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The Second Sunday Concert Series features monthly performances that celebrate local musicians. Each concert will be held in the Library 21c Venue at 2 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month through February 2017. Each show is free and open to the public.

Sun., Feb. 12: The Pikes Peak Highlanders
The Pikes Peak Highlanders was founded in 1985 by Royal Canadian Air Force Major Bob Tracy. The band has enjoyed a long and successful journey as a competition and performance pipe band and has provided the sounds of Great Highland Bagpipes and Scottish drums to the front range for almost 30 years.

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Writing Your Business Plan

You Need a Plan

You might think that a business plan is only necessary if you are applying for loans or grants to fund your business. That is simply not true. No matter your type of business or how you plan on funding it, a good business plan is essential to your planning process. It will show others, such as potential partners or funders, that you have put the careful planning necessary into your business. But most importantly, it will help you to lay out your vision for your business. It will also help you monitor how your business has progressed toward that vision.

How to Get Started

Okay, you know you need a plan. Now what? There are numerous library databases, websites, and books that can help you get started! Here are just a few. Remember, you can always Book a Librarian and get some one-on-one help with your research.

Databases available through PPLD

  • Business Plans Handbook
    Examples of how to approach, structure and compose business plans. Includes a collection of actual business plans compiled by entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses throughout North America.
  • ReferenceUSA
    Reference USA contains information on 44 Million Businesses, 4.1 New Businesses, and 148 Million Residents and now includes lifestyle and consumer data on over 60 market segments to help identify new market opportunities. ReferenceUSA also includes 2.5 million job and internship postings.
  • U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles
    Identify viable prospects for new market opportunities based on 60 market segments for millions of consumers. Link goes to ReferenceUSA, then click on the U.S. Consumers / Lifestyles link.
  • BusinessDecision
    GIS data, reports, and maps providing consumer market, market segmentation, and demographic data.

Books in the PPLD Catalog


  • Business Plan Tutorial

    Step-by-step guide to uses of and writing a business plan.

  • Business Plan - Colorado Business Resource Book
    A guide to creating a business plan from the Colorado Small Business Development Center. Includes a sample outline and planning hints.
  • Bplans
    Free business plan samples and templates, business planning resources, how-to articles, financial calculators, and more.
  • Write Your Business Plan
    A guide on business plans from the Small Business Administration.
  • --S. Nagle, 11/2016

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