InformationAll PPLD facilities will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.

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Food by the Book

In conjunction with the recently-concluded series of programs called Food by the Book, PPLD has created this online cookbook. Share your most delicious recipe by adding it as a comment below. (Limit two recipes per person, please.)

Although the submission deadline to be entered into a drawing for a $50 Whole Foods gift card has passed, you can still share your recipes. The winner of the gift card will be notified soon.

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If you have Library materials that were destroyed or damaged in the Waldo Canyon fire please visit the Library. If the items were destroyed, please bring a photo ID. We prefer that you bring damaged items to the desk to protect other materials in our book returns from smoke and moisture.

If your house or cars were broken into during the fire, please bring a copy of the police report.

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Memories of the Waldo Canyon Fire

Pikes Peak Library District wants to preserve the record of the historic Waldo Canyon Fire and its effects on our community. We are doing this in several ways:

  • We are collecting images for an online photo gallery (see below), which you can send to photos@ppld.org. Feel free to include any personal accounts associated with the image, which we will use as a caption. Please note that we cannot receive email attachments larger than 8 megabytes at a time. If you have multiple images, please send them individually. Please limit your submission to five photos total.
  • In addition, we are seeking video and high-resolution photos for our Special Collections archives for use by future researchers. If you have video or high-res pictures you would like to donate to our collection, please email us at photos@ppld.org with “Archives” in the subject line so that we can arrange acquisition of your photo or video. Do not email your high-resolution images, but you can send samples. Keep in mind we have an 8 megabyte attachment limit. Please do not email video files, but links to online streaming (YouTube, etc.) of your video footage are okay.
  • Some of our libraries have Memories of the Waldo Canyon Fire bulletin board on which you can share your personal accounts and photographs of the Waldo Canyon Fire. Experiences and images attached to these bulletin boards will be used in upcoming Library displays and added to PPLD’s Special Collections archive. These bulletin boards are located at the Rockrimmon and East libraries.

Here are some of the photos we have collected so far. To view information about the images, hit play, click on the full screen button (bottom right), and then “Show Info” in the top menu bar.

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The Waldo Canyon Fire has had an effect on our library service and a lingering effect on every other aspect of community life.
Many of our patrons, staff, volunteers, and community stakeholders have been personally affected by the fire. And, our staff have been flexible and creative, as we have responded to new and evolving needs for library services over this past week.

PPLD provided laptops for use in the area’s temporary Red Cross Shelters. There, our staff also assisted evacuees in seeking information online. On our website, ppld.org, we are continuing to provide links to the most current resources and information available, for those affected by the fire and for those seeking to provide assistance. Through the generous donation of books by the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District, we have also supplied books for adults and children in the shelters, throughout this emergency.

Two of our community libraries (Rockrimmon and Ute Pass) are still closed due to mandatory evacuations. We request your patience, once those evacuations are lifted, for us to get back into the buildings and mitigate smoke or other damage before safely re-opening to the public. Though other branches were in pre-evacuation areas, we were pleased that we were able to maintain service there and in the rest of the District. Our facilities provided a physical respite from the temperatures and smoke outside; our internet and print resources provided informational tools and leisure reading inside; and our staff provided welcoming conversation and a comforting environment in a time of tense emotional stress.

You are not just our clients. You are our friends and neighbors, and we are here for you. I am privileged to work in an organization, and with all of our library District employees, who care so much about their community. We are proud to be a part of the Pikes Peak region and, along with each of you, look to the future with great expectation. Though there has been much damage and tragedy, though the fire still rages in places, and though there will be much more residual impact to deal with over the next several weeks and months… yet there is hope. The resiliency of the community and the compassion of residents have been plentiful and rewarding.

Because our libraries are places where words carry great meaning and convey inspiration, I feel compelled to share with you soft and simple words of hope from poet Langston Hughes...

"In Time Of Silver Rain"
In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads

Of Life,
Of Life,
Of Life!

(First verse from Langston Hughes’ "In Time of Silver Rain")

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The Waldo Canyon Fire is a tragedy, but the response by individuals and organizations has been truly inspiring. PPLD is proud to assist our community during this trying time.

In addition to being an air-conditioned refuge from the heat and smoke, PPLD has extended a helping hand in other ways.

On Sunday, June 24, Penrose Library remained open four hours later than usual to help meet the high demand for Internet usage by people needing to communicate with friends and family.

The Library has also set up mobile Laptop Labs at the Red Cross Shelters at Cheyenne Mountain High School and The Southeast YMCA for evacuees. Clifton Medford, IT Technician at PPLD, said the Library plans to have the laptops available at the shelters until they close.

“My hope is to be here until everything is cleared,” he said.

PPLD and Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District have also donated hundreds of books at each location for evacuees to keep.

PPLD librarian Krista Meier recounted this illustrative anecdote from the Cheyenne Mountain High School shelter: “One young girl I chatted with very calmly stated that the little stuffed animal she had been given might be the only one she has left if their house burns down. She ended up finding a couple of fairy books and her face completely lit up when I told her she could have them.”

Another PPLD librarian, Delaina Massie, assembled a comprehensive list of resources for information about the fire, including maps, info on local shelters, and how to help. It was posted to ppld.org, and thousands have visited the page and shared it on social media.

In addition, the Library is dedicating public service staff to help evacuees register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website.

Use of the live East Library webcam has boomed, as people throughout the world search for a view of the devastation.

“One of the first things I did today was to go to the East Library cam,” wrote Erin Gallagher on PPLD’s Facebook page. “Being in England I'm freaking out over my family and friends in Colorado Springs. Thank you for keeping the live feed up so that I can check it when I need to even across the pond, and thank you for donating everything you are. Keeping people in touch is very important right now, and five minutes of use on a laptop can put many people's fears to rest.”

PPLD has received an outpouring of supportive statements and offers for assistance from other libraries, including the Colorado State University-Pueblo Interlibrary Loan Office, Arapahoe Library District, Jefferson County Public Libraries, and Denver Public Library.

It is heartening to see a community unite, even if it is in the midst of disaster. In times of tragedy, you tend to see the best of human capability: bravery, shared passion, compassion, the opening of doors and minds to strangers. It is times like these we are forced to remember we are all connected in ways more than geographic.

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Laptop Lab at Red Cross Shelter

Pikes Peak Library District has set up its mobile Laptop Lab at the Red Cross Shelter at Cheyenne Mountain High School for evacuees of the Waldo Canyon Fire to use. Clifton Medford, IT Technician at PPLD, said the shelter had approximately 250 people at the shelter on Sunday evening and that the Laptop Lab’s 12 computers have been in constant use since they were set up on Sunday.

Medford said that on Sunday evening, “Our laptops helped approximately 20 people register for the Red Cross Safe and Well program that we set as the homepage and easily 40 to 50 others used the laptops to look up fire information for their homes and local areas. There were also plenty of Facebook updates to let their friends and family know they were safe.”

Medford said the Library hopes to have the laptops available at the shelter until it closes. He emphasized that the laptops are free to use and that, “We’re not restricting anybody, but we are encouraging folks do sign up on the Red Cross website,” so that family and friends know they are safe.

“My hope is to be here until everything is cleared,” he said.

The Library has also donated approximately 60 books for evacuees to keep from materials that were recently weeded from the collection to evacuees, with a good balance of materials for children and adults.

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Waldo Canyon Fire Information

Please refer to this web page for accurate and comprehensive information about the Waldo Canyon fire, including Shelter Information, Maps, How to Help, and more:

http://ppld.org/waldo-canyon-fire-information

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Price Strobridge

NOTE: This article was first published in June 2012.

“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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