What's New!

Susan M. Peiffer

Susan M. Peiffer was inaugurated as the 5th Pikes Peak Poet Laureate on April 24, 2016. Susan will serve as Poet Laureate until April 2018.

Susan Peiffer is a published and nationally recognized poet who studied creative writing and theology at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. With graduate degrees from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Susan taught at a private high school in Delaware for six years. As program director of a non-profit in Philadelphia, she had the opportunity to organize a young leader’s program enabling participants to effectively speak their own stories. She coached the Delawhere? Youth Slam Team to the Brave New Voices championship in Oakland, CA. Since relocating to Colorado Springs in 2012, Susan has become deeply invested in the local poetry community. Currently the Program Director of Hear Here Poetry, she has facilitated several workshops and classes on different aspects of writing and performance, was named the RAW Colorado Springs Artist of the Year, and was the recipient of three Pikes Peak Arts Council awards for excellence in performance poetry and leadership. She is an animated and inclusive presenter who readily engages audiences and inspires the unique circumstances into which poems arrive. Susan is eager to continue connecting different facets of the community through the shared experience of crafting words.

The Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project is a partnership of the Pikes Peak Library District, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Radio Station KCME, Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, Pikes Peak Arts Council, Hear Here Poetry, the Fountain Valley School, the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District, Pikes Peak Community College and Poetry West.

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Penrose Library is hosting an open mic night!

Thursday, June 16
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Carnegie Garden at Penrose Library

Participants can sign up the day of the event starting at 5 pm. Sign up is first come first serve.
20 minute set. Lyrics should be appropriate for all ages.
All styles and levels of experience are welcome.
Mic and Speakers provided, but performers may bring their own equipment.

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On Your Mark, Get Set... READ!

PPLD Kids presents Summer Reading 2016! Join us for an amazing, fun, and educational summer! From June 1 - July 31, attend special FREE summer programs and sign up for the Summer Reading Game to win prizes for reading! You can register on ppld.org or at your local library starting June 1. For a list of fun events, keep an eye on ppld.org or pick up a Summer Reading events calendar at your local library in June!

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Join Penrose Library and members of the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society for a summer star party! Learn all about summer constellations with a lecture presented by a member of the CSAS from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. and then we'll head outside to examine the night sky.

No registration is required for this free event.

  • When: Saturday, June 4 from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Blvd.

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Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to announce the following winners of the Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest:

  • Ella Batson, “The Form of a Mystery”
  • Sophia DeJoia, “Mountain Gem”
  • Dara S. Kurbegov, “Mysteries of Nature”
  • Brooke Steinberg, “Mystery Murder”
  • Sage Stoecklein, “Mystery?”
  • Anna Winslow, “The Mystery of Me”

You can watch the winners read their poems below:

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Julie Pech, owner of The Chocolate Therapist chocolate and tea shop in Littleton, CO, presents a delicious program about the health benefits of chocolate! Julie will provide tips on incorporating chocolate into your daily diet, along with delicious samples from her store.

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Amy Griswold

PPLD's Maker in Residence for May and June is Amy Griswold, a professional seamstress with over thirty years of experience in clothing construction and industrial sewing. She is self-taught and continued her education as an apprentice in her sister’s shop, Mary Pope Custom Sewing, where she learned techniques in alterations, custom clothing design, re-upholstery, canvas work, as well as large scale production industrial sewing. Her body of work includes everything from wedding gowns and costuming to boat covers and custom reupholstery. Her motto is “show me a picture and I can make it for you.”

Amy will host classes throughout the Library District, as well as open studio hours at Library 21c where you can watch her work and talk to her about her craft.

Rescue Sewing Basics: How to Keep Your Clothes Looking Good
This class will cover hand sewing techniques for quick and relatively simple repairs you can make to your clothing to save you a trip to the seamstress. Save money, save time, learn how to do it yourself with a few simple tools and some very basic stitches. All the methods used for making repairs will be taught by making a simple fabric key fob/chapstick holder or a small button closed bag to take with you at the end of the class. NO Previous sewing skills needed, no machines needed. Registration required. Attendees must be at least 16 years of old.

Sewing Machine Basics: How to Properly Use Your Sewing Machine
Learn the ins and outs of your sewing machine and take the fear out of sewing. We will cover basic machine set up, use, and troubleshooting of common machine problems. Lean what needle to use, stitch lengths, and thread types, along with how to fix your tension and what to do when the bobbin case ends up a tangled mess of thread loops. Make and take a book bag while learning to make peace with your sewing machine. Bring your machine to class or use one of the available machines. Registration required. Attendees must be at least 16 years old.

Open Studio Hours at Library 21c

  • Tue., May 10 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Wed., May 18 from 1 - 4 p.m.
  • Fri., May 27 from 1 - 4 p.m.
  • Thu., June 2 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Wed., June 8 from 2 - 5 p.m.
  • Sat., June 18 from 1 - 4 p.m.


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Art in Bookbinding was an eight-week course held by Pikes Peak Library District in the months of March and April for 10 patrons. This course was designed to teach the basic skills of bookbinding with the intent of inspiring students to demonstrate individuality and creative expression with each lesson and project. Students were given opportunities to experiment with materials and allowed to progress at their own skill and comfort level. They were encouraged to use these new skills beyond the classroom.

At the end of the eight-session course, each student had constructed a writing journal, complete with journal entries, four different constructed books (each helped develop a variety of creative skills), and a final project of their own design. You can view photos of their final projects below. They are also on display at Library 21c throughout the month of May.

Multi-week course programming will happen more at PPLD in the future so keep a look out for it!

Art in Bookbinding

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Teen Writers

The Challenge:
Write an original fiction story of up to 2,500 words that begins with the sentence “The picture on the website had lied.” What happens after that is up to you!


  • Must fill out the form and submit your piece through this link by June 15, 2016. The file format should be compatible with Microsoft Word 2010. If you need to convert a file, please visit a library location.
  • Must be going into grades 6-12 in the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Must be an El Paso County resident.
  • Word count must not exceed 2,500 words. Word count will be established by using Microsoft Word 2010. Points will be automatically deducted from the total score of the piece if the word count exceeds 2,500 words.
  • Pieces must be double-spaced and in 12 point Times New Roman or Calibri font with the title and page number in the upper-right-hand corner.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • The entry must begin with the line “The picture on the website had lied”


  • When will I know if I have won?
    We will notify participants by mid-July if they have won an award. All participants and their friends and family are invited to the Awards Ceremony on Monday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Carnegie Reading Room at Penrose Library, regardless of if they won an award.
  • Are you publishing the anthology again?
    Yes! We will be publishing the top five in both middle school and high school (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and two honorable mentions).
  • Will I get feedback for my work?
    Yes! If you attend the awards ceremony, you can pick up a copy of your work with judges’ comments on it.
  • Do I have to turn in my story online?
    Yes. To better facilitate the process, we are requiring all stories be turned in digitally. You can stop by any PPLD location to use one of our computers for this purpose.

Questions? Contact Corrie Van Bemden at CVanBemden@ppld.org.


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There will be 3 categories with a bird-related prize for the winner of each category:

  • Adults (ages 19 and up): Build a FUNCTIONAL birdhouse/nesting box – judged by professionals
  • Teens (ages 12-18): Build a FUNCTIONAL birdhouse/nesting box – judged by professionals
  • Adults AND Teens: Build a PURELY DECORATIVE Birdhouse – judged by popular vote “People’s Choice Award”

1. One submission per person in your age group for the functional and one for the decorative.
2. Birdhouse/nesting box must be made by you – no kits please.
3. Functional birdhouse/nesting box must be species specific for local birds and may not be painted. (You may stain it with non-toxic water based stain.)
4. Entry must have your name, (age if teen), contact information, and tell which bird species the house is made for (if it is a functional birdhouse).
5. Decorative birdhouses may be painted and must NOT have a hole for the bird. It should have a flat bottom and not be larger than a copy paper box.
6. Birdhouses/nesting boxes will be on display at Library 21c during the month of June 2016. PPLD is not responsible for any damage that may occur.

Submission Guidelines
1. One entry per person in your age group for the functional and one for the decorative.
2. Drop off your birdhouse/nesting box at Library 21c (teen or adult desk) from Tuesday, May 31 - Tuesday, June 7.
3. Entry form must be included with birdhouse/nesting box. To print an entry form, click here.
4. Pick up your birdhouse/nesting box at Library 21c (teen or adult desk) from Tuesday, June 28 - Wednesday, July 6. (Any birdhouse/nesting box not picked up becomes property of PPLD.)

To view birdhouse specifications for specific species, click here.

You can vote for your favorite birdhouse at Library 21c from Wednesday, June 8 - Saturday, June 18.

Contact Robin at (719) 884-9800, x6359 or rmisciagna@ppld.org with any questions.

Sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited #023, Colorado Springs Wild Bird Center, and This Place Is for the Birds.

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