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The 2016 Student Literary Award Anthology, publishes poems, letters, and artwork of state and national winners of the River of Words and Letters About Literature. These are two free competitions that are coordinated in Colorado. Check out the what you need to do to enter here:

Both competitions are free to join and each website includes the entry form, short videos, and additional information.

So what is River of Words? It is an international poetry and art contest on the them of "Watersheds" designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live and to express what they discover through poetry and visual art.

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing competition in which readers in grades 4-12 write a personal letter to an author they admire or whose work has inspired them. Readers respond by exploring the relationship between their personal experiences and the book's characters or themes and describing how the author's work changed them personally or altered their view of the world. Student may write their letter to any author, living or dead, form any genre- fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

So please, check out these cool competitions coming up in Colorado and get involved!

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2016 Family History Fair Coloring Contest

The Pikes Peak Family History Fair Coloring Contest provides an opportunity for youth to discover the importance of family history. Prizes will be awarded in 3 categories: 5 years and under; 6-9 years; and 10-12 years and presented at the 2016 Family History Fair on Saturday, November 5 at Library 21c.

To enter, print the attached drawing on 8.5x11 paper. Color it using any media including crayon, marker, paint, ink, chalk, pencil, watercolor, glitter, etc.

All children in the Pikes Peak region are eligible. Submissions may be brought to the circulation desk of any PPLD location or mailed to:

Pikes Peak Family History Fair Coloring Contest
PPLD Library 21c
1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
Colorado Springs, CO 80920-3952

The entry deadline is October 8. Entries will not be returned. Winners will be notified by phone and/or email by October 28.

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2016 Family History Fair Writing Contest

Students (grades 6-8 and grades 9-12) are invited to write a non-fiction essay, fiction short-story, or poem about their personal exploration of their family history. All entries should be typed and must include the author's name on each page. Entries should be less than 1,500 words. Entries will not be returned.

Entries should be submitted to Pikes Peak Family History Fair Writing Contest, PPLD Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920-3952 either in person or via mail by October 8. Winners will be contacted by mail and/or email by October 28.

The following information should be provided on the cover page of your entry:

  • Student's Name
  • Grade
  • School
  • Teacher
  • Parent Name(s)
  • Parent Email
  • Phone
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Inspired Home Educators is pleased to announce the 1st annual Pikes Peak Homeschool Convention on May 5 - 6, 2017. Please fill out this survey to let them know what you'd like to see. You can also follow Inspired Home Educators on facebook.

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Teens around the country are voting for the top ten books of the year! Teens can vote for up to three of their favorite titles now through October 15. The “top ten” titles will be announced the week after Teen Read Week, which takes place October 9 - 15. Check out the video below for the 26 nominated titles.

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Philosophy at the Library

Join us for this free series of lectures presented by the UCCS Department of Philosophy.

All talks will take place on the first Monday of the month from 4:30 - 6 p.m. at the Venue @ Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.

  • Mon., Sept. 19
    Rex Welshon
    From Tool Use to Symbol Use: Evolution of Consciousness in the Paleolithic Period
  • Mon., Oct. 17
    Mary Ann Cutter
    Managing Uncertainty in Breast Cancer Medicine: What Philosopy Can Teach Us
  • Mon., Nov. 21
    Stefan Koller
    Architecture and Anthropology: From Taos to Amsterdam
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Deb Bartos

PPLD's Artist in Residence for September and October 2016 is Deb Bartos, an oil painter who loves exploring the natural world and teaching students about color. She continues to develop her knowledge about how light and color work together, and is fascinated by the process.

She will be teaching classes throughout the District and hosting open studio hours at Library 21c.

How to Create the Illusion of Depth in Your Paintings
We will use a limited palette in acrylic paints to learn the skill of color mixing and how to create both depth and luminosity in your work. Warning-it may lead to wanting to paint even more! Registration required. Patron must be ages 16+.

Studio Hours at Library 21c

  • Wed., Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. - noon
  • Fri., Sept. 23 from 2 - 5 p.m.
  • Thu., Sept. 29 from 3 - 6 p.m.
  • Wed., Oct. 5 from 2 - 5 p.m.
  • Mon., Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. - noon
  • Fri.. Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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

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Indie Author Day

Calling all local writers!
Join us on October 8, 2016 as libraries across North America and their local writing communities come together for the first annual Indie Author Day.

What is Indie Author Day?
During Indie Author Day, libraries from all over will be hosting unique events centered around indie writing and publishing, including information on how to get your self-published e-book into the library collection. At noon MST, all participating libraries will come together for an hour-long digital Q&A, featuring writers, agents, and other industry leaders. Writers will learn valuable information while meeting other members of their local literary community.

What: PPLD Indie Author Day 2016 Event
Where: Penrose Library, Carnegie Reading Room
When: Saturday, October 8, noon - 4 p.m. No registration required.


  • Noon - 1 p.m. - Digital Indie Author Day Broadcast
  • 1 - 1:15 p.m. - Break
  • 1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - Colorado Indie Author Panel with Katie Cross, A.G. Henley, C.J. Hitz, Shelley Hitz, and G.S. Jennsen
  • 2:15 - 2:30 p.m. - Book signing and break
  • 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. - “The Reality of Being an Indie Author” seminar with Katie Cross
  • 3:30 - 4 p.m. - Reception
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As Franke Landau-Banks knows, there is something beautiful about the perfectly executed prank. We want to challenge all the teens (ages 12-18) in the El Paso County area to come up with their own amazing prank and tell us about it!

We want an in-depth description of how the prank would go down, Rube Goldberg style. And if you participate? You will be entered into a drawing to meet the author of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. Lockhart, at a special VIP Meet and Greet before listening to her speak at Library 21c on November 4th. The reception will begin at 6 p.m.

Here are the guidelines:

  • Don’t actually do the prank. We just want the plan of action - no need to carry it out.
  • Nothing malicious or dangerous - keep it clean, friendly, and nothing that would get you arrested or hurt.
  • Illustrate your prank in a way we can follow along - include important details and send us files (pdf, jpg, png). Check out the link above for examples of how Rube Goldberg illustrated and explained his inventions.
  • Be creative - Frankie used her powers as a prank mastermind for good, making them about more than just causing mayhem - they had a message behind them.
  • Submit your prank using this form by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 24.
  • Open to ages 12-18 in El Paso County.
  • Have fun!
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Putting the Pub Back in Public Libraries

Join PPLD as we help put the pub back in public libraries!

What to do:

  1. Head to your nearest library location and pick up your Brew Tour Passport
  2. Visit any of the participating breweries listed on the Passport
  3. While you're there, have the brewery stamp your Passport
  4. Get at least six stamps on your Passport before September 30 and head to your nearest Library location for a FREE limited-edition pint glass!

No purchase necessary. Pint glasses are available while supplies last.

Special Thanks To:

Bristol Brewing
Fossil Craft Beer Company
Gold Camp Brewing
Great Storm Brewing
Manitou Brewing Company
Nano 108 Brewing Company
Peaks N Pines Brewery
Pikes Peak Brewing
Red Leg Brewing
Smiling Toad Brewery
Storybook Brewing
Whistle Pig Brewing

Questions? Contact Heidi at

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Earth Science Week October 9-15

Earth Science Week is set aside to gain knowledge about the earth sciences and encourage stewardship of the earth. Several contests are offered to students via this link: Contests include a video contest, a photography contest, a visual arts one, and an essay contest.

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Urban Peak

All Pikes Peak Reads (APPR) is an annual program in which we encourage readers from our area to read the same book. For teens, the 2016 selection is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. In this book, Frankie pulls many pranks in an effort to move her conservative private school forward. This supply drive for Urban Peak is not a prank, but is meant to help teens experiencing homelessness in our area. Urban Peak supplies basic needs and "intensive case management, health services, and education & employment support, which are all designed to empower each individual youth build toward self-sufficiency based on their own identified goals and needs."

E. Lockhart will be speaking on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Book signing to follow the presentation.

Please help by donating any of these items at all PPLD locations between Sept. 16 - Nov. 6.

  • Granola bars
  • Fruit snacks
  • Slim Jim’s (individual sizes)
  • Beef Jerky (individual sizes)
  • Cliff bars
  • Trail Mix/ Nut Mixes (individual sizes)
  • **Twin/full blankets or comforters (not fancy, for clients sleeping outside)
  • Disposable razors
  • Trial size shaving creams
  • Trial size deodorant
  • **Men’s boxers (NEW) in sizes medium and large
  • Women’s underwear (NEW) in sizes small-xlg
  • Men’s new socks (white crew socks are best, and thicker winter weather socks)
  • Bath towels (new or very gently used) – we are fine on wash cloths and hand towels
  • Men’s size belts
  • Dress Shoes (also for interviews)
  • **Sturdy bookbag Backpacks
  • Black Non-Slip Shoes (for clients who work in the food service industry)
  • Solid work boots for those who work outside
  • Ear Buds

**indicates greatest need

Thank you in advance for supporting Urban Peak!

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All Pikes Peak Reads 2016: STORIES

Pikes Peak Library District’s annual community reads project, All Pikes Peak Reads (APPR), is celebrating its 15th year in 2016! Each year, PPLD selects at least three books that we encourage community members to read and discuss. This year, we have three fabulous selections and will be hosting the authors for each book as well as offering a variety of programming based on both the books and the theme.

Click here for a complete schedule of APPR programming.

The APPR theme for 2016 is STORIES. The human condition has always relied on stories. From the fables and teachings of our modern history to the stories related to us each day as the latest news, stories have impacted us all in different ways. Storytellers are everywhere. Stories are part of us.

Here are the three books we have chosen to focus on this year:

Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Hidden AmericaThis is our adult selection, but may also be appropriate for teens. Hidden America offers the reader the chance to explore parts of American life that are rarely thought or talked about by society at large. This is a remarkable piece of non-fiction that is perfectly described on its cover: “From coal miners to cowboys, an extraordinary exploration of the unseen people who make this country work.”
Laskas will be speaking at Library 21c on Tue., Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. A book signing will follow. Books for purchase will be provided by Barnes & Noble.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksThe teen selection, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks follows a young boarding school student as she tries to break into the school’s all-male secret society. It was a Michael L. Printz honoree in 2009, and was a National Book Award finalist in 2008. E. Lockhart will be coming to Colorado Springs for a talk and a book signing that has been made possible by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and the Pikes Peak Library District Foundation.
E. Lockhart’s author talk will be on Fri., Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at Library 21c. A book signing will follow. Books for purchase will be provided by Barnes & Noble.

Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson

Waiting for AugustaFinally, the children’s selection, called an “absorbing work of historical fiction” by School Library Journal, is Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson. Set in the rural South in the early 1970s, the book tackles many important issues such as grief, racism, friendship, and of course, growing up.

We are very excited about this year’s selections, and we look forward to your participation in author visits and other APPR programming.

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PPLD has an opening on its Board of Trustees. This position is a meaningful public service commitment for the community oriented individual.

A link to the Position Description and Application Form is located below.

Applications should be mailed to:

Pikes Peak Library District
Attention: Board Applications
PO Box 1579
Colorado Springs, CO 80901

Or emailed to

The deadline for receipt of applications is Tuesday, October 11 at noon.

Seven members serve on the our Board of Trustees. The term of office is five years; vacancies are filled for the remainder of the unexpired term. In order to encourage greater participation on the Board from the community, Board members may serve for no more than two terms regardless of the length of any unexpired term served.

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Is math homework getting you down? Are finals freaking you out? Do you need to brush up before the ACT, SAT, GRE, or GED? Our experienced math tutors can help you improve your grades and take the stress out of math. Tutoring for all ages and levels.

Where: East Library
When: Thursdays, 4 - 6 p.m.
First session is Sept. 8, 2016

Where: High Prairie Library
When: Mondays, 5 - 7 p.m.

Where: Library 21c
When: Wednesdays, 3:30 - 6 p.m.
First session is Sept. 14, 2016.

Where: Monument Library
When: Mondays, 3:30 - 7 p.m.
First session is Sept. 12, 2016.

Where: Sand Creek Library
When: Saturdays, 10 a.m. - noon
Fall session starts Sept. 3, 2016.

No appointment necessary, just drop on in!

AfterMath won't take place during library or school holidays. If the school district closes because of snow or weather, AfterMath is cancelled.

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E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart, author of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks is coming to Pikes Peak Library District as part of our All Pikes Peak Reads program!

When: Fri., Nov. 4, 7 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Where: Library 21c

Book signing to follow!

E. Lockhart's visit is made possible by a generous grant from the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Pikes Peak Library District's Foundation.

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Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest - 2017

The Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District invites all 6th through 12th grade public, private and home schooled students to enter the annual Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest!

Information about the contest and all contest forms are available on the contest's website:

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Introducing SELF-e!  eBooks and ePublishing

Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to partner with Library Journal to offer SELF-e, a new service that brings self-published authors and eBook readers together.

SELF-e for Authors

SELF-e allows self-published authors to submit their original work for circulation in Biblioboard, making your eBook visible at PPLD and other Colorado libraries, as well as at libraries nationwide.

Want to submit your eBook? Click here to learn more about getting started.

SELF-e for Readers

For readers, SELF-e provides readers with access to new literary voices in a variety of genres.

Discover PPLD's collection of SELF-e eBooks here.

You can find SELF-e in the CyberShelf section of

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Gene Wilder: June 11, 1933 - August 29, 2016

Comedic icon Gene Wilder, star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, among many others, has died of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.

Mr. Wilder is probably best remembered as the sweet but subversive title character in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where he won over countless young hearts, but it was his work with Mel Brooks in Young Frankenstein and The Producers that brought him critical acclaim, garnering two Oscar nominations. Wilder rarely worked after the death of his third wife, Gilda Radner, in 1989, but his legacy endures as the world remembers him as one of the comedic greats.

"Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship."
- Mel Brooks

Click here to search Gene Wilder in the Catalog

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The 2016 Teen Fiction Writing Contest Anthology is here! Compiled are the Honorable Mentions and Winners from the 2016 Teen Fiction Writing Contest. Click on the link to download and view!

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Are you dying to create your own TV reality show? Do your friends think you’re dramatic? Learn acting techniques in this interactive workshop! Discover your inner STAR! Practice some fun improv skills that can even help you in school. This workshop is led by Denise Gard. Denise has acted in numerous plays and melodramas. She is now a professional storyteller.


Workshops are for ages 12-18 only.

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It's Back to School Time!

PPLD would like to wish all our students and parents a great school year. Here are some resources we offer to help with your studies:

And of course, you can always chat with a librarian by clicking the "Chat Now!" button, or email us at Ask a Librarian.

Good luck out there!

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Career Conversations

Professionals talk to teens about their careers and the ups and downs of getting where they are. Each presentation will be followed by a Q & A session. For ages 12 - 18.

Each session is held on the first Thursday of the month from 6:30 - 8 p.m. at Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr. Registration is required.

For more information, call (719) 884-9800 x6353.

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Brian Looney

PPLD's Artist in Residence for August/September 2016 was Brian Looney.

"I learned to draw while sitting alone at the kitchen table. Art is about self-discovery, and there truly is no rule book. The more you do a thing, the more that thing develops, and everything you do along the way is unique. Excuse the play on words... I was born in 1985, and that was a kooky year. Albuquerque, NM is my hometown, and I moved to Colorado for the nature and the art. I haven't been disappointed. Additionally, I am a published poet and a yoyo artist. That last might fall under the 'geek' category, but you may view it all at I look forward to meeting you!" ~Brian Looney

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

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You can now listen to three podcasts produced by Pikes Peak Library District through a variety of streaming services!

People of the Peak
People of the Peak podcast strives to introduce your community to you. Join us as we interview some of the fascinating people that live in the Pikes Peak Region.
Pikes Peak Pastcast
Pikes Peak Pastcast is an audio podcast of the presentations from the PPLD’s annual history symposium events and other related content. The symposia, and affiliated Regional History Series of books and DVDs, chronicle the unique and often undocumented history of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.
Colorado BrewCast
Want to know more about the Pikes Peak Region's breweries, home brew scene, and much more? Listen to Colorado BrewCast. Join us for this fun, casual interview style podcast where we pull back the curtain and give you an inside look at one of Colorado's greatest traditions, brewing!
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