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It’s all here at your Durango Public Library

Hi, Durango. As the new Durango Public Library interim director, I’ve been asked to contribute these rotational articles about local libraries. I’ll begin by saying what a wonderful community Durango is. Thanks for the warm welcome.

I’ll follow with I’m not a librarian by profession or training; my background is military and city management service. However, over the next year I’ll be examining the possibility of the library transitioning to a district library. There are more than 60 library districts in Colorado, including three in LaPlata County, so there’s value in seeing what a district might do here. If you’re interested in that project, stop in the library to talk.

Over the last couple months, this interim experience has caused me to consider the purpose and value of libraries. As a perpetual student and a part-time graduate-level teacher, I thought I knew a lot about libraries. In retrospect, I’d only scraped the surface. From this “deep dive” I’m in, here are a few discoveries:

  • Your Durango Public Library is a true knowledge portal. The library team is made up of experienced professionals, trained to be the best “search engine” available.
  • Librarians offer information about virtually every topic under the sun. Want to learn more about computers? See a librarian. Interested in learning another language, fixing the car or home repair? The library is your “go to” place. More than an information source, though, the library’s a haven for adventure. A place for the mind and spirit to explore fiction, fantasy, poetry, equity and diversity of thought. It’s the movies, but better and less expensive.
  • Libraries usually have extraordinary rates of return on the investment made in them. I’ve seen evidence and have high confidence that the team at Durango Public Library are exceptional custodians of both the public trust and their money. Your library is squeezing the most value out of every dollar it has.
  • Libraries are citadels of intellectual freedom and thought; often catalysts in addressing social challenges. Regardless of who you are, what you believe or where you’re from, your library strives to meet your needs and stimulate your imagination.

There’s much more to say, but this article must be short. Visit your Durango Public Library and witness the excitement and magic of children’s “Storytime with Callie” or Lego Fridays. Peruse the variety of periodicals and newspapers or keep up with your stock portfolio. Dabble in a new language, immerse yourself in one of the largest local history sections around, or read up on future exotic destinations. Upcoming programs include a Dec. 10 Girl Scouts-sponsored program for young ladies interested in coding. Every second Friday, there’s a free video or phone based Legal Clinic sponsored by the library and the Virtual Pro Se Clinic. Professional business advice and guidance is at your fingertips at the Patent & Trademark Resource Center, one of only three recognized PTRCs in Colorado. Looking for a good read this holiday season? Your library is the place to be. Have some time and a passion? Join the Friends of the Library – they’re extraordinary supporters.

Thanks for reading and see you around the library.

Randy Robertson is the interim director of Durango Public Library.