What's New!

Community members are invited to attend this listening forum where a panel of community representatives will listen to a variety of speakers share how substance use has impacted them and their family. The forum provides an opportunity to raise awareness about addiction in the community, inspire positive dialogue about recovery, and provide information for local residents, law enforcement, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the various barriers to achieving and challenges of sustaining recovery.

Charlie Smith, the regional director for SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association) will moderate the listening panel comprised of Colorado Springs Police Department Commander Rafael Cintron; State Representative Terri Carver; El Paso County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez; D11 Director of Counseling and Wellness Cory Notestine; and Richard Skorman, Colorado Springs City Council President, District 3.

After the discussion, we will also provide resources to help connect people with recovery options. PPLD is hosting this event in partnership with the Coalition for Prevention, Addiction Education, and Recovery (CPAR), a program of Community Health Partnership, and Springs Recovery Connection. Light refreshments will be served.

  • When: Wed., Feb. 27 from 6 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Where: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
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The Pikes Peak Library District At Evaluation Committee will be reviewing art for future 1 - 2 month shows by individual artists. Bring five pieces of art in show ready format (matted, framed, and wired). Please bring a completed Art Exhibit Application to submissions drop off.

Tue., March 12 in Venue at Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
Drop off: 10 a.m. - noon
Pick up: 4 - 6 p.m.

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Learn the basics of the 3D modeling software Fusion 360. You will need an Autodesk account to use this software. Please visit accounts.autodesk.com to create one before the class.

Ages 12 and up. Computer proficiency required. Registration is required.

  • When: Sat., Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Where: LIbrary 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
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What does the Fox say? I love you!


  • 1 Large heart - orange
  • 1 Medium heart – white – cut in half
  • 2 small hearts – orange
  • 3 small black circles or a black marker
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors


  1. Cut the white heart in half.
  2. Glue to the large orange heart.
  3. Turn 2 small hearts upside down and glue on the back for ears.
  4. Glue on black circles for eyes and nose or make eyes and nose with a black marker.
  5. Write a love note on the back.

What does the fox say?
I love you!

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Todd Parr, children's author, shows how he makes a book on his website, www.toddparr.com. He's given permission to share his material too. He's not only famous for great children's books, but valentines too.

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Have you heard about auto-renewals? Beginning Mon., Feb. 11, PPLD will save you the step of renewing your checkouts.

The day before items are due, the library’s system will automatically renew them if there are no holds and they haven’t already been renewed twice.

There are some exceptions to the materials that can be automatically renewed, including:

  • Rapid Read, Rapid View
  • eBooks, eAudios
  • Equipment
  • Interlibrary Loans

Patrons will receive an email notice letting them know what, if anything, was renewed as well as the new due date.

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Friends Spring Book Sale

It's that time again! The Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District are holding their annual Spring Book Sale at East Library on March 8 - 10.

  • Friday, March 8, 4 - 7 p.m.: Friends members only. Friends memberships are available at the door or here
  • Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Open to the public
  • Sunday, March 10, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Open to the public. $5 bag sale (bags supplied by the Friends)
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  • White or light colored paper
  • Markers or crayons


  1. Fold any size piece of paper in half. Fold one side up to meet the first fold.
  2. Create a picture of an animal or person on the folded paper. Make sure to put the mouth of the creature at the fold.
  3. Then open up the picture and make your creature look scary!
  4. Fold it back up and show the folded picture your friends and family. Say, “Isn’t it cute?” Then open up your picture quickly for a fun joke.

scary pictures projectscary pictures project

scary pictures projectscary pictures project

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February is Black History Month, and Pikes Peak Library District has a variety of programs and resources to help you celebrate!

Special Events

Ruth Holley Library Rededication
Sat., Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Ruth Holley Library
Ruth Holley was an impactful and involved member of the Colorado Springs community and worked at East Library for ten years. She was one of Pikes Peak Library District's first African American librarians. Her legacy is one of service and compassion for library staff and patrons alike. Join Pikes Peak Library District and Poetry719 for a celebration of her life and impact on our city during Black History Month!
11 a.m. - noon: Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting
1 - 1:45 p.m.: Celebrating Womxn Writing Workshop
1:45 - 3 p.m.: Listen to Black Womxn Open Mic

African Storytelling, Drumming, and Percussion
Wed., Feb. 20 from 6 - 8 p.m. at Penrose Library
Join Dr. Wanda Tisby Cousar and Ron Cousar for a Black History Month program that will include a West African Dance performed to drumming. The Cousars will also tell the true story of the Lion King using an African instrument called a Balafon. Throughout the performance the participants will be engaged! This is a part of the Winter Adult Reading Program. All ages welcome!


Movie Screening: A Raisin in the Sun
Sat., Feb. 23 from 1 - 3 p.m. at Rockrimmon Library
In celebration of Black History Month, come join us in our continuing classic film series for a screening of the 1961 film A Raisin in the Sun (NR), starring Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee. Snacks and drinks provided. No registration required for this free event.

Films Streaming through Kanopy

Reading Lists

Colorado History

Other Online Resources

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Death and Taxes.  Well Okay, Just Taxes.

It's that time again. Taxes are due on Monday, April 15. Lucky for you PPLD has all the information you need to file on time. Visit our Tax Information page for

Good luck and happy filing!

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AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers FREE tax preparation and e-filing at Library 21c (out of the Ent Conference Center) on Tuesdays and Thursdays between January 31 and April 11, 2019.

Appointments are recommended and can be made in advance by calling (719) 235-6757, but walk-ups are accepted.

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Mountain of Authors is looking for authors of the Pikes Peak region to be part of our Author Showcase. As a Showcase Author, you will have an opportunity to be part of the Mountain of Authors program, meet other area authors and writing groups, and visit with program attendees and market and sell your books.

For more information or to apply, please visit the Mountain of Authors website. The deadline for applications is February 19.

Space is limited to 35 authors and selected authors will be notified by March 1. There is no charge to participate; Friends of the Library handle all book sales and charge a 20% commission.

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February is “Random Acts of Kindness” month. Click the link below to see great reading suggestions.

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Overdue books? Fear not. Pikes Peak Library District will no longer charge you for being a little bit late on your returns.

The library will officially eliminate overdue fines Fri., Feb. 1, just in time for a county-wide celebration of Library Lover’s Month. Patrons will no longer be financially penalized for books that are late in returning to the library.

“Our mission as an organization is to eliminate barriers to information and resources, not create them,” said Director of Library Services Tim Blevins. “We had a trial run of eliminating overdue fines and didn’t see longer hold times for patrons, but did see a positive impact on borrowing. It makes perfect sense for us to permanently eliminate these fines.”

Fines, Blevins says, are particularly prohibitive for the community’s most vulnerable families. Plus, overdue fines accounted for less than one percent of the library’s overall revenue in 2017.

There will still be fees assessed for lost or damaged materials. Materials are considered lost if they are 21 days overdue.

Additionally, Pikes Peak Library District will roll out automatic renewals later on in Library Lover’s Month. The day before books are due, the library’s system will automatically renew them up to two times, so long as no other patron placed a hold on the material.

There are some exceptions to the materials that can be automatically renewed, like rapid reads, e-materials, and equipment checkouts.

“What we’ve seen here, and in library facilities across the country, is that by taking these steps to increase ease of access to materials, use of library resources and checkouts is positively impacted,” Blevins said. “We’re here to help people access the resources they need to achieve their goals. This is just one more way for us to do a better job of achieving that mission.”

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Collegium Study Center announces two opportunities to visit our program and see first hand our classes. Please join us on Monday, February 4 or Wednesday, March 6. Be sure to let us know when to expect you, bring your student(s) and stay as long as you like! We meet on the secondary campus of Evangelical Christian Academy, 4052 Nonchalant Circle S, Colorado Springs, 80917.

What is Collegium Study Center? We are a group of families committed to pursuing a model of classical Christian education for our children. We provide homeschooling students the opportunity to come together to study essential subjects for the purpose of learning the meaning of our calling to love God and love neighbor, whatever our path in life.

This year our core classes are held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, 8-12. Please contact Lynn McLinden at lgmclinden@gmail.com to rsvp. She can help direct you to the classes that will be most applicable to your interest. We look forward to seeing you!

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We want to celebrate your successes! Pikes Peak Library District is looking for stories about how our resources and staff have helped enrich minds, fuel learning and growth, spark imagination and ideas, build community and connections, and/or achieve goals.

To tell your story, click here and take our short survey.

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One of the great benefits of reading is that it allows us to learn about the lives of people who are different from us. Enjoy some of the delightfully unique books in this list with your children to expose them to the diverse people, cultures and customs that make up our country and our wonderful world. Click on the pdf link below to see great books for kids:

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  • Bowls or containers to use to make the ice
  • Large tray with sides or cookie sheet
  • Salt
  • Liquid watercolors or food coloring – please note that food coloring can stain
  • Droppers and/or a spoon


  1. Fill a variety of bowls or containers with water and freeze them at least overnight. Different sizes and depths are preferred.
  2. Remove the ice shapes from their containers and place them on the plastic tray or cookie sheet.
  3. Give your child a bowl of table salt – the cheaper the better. Have them sprinkle it on the top of their ice. They can also use a dropper to drop warm water on.
  4. Watch as ravines form down the side of the ice as the salt melts it!
  5. Squeeze a little bit of a food coloring onto the ice and watch what happens! The food coloring or liquid watercolors will highlight the ravines, crevasses, and tunnels that are forming.
  6. Discuss how salt melts the ice.
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Struggling with your laptop, tablet, or smartphone?

Bring your device and a staff member can assist you in troubleshooting the device on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 2:30 - 4 p.m. at Library 21c.

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Winter Adult Reading Program: A Universe of Stories

PPLD invites you to participate in 2019’s Winter Adult Reading Program A Universe of Stories! From Feb. 1 - March 31, read books and attend Library programs to win prizes. This year we are challenging you to try something new! While you still have the option of reading 8 books in 8 weeks to win reading prizes, you can now participate in 4 activities in place of reading 4 books.

Reading prizes include a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolate bar, and a polar bear hot/cold pack, and a limited edition 2019 Winter Adult Reading Program mug.

  • Complete the first level by reading 4 books, or with a combination of reading 2 books and 2 activities, and win the chocolate bar and hot/cold pack.
  • Complete the second level by reading 4 more books, or with a combination of reading 2 more books and 2 activities, and win the mug.
  • Complete both levels to be entered into a drawing for a Samsung tablet.

Click here to register.

Click here for a complete list of Winter Adult Reading Program events.

Click here for a printable reading log.

Featured Programs

Winter Adult Reading Program Kickoff Parties
Join us for the kickoff of the Winter Adult Reading Program: A Universe of Stories. Come enjoy a hot chocolate bar, find some new reads, and participate in a book swap. Staff members will be on hand to help you register and the first 30 people who register in person at the party will receive a limited edition tote bag. All ages welcome to the party. The reading program is open to ages 18 and up.

Durthy Washington presents Reading in Reverse: Discovering "the Classics"
This class invites participants to discover classic literature by “reading in reverse.” Creating your reading list for the New Year? Then you won’t want to miss this class!

Dr. Wanda Tisby Cousar and Ron Cousar present African Storytelling, Drumming, and Percussion
Join Dr. Wanda Tisby Cousar and Ron Cousar for a Black History Month program that will include a West African Dance performed to drumming. They will also tell the true story of the Lion King using an African instrument called a Balafon.

Rose Red Elk presents Native American Tales
Oral, spoken word storytelling accompanied by music is Rose Red Elk's passion. She will engage the audience to participate in a song “Keepers of the Earth.”

Ann Doolan-Fox presents The Celtic Road Home
Join Ann Doolan-Fox as she discusses her book, The Celtic Road Home. The book tells the story of her childhood, international adventurous travels, and life journey until the present day.

Linda Batlin presents Folktales Around the World
Join Linda Batlin for a potpourri of multicultural folktales from around the world, some classic tales, some whimsical stories but all certain to educate and entertain.

More activities and way to participate

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Snap Circuits Arcade

Create over 200 exciting circuits that support STEM curriculum with Snap Circuits Arcade! Snap together a disco ball, word fan, human alarm and more! For ages 8 and up. This kit is available at our Educational Resource Center.

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Play chess using lasers with the Laser Game, Khet! Strategically bounce the laser off of mirrors in order to “hit” your opponent’s pieces. For ages 9 and up. This game is available at our Educational Resource Center.

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For the 27th year in a row, Pikes Peak Library District is being recognized for excellent financial transparency.

The Government Finance Officers Association awarded Pikes Peak Library District the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting this month, the association’s highest award.

“The attainment of this award represents significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” the Government Finance Officers Association said in a press release. “This is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.”

Each year, the association judges government organizations through an impartial panel. According to the association’s website, the program was designed to motivate government agencies to “go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles,” with the goal of encouraging financial transparency by those agencies.

Earning this award illustrates an organization’s commitment to good stewardship of public dollars.

“This award is one of the highest honors a government organization can hope to achieve,” said Pikes Peak Library District Chief Financial Officer Michael Varnet. “To receive an award of this caliber so many years in a row is a testament not only to the finance team, but to the Library District as a whole. The group of people I work with each day truly has dedication to transparency and honorable financial reporting, and I am very proud to be part of such a team.”

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Kathleen Owings

The president of the Pikes Peak Library District Board of Trustees attended her last board meeting after ten years of service to the library.

Kathleen Owings will retire from the board as of Dec. 31, 2018. Owings first joined the board on Jan. 1, 2009, and was board president from 2012-2014 and in 2018.

Her fellow board members, library employees, and library leaders alike reminisced fondly on Owings’ contributions to the Library District and the community during her final board meeting on Dec. 11, 2018.

“While we are saddened to see Kathleen go, we feel very fortunate to have benefited from her leadership over the last ten years,” said PPLD Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears. “Her direction over the last decade has carried the library forward in such a positive way. Kathleen has put us on a path that will help us best serve all of our patrons across El Paso County for years to come.”

Owings is a Principal and Financial Advisor with Westbilt Financial Group. She is also a current and past member of several boards throughout the Pikes Peak Region, including the Children’s Literacy Center, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, and the local chapter of the West Point Alumni Association.

The new president of the PPLD Board of Trustees, Wayne Vanderschuere, will take over the role on Jan. 1, 2019. Terms on the board are five years, and board leadership changes annually.

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Hot Cocoa Mix:
Materials Needed:

  • Glass Jar (We use a Starbucks® Frappuccino® Jar)
  • Twine
  • Gift Tag
  • Ziploc bag (optional)


  • Hot Cocoa Mix
  • Mini M&M’s®
  • Chocolate Chips (Mini)
  • Peppermint Swirl Candies
  • Marshmallows

What to Do:

  1. Pour two servings of Hot Cocoa mix into the jar. (Depending on your mix, you’ll require different amounts.)
  2. Pour 1 Tablespoon of M&M’s and 1 Tablespoon of mini chocolate chips into the jar.
  3. Put your peppermint candies and ¼ cup of marshmallows into a bag, and carefully squish into the jar.
  4. Seal up the jar.
  5. Use twine to attach a gift tag.
  6. Your mix is ready for gift giving!

Note: If you don’t mind a little mix on your marshmallows and candies, you can leave the bag out.
For an added look, you can paint your caps. Just make sure they dry before you try to seal the jar up!

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