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High Plains Library District Hosts Live Chat with NASA Astronaut

(Colorado– October 9, 2018) –  The High Plains Library District, in collaboration with the Space Science Institute and its National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), was recently selected by NASA (through an extremely competitive process) to host a live in-flight education downlink from the International Space Station on October 18th with Colorado’s own NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor. 3rd and 4th grade students from Frontier Academy and Dos Rios Elementary (in Greeley, CO) will talk with Auñón-Chancellor and participate in hands-on science and engineering activities. The event will be streamed live so that other public libraries and schools across the country can organize their own viewing events. The 20-minute downlink is tentatively scheduled to begin at 11:40 am Mountain Time. The planned program, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, is designed to inspire children to increase their interest and engagement in science and engineering.

Children ages 8-12 from local schools and libraries and elsewhere across the U.S. submitted questions for the live chat. Local kids will be selected to ask questions during the downlink. NASA Astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor will answer as many as time allows.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids and something for our entire community to rally around. We hope this inspires our youth to dream big about their future, and the possibilities that exist for each of them in the science and engineering fields. We hope that other libraries and schools will organize their own viewing events and watch the broadcast” said Kelli Johnson, Community Relations and Marketing Manager at High Plains.

Paul Dusenbery, Director of the National Center for Interactive Learning, said “Public libraries are natural community gathering places and one of the few free resources available to the public. They serve people of all races, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. This NASA astronaut program will help to increase and sustain youth and public engagement in science and engineering.”

Media interested in covering should contact Kelli Johnson or 970-506-8560.

 

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson, Fort Lupton and Gilcrest.

 

About the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL)

The Space Science Institute’s NCIL (www.nc4il.spacescience.org) is dedicated to developing and implementing projects and initiatives that improve formal and informal STEM education and the evaluation/research foundation on which they are based. NCIL works with national partners to develop STEM exhibitions for public libraries, science centers, and museums; conducts professional development for informal educators; and creates educational games and apps that can be deployed on websites, mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets) and multi-touch tables and kiosks. NASA@ My Library is an initiative of the STAR Library Network (STAR Net), a hands-on learning network for libraries and their communities across the country (www.starnetlibraries.org). STAR Net focuses on helping library professionals build their STEM skills by providing “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) and training to use those resources. STAR Net resources include the STEM Activity Clearinghouse, blogs, webinars, workshops and meet-ups at library conferences, partnership opportunities, information about upcoming national STEM events, and the STAR Net online newsletter.

Food Drive

(Greeley– October 2018) –  Several northern Colorado libraries have teamed with local Food Banks to help stock food bank shelves in preparation of the holiday season.

Participating libraries throughout the High Plains Library District will be offering limited fine/fee forgiveness in conjunction with a food drive to benefit the Weld Food Bank, Erie Community Food Bank, Carbon Valley Help Center, Triangle Cross Ranch (Eaton), Fort Lupton Food and Clothing Center, Ault Food Bank, Nunn Community Food Bank and Pierce Food Bank.

Libraries in Ault, Eaton, Erie, Evans, Firestone, Fort Lupton, Gilcrest, Greeley, Hudson, Johnstown, Kersey, Platteville as well as the Bookmobile will be offering fine forgiveness October 7 – 20. One can = $1 off fines/fees and the maximum forgiveness is $70.

“Our libraries have offered Food for Fines for the past several years,” said Kelli Johnson, Community Relations and Marketing Manager for HPLD. “We know that this time of year there are many people throughout our communities who need a little help. Our libraries want to be a part of giving back to the community and helping those who need it. Doing the food drive provides an opportunity for us to do something great and make a difference in peoples’ lives. Offering food for fines is a win-win for everyone.” added Johnson.

For additional information please call 970-506-8560 or visit www.MyLibrary.us.

 

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Evans, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson, Gilcrest and Fort Lupton.

State Recognizes Librarian of the Year from High Plains

(Greeley– September 2018) –  The Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) awarded one of its most prestigious honors, Librarian of the Year, to Micaela Sanchez of the High Plains Library District.

Sanchez was recognized during the Association’s annual conference last week in Loveland for her significant contributions to the High Plains Library District and the library professions.

“The committee was amazed by just how connected Micaela is to the communities she is serving, said Robin Filipczak, chair of the awards committee for CAL. “Her work championing a philosophy of planning library initiatives and services by considering the need of a specific target audience, creating specific desired outcomes, and then develop strategies to achieve those outcomes has transformed the libraries impact on the community.”

Sanchez was also commended for her progressive approach to Librarianship and her demonstrated success working to shift perceptions of the role and value of libraries.

Sanchez has worked for High Plains for 15 years serving in various capacities. She is currently the Program Coordinator and previously worked in the Outreach department and as part of the Farr Regional Library staff in Greeley.

 

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson, Fort Lupton and Gilcrest.

High Plains Library District Board Seeks New Trustee

(Greeley– May, 2018) – The High Plains Library District Board is accepting applications to fill two open positions on the Library Board of Trustees.  The application deadline is October 5, 2018. Both terms begin January 1, 2019 and ends December 31, 2023.

This is a governing board which determines the policies of the library in relation to community needs, requires proper standards be maintained, provides adequate financing for the library operation and provides necessary buildings and equipment for activities of the library.

While there are no statutory requirements regarding residency, it was the intent at the time the district was created that each jurisdiction have representation.  The areas needing representation include:

  • Region 2.  Fort Lupton, Hudson, Keenesburg, and LaSalle
  • Region 4. Greeley, Evans, and Garden City

The Board typically meets twice a month, the first and third Mondays of each month at 5 or 6pm. Meeting locations rotate among all of the libraries in the District. In addition, Board members are involved with some task force / committee work and fundraising, as well as help with and attend special events. Board positions require a commitment of at least 10 hours per month.

Applications are available online at http://www.mylibrary.us/board/ or by contacting Kathy Webb at 970- 506-8588. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., October 5, 2018.  For more information contact Kathy Webb at 970-506-8588..

 

 

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson, Fort Lupton and Gilcrest.

High Plains Library District Hosts Community Training: Compassionate Communication for Problematic Behavior

(Greeley– June, 2018) –  Homelessness is a growing concern in many communities – especially ones experiencing rapid growth. With growth comes the unintended consequence of a limited affordable housing and fewer jobs. The community impact translates to an increase in homeless and/or transient populations.

Understating how to work with these populations is critical to the overall welfare of a community. As a cornerstone agency serving people from all walks of life and backgrounds, the High Plains Library District recognized the need for training that provides library staff and community members with tools to engage people experiencing homelessness, mental illness and addiction.

High Plains, with support from the City of Greeley and United Way of Weld County, offered a training presented by Ryan Dowd, Executive Director of one of Chicago’s largest homeless shelters. His training teaches specific techniques and tools for compassionately and effectively addressing people experiencing homelessness. His training provides library staff and community members with a deeper understanding of homelessness and teach attendees how to use empathy-driven enforcement of rules rather than punishment-driven enforcement; gain power and confidence to solve problems by preparing for them, solving them as early as possible, and using mindset tools, pre-conflict tools, non-verbal tools, verbal tools and crisis tools when working with these vulnerable populations.

Dowd regularly travels the country training libraries, law enforcement agencies, schools and other organizations on how to work compassionately with difficult homeless individuals. Dowd also offers an online training “Practical Tips for Difficult Homeless Patrons” and is the author of “The Librarians Guide to Homelessness.”

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson, Fort Lupton and Gilcrest.

 

High Plains Library District Announces 2018 Writer in Residence

(Greeley– May, 2018) – Libraries have become extraordinary places for community engagement; a place to connect, learn, gather and flourish.

High Plains Library District (HPLD) and the High Plains Library District Foundation are deeply committed to supporting local creatives by becoming a community incubator. Now in its third year, the Writer in Residence program will again help foster the literary talents and aspirations of a local writer.

Julia McSherry was selected by a volunteer panel to serve as the District’s third Writer In Residence. McSherry is a freelance writer based in Greeley, originally from Louisiana. She makes her home on a small acreage with her two dogs, two horses, two barn cats and a flock of free range hens.  She loves to cook and is passionate about slow food and fast (fresh) ingredients. An avid gardener, she was a Colorado Master Gardener, Weld County, for five years.

The book she will be working on during her residency is a combination memoir/cookbook, titled Catch and Devour, about her relocation from New Orleans to Greeley after Hurricane Katrina. She loves the West and hopes to capture some of the charm afforded by the unique agriculture, high plains and mountain landscape of northern Colorado. The narrative before and after recipes will tell stories related to cooking, farm life, sustainability, healthy growing and eating and slow rather than fast food. Excerpts of the book will be published online through a blog and eventually in print.

“Where I grew up in central Louisiana and then lived for decades in the New Orleans swampland, hunting and fishing was a way of life. With that, so was cooking game and fish,” says McSherry. “Colorado has a similar history of living off the land, whether it’s through raising cattle, growing crops as a farmer or vegetables as a backyard gardener. Cooking and recipes are part of the stories of our lives. Who doesn’t remember their mother’s gumbo (in my case), their grandmother’s biscuits, or a favorite aunt’s chocolate chip cookies? Food and cooking conjure stories,” McSherry stresses.

“The High Plains Library District Writer in Residence Program is a wonderful symbiosis,” McSherry emphasizes. The residency provides an opportunity for writers to have time to write while also contributing to the community through library programs and events.

The goal of the Writer in Residence program is to support the creative process of one Weld County writer during a six-month time-period so they may complete a manuscript with the intent to publish. The program is part of the District’s vision to serve as an incubator for the arts and further the mission of connecting communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life.

The Writer in Residence program was established by the High Plains Library District Foundation, and is funded by community donors. The HPLD Foundation will continue to build capacity for the Writer in Residence by annually soliciting individual donations to directly support the program.

For more information visit www.MyLibrary.us.

 

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson and Fort Lupton.

Special Tax Forms Announcement

It has recently come to our attention that tax forms distributed throughout High Plains Library District are out of date and do not reflect legislation extending certain benefits.

As of February 22, 2018, 1040 instructions have been revised and reissued to include the following tax benefits:

  • Tuition fees and deductions
  • Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums
  • Residential energy property credit
  • Nonbusiness energy property credit
  • Alternative fuel vehicle refueling credit
  • Indian employment credit

References to these tax benefits have been added back to these instructions accordingly.

A list of all affected forms can be found here.

Changes to Tax Forms, Instructions, and Publications can be found here.

An update on Extender Legislation can be found here.

 

The IRS advises using only the most updated forms and instructions, which are available on their website.

Correct versions of forms:
Forms 10401040A, and 1040EZ are valid if they have tax year 2017 on them.
1040 Instructions: Feb 22, 2018
1040A Instructions: Feb 22, 2018
1040EZ Instructions: Jan 18, 2018

If you have already filed your 2017 federal tax return and are eligible for any of the benefits included in the new law, you may file an amended return using Form 1040X. Amended returns cannot be filed electronically and can take up to 16 weeks to process.

Executive Director Appointed

(Greeley– February 2018) –  The High Plains Library District Board has appointed Dr. Matthew Hortt as the new Executive Director.

“Dr. Hortt brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. His aptitude for public libraries will strengthen the High Plains Library District and enhance service to our community,” said Ken Poncelow, Chairman of the HPLD Board.

Hortt will be leaving his position as the City Librarian for the City of Santa Clarita Public Libraries in California. He has over sixteen years of progressive experience in public libraries working at all levels in both Nevada and California.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Affairs from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next Executive Director of the High Plains Library District,” said Dr. Hortt. “My goal is to continue to build upon the wonderful services the District already offers and to work to ensure that everyone continues to see the HPLD as the first and best resource for learning. I am looking forward to helping make the District an even more vital community asset and leading HPLD into the future.”

Hortt was selected as the Director from a pool of 27 candidates. Hortt will begin working in early April.

 

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson, Gilcrest and Fort Lupton.

Jodi Picoult Video Released

(Greeley– December, 2017) –High Plains Library District was proud to host bestselling author, Jodi Picoult, at the DoubleTree Hilton in Greeley in October. This event drew a crowd of almost 1,000 people, setting an attendance record for the venue.

The enlightening, thought-provoking event garnered the praise of Weld County residents and travelers from other states alike, who chose to “Join the Conversation” about social justice and race relations in America.

Continue the conversation by watching this newly released video below:

Kersey Library Reopened

(Greeley– December, 2017) –  The Kersey mini-branch of the High Plains Library District will reopened on December 20.

High Plains and the Town of Kersey have a strong working relationship and have found a mutually beneficial location to reopen the Kersey Library. The library is co-located inside the Kersey Senior Center, 415 1st Street in Kersey. The library is open Monday – Thursday, and Saturday from 1-5 pm.

“High Plains staff and the Town of Kersey have been working together to find a new location that best meets the needs of the public and the staff,” said Tony Brewer, Interim Executive Director for High Plains. “This is a great solution and will further our collaboration.”

The library has several computer stations, printing services and is accessible for patrons to pick up and drop off items. Services will continue to be revisited and modified as needed based on demand and available space.

The Bookmobile will continue serving the Kersey area the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month, from 1-2:30 pm beginning January 15th. The Bookmobile will be parked in front of the Library.

The library will be closed Friday, December 22 – Tuesday, December 26 and Friday, December 29 – Monday, January 1, 2018.

For more information please visit www.MyLibrary.us or call 1-888-861-7323.

 

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson and Fort Lupton.