Menu

News

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.”

-30-

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.

 

-30-

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.

 

-30-

 

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.

High Plains Library District Selects Finalists for Executive Director Job

(Greeley– January 2018) –  Midori Clark, Matthew Hortt, Eileen McCluskey and Laurel Prysiazny have been selected as finalists to fill the Executive Director position at the High Plains Library District. The candidates will be available for a public forum on Thursday, February 8 from 4-6 PM at the District’s Administration offices, 2650 W. 29th Street in Greeley. The community is encouraged to attend to get to know the candidates and their vision for the High Plains Library District. The four candidates will also be participating in discussions with staff on February 8, and final interviews with the Library Board will take place on February 9.

About the Candidates

Midori Clark is a Greeley native with a passion for highlighting the value and mission of public libraries. She has more than 13 years of public library executive-leadership experience. Clark is currently the Director of Community Relations, Development and Strategic Initiatives at Pueblo City-County Library District, where she joined the executive leadership team in 2004. Her areas of responsibility include district-wide data collection and analysis, centralized adult programming, marketing, public relations and fundraising.

Her proudest accomplishments include creating and directing the annual All Pueblo Reads literary project (with total participation of more than 40,000 in 2017), managing the Pueblo Library Foundation’s capital campaign that raised more than a $1 million for three new libraries built simultaneously in Pueblo County in 2015, and leading the marketing team that helped quadruple program attendance over the last decade. PCCLD was recognized by The Library Journal as one of only two Colorado four-star libraries in 2017.

Clark graduated from Greeley’s University High School, and her undergraduate degree is from the University of Southern California in Broadcast Journalism. She holds two master’s degrees, one in Library and Information Science and the other in Applied Communication from the University of Denver. Prior to working at PCCLD, Clark was a television news anchor and reporter at the highest-rated TV stations in both Colorado Springs and Cheyenne.

 


 

Dr. Matthew Hortt is currently the City Librarian for the City of Santa Clarita Public Libraries. He has over 16 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 Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Hortt has experience in library safety/security, policy writing, strategic planning and construction project management. He has a passion for library advocacy and focuses on fundraising, working closely with Library Friends and Foundation groups to diversify fundraising activities.

 

He is active in the library profession and community; graduating from the Mountain Plains Library Association Leadership Institute 2010, Leadership Henderson Class of 2013 and Simi Valley Leadership Class of 2017. His service includes Economic Development Councils, Emergency Management Councils and Rotary Club. He has presented at the California Library Association Annual Conference and is an Executive Committee Member of the Southern California Library Cooperative.

Hortt published his dissertation which evaluated the effects of gratitude on prosocial behavior. He has also coauthored the article Nonprofit Human Resource Management, published in the Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy.

 


 

Eileen McCluskey is currently the Library Manager for the Old Town Library, Poudre River Public Library District, in Fort Collins, Colorado.  She has expanded the library’s reach into the community by serving on the city’s Parking Advisory Board and as a facilitator on a project to support the reduction of ethnic disparity in the Larimer County juvenile justice system.

Prior to coming to Fort Collins, Eileen was the Principal Librarian at the Boulder Public Library where she led the Community Engagement and Enrichment division.  She was a part of the leadership team in Boulder that transformed the library throughout a major renovation of the main library and a staffing restructure, resulting in the library being named the 2016 Colorado Library of the Year.  Previous work experience includes 14 years at the High Plains Library District where she worked in multiple departments, branches and administration.  At High Plains, she was a founding member of the centralized collection development team and started the training department at the district.

Eileen received her Master’s in Library Science from Rutgers University.  She was a 2016 participant of the LEAD program at the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

 


 

Laurel Prysiazny is currently Acting Dean for Library and Student Learning Support Services with Fresno City College (FCC).  FCC has 35,000 students, so things are always busy in the library and tutorial services where 40 staff and 300 student aides provide tutoring.

For seven years, Laurel was County Librarian for Fresno County, directing the $30M operation with over 330 staff and 37 outlets.  Laurel’s accomplishments included reducing processing costs by 50% for library materials and restructuring the organization to improve resource allocations and branch communications.  She and the library team introduced innovative programs and services such as the With Out Walls Mobile Library (WoW!), the Digi-Bus mobile computer lab, and Citizenship Corners to help improve the path to citizenship.  During Laurel’s tenure, Measure B, the Library’s 1/8 sales tax, was renewed for the longest period (16 years) and the highest voter approval rating (73.27%) ever.

Laurel was also Managing Director for the San Joaquin Library System (SJVLS), a 10-member library cooperative with 170 outlets.  Laurel supervised SJVLS staff, oversaw the shared IT network, and was fiscal agent for the cooperative. Laurel also was Deputy Director for the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix where she reorganized and modernized operations for the 280,000 sq. ft. facility.  Prior to that, she worked for the Long Beach Public Library as Associate Director for the Main Library as well as Manager for the Automated Services Bureau.

Married (1 husband) with two dogs, Laurel is a newish American thrilled to call the United States her home.

 


 

The four finalists were selected from 27 applications following a nationwide search.  The committee, consisting of two Trustees, one community member, two Member Library Directors and the Interim Executive Director, narrowed the list to eight semifinalists based on a review of applications, then down to four based on Skype interviews. The new director is expected to be in place by April.

Former Executive Director, Janine Reid retired September 1, 2017. Associate Director of Branch Services Tony Brewer has been serving as the interim Executive Director.

 

-30-

 

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.

 

-30-

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.

 

High Plains Library District Recognized for Financial Excellence

(Chicago) –  The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been issued to High Plains Library District by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been awarded to the individual(s), department or agency designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR. This has been presented to Natalie Wertz, Finance Manager for HPLD.

As a tax based organization we know we have the responsibility to be good stewards of the tax dollars we receive. This award represents our commitment to the tax payers to be fiscally responsible, transparent and maintain excellence in our accounting practices,” said Tony Brewer, Interim Executive Director for High Plains.

The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professional with offices in Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C.

-30-

 

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

 

HIGH PLAINS LIBRARY DISTRICT FOUNDATION AWARDED $15,000 LET’S PLAY CONSTRUCTION GRANT FROM DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP AND NATIONAL NON-PROFIT KaBOOM!

GREELEY, CO, August, 2, 2017 – Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! awarded the High Plains Library District Foundation a $15,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant that will be used to build a play space at Riverside Library and Cultural Center (RLCC) in Evans.

 

The grant is part of Let’s Play, an initiative by DPS to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority. Unstructured, child-directed play has proven to help kids develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation. As a result of Let’s Play grants and projects, more than 6.5 million kids will benefit from new or improved playgrounds around the nation by the end of 2020.

 

The play space was part of the initial design for the library and cultural center when it was constructed in 2014. However, due to budget restraints, the play space was placed on hold. “We are so thrilled to receive funding to finish this project,” said Rochelle Mitchell-Miller, Foundation Director, “it will be the cherry on top of an amazing community resource.”

 

RLCC is located in the east Evans neighborhood, an area greatly impacted by the 2013 flood. The site hosts a District 6 bus stop and serves as an after-school gathering place that is easily accessible from the surrounding neighborhoods. The play area, which will feature unique climbing and balancing equipment appropriate for all ages, will provide a much needed recreational space for Evans youth.

 

Dr Pepper Snapple has committed more than $35.5 million to Let’s Play through 2019, impacting youth-serving organizations across the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple partners with two non-profit organizations, KaBOOM! and Good Sports, to build and improve playgrounds in underserved communities and provide grants for sports equipment. In this way, Dr Pepper Snapple is doing our part to help eliminate the play deficit by making active play possible for more kids.

Since its launch in 2011, Let’s Play has provided more than 10 million children with more opportunities to play via safe, accessible playgrounds and sports equipment. Moreover, by 2020 we will have engaged more than 80,000 volunteers from Dr Pepper Snapple, our partners and our communities in this effort.

Visit Let’s Play at www.LetsPlay.com to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the various available grants to make communities more active and playful.

 

About High Plains Library District Foundation

The High Plains Library Foundation is a 501c3 supporting non-profit of the High Plains Library District. Our mission is to cultivate information, inspiration, and entertainment for our communities by raising funds to sustain and create literacy programs, collection development, technology upgrades, and capital improvements for our libraries. High Plains Library District serves Weld County, the third largest county in Colorado with 277,670 residents spanning 3,987 miles. The District includes seven branch libraries located in Erie, Firestone, Greeley, Evans, and Kersey; Outreach Services including a Bookmobile, Lobby Stop Van, and nine Public Computing Centers; and six autonomous municipal libraries. For more information, please visit mylibrary.us/foundation.

About Let’s Play

Let’s Play is an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority. Through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple partners with two non-profit organizations, KaBOOM! and Good Sports, to build and improve playgrounds in underserved communities and provide grants for sports equipment. In this way, Dr Pepper Snapple is doing our part to help eliminate the play deficit by making active play possible for more kids. Since its launch in 2011, Let’s Play has provided more than 10 million children with more opportunities to play via safe, accessible playgrounds and sports equipment. For more information, please visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, Mr & Mrs T mixers

Kersey Library Temporarily Closed

(Greeley– June, 2017) –  As of Monday, June 12 the Kersey Library will be temporarily closed while the building undergoes some repairs and maintenance.

Previously scheduled programs, activities and book clubs will be relocated within the Kersey community as much as possible. Please check the District’s online calendar for the most accurate location details.

In the meantime, patrons are encouraged to visit any of the other HPLD locations- the closest is the Riverside Library and Cultural Center (3700 Golden St., in Evans), just 8 miles or about 10 minutes away.

The Kersey book drop will remain open, so patrons can return their items as usual at Kersey Library.

For more information, please visit www.MyLibrary.us.

 

-30-

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.