Reflections from the Last Year and Our Most Popular Items
2021 is coming to a close. Despite the fluctuations that accompanied another pandemic year, the Library remained a community space, a valuable public resource, and a cornerstone of lifelong learning.
For Poudre Libraries, 2021 included curbside pickup, a search for a new executive director, the return of volunteers, building renovations, an in-person Fort Collins Book Fest, and so much more. These changes have made for an incredible and unique year serving our community.
They’ve also brought new life to our digital collection, prompted creative work for Library programming, and pushed new perspectives. We introduced hybrid programming like the Know Your City series and adapted to safety regulations by hosting programs like our Outdoor Storytimes. In fact, adaptation might be our word of the year!
A Year in Review
One entirely new item in 2021 was the updated Poudre Libraries App! Partnering with Solus, Poudre Libraries worked hard on our mobile app to provide easy access to your online library account, our events calendar, catalog, and more fun library content. Hopefully, you’ve gotten good use out of the many options with our revised Library App including the notifications to pick up holds!
In 2021, we made quite the buzz with our Summer Reading Challenge, Tails and Tales. Over 5,200 participants read for a total of 75,000 hours in addition to completing 26,000 STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art, and math) activities. Did you participate? Comment below to tell us what your favorite summer read was.
We also had many other programming and service highlights. These include our ESL Mentoring service, Story Strolls, Breads of the World/Pans De Mundo series, Hands-On-Tech classes, Teen Council meetings and events, and many more. Pictures of these awesome programs and services are included below!
Our staff successfully provided an incredible array of programs for the community while maintaining health and safety regulations to keep everyone safe. Thank you to the library staff, volunteers, sponsors, and community partners who made this year’s programs a roaring success!
A New Twist for Events
Fort Collins Book Fest 2021
Various adaptations to events brought new twists to classic Library happenings in 2021. This includes larger events like Fort Collins Book Fest where we hosted headliner author Kali Farjado-Anstine in tandem with Fort Collins Reads at the Lincoln Center.
The event also featured over a dozen other accomplished authors including Alexandra Elle, Stephen Graham Jones, Jim Davidson, James Bridle, and many more. Community members gathered by the hundreds to hear the words of these revered authors and poets from across the nation.
Día de Muertos Community Celebration 2021
Shortly after Book Fest, we hosted our community Día de Muertos celebration at the Gardens at Spring Creek. Previously an event that was hosted in indoor spaces, the celebration took place on what seemed like the clearest, most beautiful November day Colorado had seen in 20 years.
The Gardens at Spring Creek was an incredible setting for the event. Altars, sugar skull decorating, dancing, a mariachi band, face painting, a Catrina and Catrin runway, and so much more made the 2021 Día de Muertos celebration one to remember.
Wrapping Up 2021
We also wanted to review the most popular books, movies, and items in our collection from the past year! With hundreds of thousands of items in our physical and digital collection – it’s difficult to anticipate what will be the year’s most popular items.
2021 proved to hold a diverse range of choices in literature and film for Poudre River Library customers.
A Lasting Duality
Though duality is a constant theme of life, its presence has felt particularly strong through the last year. The theme is reflected in our top checkouts from 2021.
Take, for example, two of our top five books from the last year. “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson brings down the sharp hammer of reality on complex issues embedded in American society. On the other hand, “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig, though it explores darker themes, highlights the endless possibilities in each of our lives, and concludes on a satisfying and redemptive note.
This contrast illuminates the duality of life through a pandemic year.
In just over 24 hours, 2022 will be upon us! In the New Year, we look forward to a fresh start with our new executive director Diane Lapierre. We hope to bring back more in-person programming in 2022 and will continue to roll with the pandemic punches.
We also welcome the finalization of renovations at Old Town Library in mid-January and the beginnings of renovations to Council Tree Library’s Teen Area next year.
We additionally anticipate growing our collection to serve our community’s needs. We continue our commitment to the community by maintaining our spaces as free and available to everyone. We also continue to champion lifelong learning, literacy, and of course, fun!
There is so much in store for 2022 with Poudre Libraries. See you next year!