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Support Democracy: Read This Article

Championing Access, Literacy And The Fourth Estate

By Tara Bannon Williamson

Park Hill Librarian

A trusty old Underwood, on display at the historic Denver Press Club downtown. Photo by Tara Bannon Williamson

As I sat and listened at the venerable Denver Press Club on the evening of Feb. 8, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and pride for our community paper. Democracy depends on informed and engaged citizens. This is the first (among many) reasons that your local libraries, Pauline Robinson and Park Hill branches, are honored to collaborate with the Greater Park Hill News.

The topic of the Denver Press Club panel that night was “Small Newspapers Making Big News,” featuring GPHN Editor Cara DeGette and a group of other editors and publishers who are producing community newspapers in the Metro area. When the topic of print versus online media arose, DeGette reminded the crowd that not everyone in Denver has access to a computer, Internet, or smartphone. Noted our esteemed editor, holding the February paper aloft, “Whether you are 6 or 106, you can read our paper for free.”

Your library supports informational needs and champions the rights to information access, literacy and privacy for all. Did you know that the American Library Association upholds a Library Bill of Rights? The Library Bill of Rights, adopted in 1939, guides the work of libraries across the country by affirming that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and uplifts intellectual freedom as one of our most dearly revered policies.

The Greater Park Hill News is also committed to the community’s information needs and champions access and literacy. At the recent Denver Press Club event, the editors and publishers discussed the impact and challenges of their work.

Doug Bell, retired editor of the Canyon Courier in Evergreen, beautifully summed up the power of sharing stories on a local level. “You are not just covering community; you are creating community,” he concluded.”

At the library, we see and experience the appetite for local news expressed through love of community and curiosity about what is happening in our beloved neighborhood. The volume of community newspapers that are being picked up at the library has doubled in the last few months. As the library continues to listen to the aspirations of the community, we hear that our neighbors aspire to increase their confidence in community participation and that they value finding local information written by their neighbors.

As metro dailies are downsizing, going out of business, and run for high profit margins, the beauty and the blessing of the community paper shines more clearly than ever before. Much like the library, the community paper exists to serve the community through the egalitarian sharing of stories, ideas and current events.

Study after study proves that reading creates shared meaning and increases empathy. Hearing about community happenings written by experts, who also happen to be your neighbors, is incredibly meaningful and authentic. Another commonality is how much the library and the GPHN count on the community for their input and support. If you have feedback for either, I encourage you to reach out and share.

Because reliable information is so important, the library is proud to let you know that we are offering a program on May 22 called How to Spot Fake News where you can learn the tricks and tools reference librarians use to evaluate the credibility of news stories.

Whether providing information on upcoming local events, charming profiles on Park Hill residents, or in-depth articles on the inspiring history of our neighborhood, our community paper is a welcome ally in the battle for intellectual freedom and providing everyone with accurate and reliable information to make informed decisions to positively impact their lives.

Pauline Robinson Library Events

Winter of Reading | Programs throughout March

Tech Help Appointments | Mondays and Tuesdays, noon – 1 p.m.

Get technology assistance from one of our in-house experts on your own device or a public computer. Learn the basics, such as email, social networking, word processing and eMedia. Call the library at 720-865-0290 to schedule an appointment for Monday or Tuesday.

Preschool Storytime | Wednesdays, March 7, 14, 21, 28, 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for 3-5 year olds and their parents or caregivers.

Respecting Advance Choices | Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

A trained facilitator will present a two-hour multimedia learning experience, and materials for attendees to complete their Advance Directives. At the signing party, a Notary Public will be provided free of charge to those who want their papers notarized. Limit 20 participants.

Respecting Choices Party with Notary | Saturday, March 17, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

At the signing party we will provide a Notary Public free of charge to those who want their papers notarized.

Solar Jitterbugs | Tuesday, March 27, 3 – 4 p.m.

Build a wiggling creature powered by the sun. You get to keep your creation. Ideal for ages 8- 12.

Youth BIZ: Startup- Think, Speak, and Act like an Entrepreneur | Tuesday through Friday, March 27 – 30, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

YouthBiz and the Denver Public Library have collaborated to bring an entrepreneurial focused program to the library. Instructors will provide 10-hours of engaging curriculum and activities that will enable participants to learn, think, speak, and act like an entrepreneur. Students will learn entrepreneurial skills for 21st century learners including; critical thinking and reasoning, information literacy, collaboration, self-direction, and invention. On the final day of the camp participants will take part in a Business Pitch Competition. The winning team will receive a cash prize. Grades 5-9. Light refreshments provided. Register online at

The Pauline Robinson Book Club | Saturday, March 31, noon

Please call the branch at 720-865-0290 for this month’s book. Drop-ins are welcome.

Park Hill Library Events

All Ages Storytime | Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for children of all ages and their parents or caregivers. Craft activity immediately follows the program.

Baby Storytime | Thursdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for babies ages 0-18 months and their caregivers. Play and social time immediately follow the program.

Toddler Storytime | Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their caregivers.

Magic Club | Mondays, March 5 & 19, 4:30 p.m.

Do you already play Magic: the Gathering, or are you interested in learning? Stop by two afternoons a month to play and meet other teens. Ideal for ages 10-17. *Join us on Saturday, March 3 from 1-4 p.m. to build your deck from scratch and play draft-style.

Origami for Seniors | Tuesday, March 6, 4 p.m.

Benefit from the tranquil art of paper folding and take away some beautiful items you’ve created from single sheets of paper.

Crazy 8’s Math Club | Wednesday, March 7, 4 p.m.

The last of our weekly math club where you will build stuff, run, jump, and make music. Ideal for grades K-2. Registration recommended.

No Strings Attached Book Chat | Saturday, March 10, 11 a.m.

Read whatever you want and attend whenever you can. Share a recent read, an old favorite, or anything in between.

Artistic Strategies for Social Action | Saturday, March 10, 2 p.m.

Facilitators will guide participants in creating works geared toward social change. Participants will be presented with a variety of creative interventions in addressing social issues and led through a process of envisioning artistic responses to community problems. No artistic experience necessary. Creative folks from all disciplines encouraged to participate.

Play & Explore | Monday, March 12, 10 a.m.

Engage your child in play that helps strengthen motor skills, social skills, and encourages early learning. This drop-in play session is recommended for children 12 months – preschool with their adult caregivers.

Age by Design—the Reason with Jane Barton | Tuesday, March 13, 4 p.m.

We have the opportunity to seek and to discover a new “why” of life in the latter years. Please join us to chat about what gets you out of bed every morning. What puts a bounce in your step? What gets your heart racing and ignites your imagination?

Teen Advisory Board (TAB)  | Tuesdays, March 13 & 27, 6 p.m.

Join the Park Hill TAB. Help plan events and projects, talk about your favorite books, music, movies and make your opinion count. Plus snacks. Ideal for ages 13-18.

Learn How to Arm Knit and Make a Cozy Cowl with Anne Weil Wednesday, March 14, 6 p.m.

Ann Weil, author of Knitting Without Needles, will teach you the basics of arm knitting and create a fabulous chunky knit cowl at the same time. Attendees will learn the basics of arm knitting, including yarn preparation, casting on, knitting, stopping in the middle, binding off and seaming. Each person needs three skeins of super bulky yarn, approximately 7 -100 yards each.

Tween Book Club | Thursday, March 15, 4:30 p.m.

Book: The Cricket in Times Square by George Sheldon

Activity: cricket cages

Instruments of Peace | Saturday, March 17, 2:30 p.m.

Using instruments born of a military tradition of pipes and drums going to battle, Instruments of Peace uses these same instruments to promote peace. Bring a camp chair or a blanket and enjoy the unique sounds of the bagpipe, conga drum, kalimba and whistle on the lawn.

Kids’ Book Club | Tuesday, March 20, 3:30 p.m.

Book: I Survived: The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis

Activity: Hands-on building experiment with simulated earthquake. Ideal for grades 2-3.

Self-Publishing 101 with Polly Letofsky  | Wednesday, March 21, 6:30 p.m.

This is the year that you’re finally going to publish your book. Get answers to your questions, learn the basic steps of self-publishing so you’ll know what to expect, and to know what you should never put up with.

Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West with Author Nick Johnson | Saturday, March 24, 2:30 p.m.

Offering the only agriculturally focused history to date, Grass Roots looks at the history of marijuana growing in the American West, from early Mexican American growers on sugar beet farms to today’s sophisticated greenhouse gardens and explores how the legal cannabis industry might become more environmentally sustainable. Books available for sale and signing.

Blinged Birdhouses | Wednesday, March 28, 3 p.m.

Your custom-painted birdhouse will be the envy of the neighborhood. Ideal for ages 3-8 with an adult helper.

Cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz | Saturday, March 31, 2:30 p.m.

Award-winning cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz’s work has appeared in many different publications and even a documentary. He has two weekly comics: The Denver Bootleg, which examines local musical history for Denver’s Westword newspaper, and the true-ish tales of the various lives in the city in 30 Miles of Crazy. His latest comic is An Introduction to Alcohol.

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