By Don Mueller
Even the most cynical among us will have to admit that our fair city of Denver has made some positive changes in the last couple of years. A new airport, a new ballpark, a new amusement park, and a new library! We've never had a year like that! Since I'm a connoisseur of the printed word like many of you are, we'll talk about the Library. Like many Mensans, I've gotten quite a collection of books, magazines and videos. Until I can figure out how to get a grant from the government to build a library wing onto my modest digs, I've had to resort to unusual methods of finding space for my literary material. My videos, for example, have gotten out of hand. Since I've been getting quite a collection of programs that I'm going to watch "some day", I've become quite handy at building video racks to hold my approximately 700 tapes. I have found that by ripping off the wallboard on my walls and building shelves in them, it's just the right depth to hold VHS tapes perfectly. Of course, whenever I withdraw a tape, I have to check whether or not it's a load-bearing video or non-load-bearing video, so that my house doesn't fall down in the process.
Also, I collect magazines. I'll just give you one example. Most people of normal intelligence have enough sense to throw away their "TV Guide" when the week is over. Not me. I always feel that I've never quite read everything in it yet, so I file it away in proper sequence with the other TV Guides so that I can read it fully someday. I've done this since my subscription to TV Guide started; In June of 1959!! Yep, every single issue of TV Guide for 38 years is holding up the Northwest portion of my house. If you were born after June of 1959, tell me your birth date, and I'll run-off some free copies of exactly what was on TV when you popped out. Let's see, where was I; Oh yes, the new library! I made a visit, and I am quite impressed with the new spaciousness of the new building, which of course, was the whole idea in building it in the first place. At the old place, when you arrived, you were virtually stepping over books just to get in. At the new place, you walk into this giant, concrete hall, and for a minute I thought I was at a depot to catch a train. And I was saying to myself, do they have rooms with books in them somewhere? They have an orientation theater on the main floor, and you get to watch a slick video that gives you an overview of the premises. They also have guided tours. The old card catalogs are still there, but of course, computers are all over the building as your main source of finding material.
I'm so old that I distinctly remember when the old 40 year old Denver Public Library WAS the NEW Denver Public Library. When I was in elementary school my buddy Roger and I went there on a Saturday with no other noble purpose other than to play with their new automatic elevators. Before that time, elevators had to have operators on them. We very carefully tested them out, just to make sure that all fo the buttons did what they said they did. (they did) Roger liked things like airplanes, and I guess hitting a button to the fourth floor was the closest thing to flying that he could muster at the time. We surmised interesting theorys about how long the elevator would remember floor commands, and figured out that the elevator probably would spend an hour by itself without any passengers going up and down to various floors if we were to punch up a bunch of floor buttons randomly. After quite a few ups and downs, the staff managers were starting to get wise to us-- that's when we decided to lay low at the Western History Section and study our fine Colorado heritage on the fourth floor for a while. (Unfortunately Roger is no longer with us, when he was in college he drove his car off of a 400 foot cliff in California.)
Oh, by the way, the elevators at the new library work quite well, and you can also use escalators for the first four floors!
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