2023 Jeff Riley’s Winter Update

December 21, 2023

As I sit at my desk and write this, it is a sunny 65 degrees outside. As it’s mid-December, this feels both wonderful and scary.

As the year-end approaches, I always like to reflect on the past year and the year ahead. This is a wonderful and scary exercise. 2023 has had a lot of scary - wars, inflation, and vexing political choices fall into that category for me. And what about artificial intelligence? That's definitely wonderful and scary as well.

Here are a few experiences I have had that fall on the wonderful side:

My daughter got married in July, and I learned my son and his wife will make me a granddad in 2024.

I took many morning walks and got to enjoy some beautiful sunrises.

At the Friends Foundation, we had our first Large Multi-Day Used Book Sale since the pandemic at the Historic Elitch Theater. The Foundation also had two wonderful parties - the Booklovers Ball in October and the just-completed Holiday Lighting party, where we had a sleigh-pulling photo booth!

The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and the Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library reopened. It was a special treat to spend time with Purnell Steen at the Blair-Caldwell Reopening. He has been a library supporter since the 1950s.

As the two images below show, the wonderful new Park View space opened at the library, and tremendous progress has been made on the Central Library Renovation. Look at that staircase!

If you haven't noticed, the library played a significant role in making this year a wonderful one for me. I know, however, that the effect the library has applies to far more than just me. The library branches, their contents, the library staff, and their service to the community all create a wonderful atmosphere for library customers, no matter what scary things might be happening in their lives.

As we move forward in 2024, I hope the library can bring joy and wonder to you, while also diminishing anything scary. Best wishes for the year ahead!