2024 Jeff Riley’s Spring Update

Greetings -

Happy spring! We’ve had it all - warm days, snow, wind, rain, flowers, and more.  

I just finished rereading Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. First published in 1923, it is considered a book of wisdom and has delighted and challenged its readers much like our Colorado weather. The book has been translated into one hundred languages, has never been out of print, and is one of the best-selling books of all time.

In the book, the Prophet provides lessons in response to a series of questions on 26 topics related to the human condition, starting with love and ending with death. Additional topics include giving, work, joy and sorrow, laws, self-knowledge, time, good and evil, beauty, and more.

The self-knowledge lesson, in particular, stood out to me. The Prophet suggests that self-discovery is 'measureless and boundless.' He states that, as we learn, we should not say, 'I have found the truth, but rather that I have found a truth.' This lesson encourages us to embrace the idea that our understanding of truth is evolving and that self-discovery is a journey. Have you ever thought you learned a truth only to realize later it’s but one of many truths? 

This insight causes me to think of the library. The Library is a place where everyone can thrive, explore, and connect through the pursuit of knowledge. When you read one book, you often find yourself wanting to read another. Getting the answer about one truth usually results in a question about another. With these truths, we learn about ourselves and each other.  

With 1.4 million physical materials, 153,000 eBooks, 188,500 audio materials, 27 branches, three mobile libraries, and almost 800 staff, Denver Public Library is the best place to embark on this “measureless and boundless” journey of self-discovery and knowledge. It is a place where curiosity is valued, encouraged, and stewarded. Furthermore, anyone can embark on their own remarkable journey of discovery.

I’ll close with a related story from the Ross-University Hills Branch I read about last week. 

A customer was checking out a DVD and said, "Has anyone ever told you that you all are the saviors to our sanity? I don't know what I would have done without the library these past few years!".

How has the library supported you on a journey of self-knowledge and helped you stay sane?