The Rocky Mountain Land Library (RMLL) has been the hard work and vision of director Jeff Lee and his wife Ann Martin for years. With the help of Park County and the City of Aurora (who own the water rights), the Land Library is on the verge of signing a lease for the Buffalo Peaks Ranch—a historic landmark established in 1863 in South Park, Colorado.
Be sure to check out, or subscribe to, the library’s beautiful WordPress blog which is maintained by Jeff and Ann at landlibrary.wordpress.com. Now I have been known to exaggerate on occasion (and by on occasion I mean all the time), but this is no exaggeration: It is the most beautiful blog I have ever seen. Exploring this site is like accessing the private library of some kind of amazing natural history museum. And reading the narrative is like falling into a literary dream.
Many people in the Rocky Mountain region are interested and already helping the RMLL to create a residential land study center at the ranch. RMSLA members have contributed in the past by: moving car-loads of books and shelving; repairing the ranch’s facilities; conducting scholarly research; and creating a greater awareness of the project.
Recently, two of our chapter members became the official tweeters for the Land Library. So now you can follow their brilliant, compelling, and wondrous tweets (ok, I’m exaggerating—but they are well-written) at http://twitter.com/landlibrary
RMSLA member Jolie Hogancamp (@jhogancamp on Twitter) is the business librarian at Loveland Public Library. She told us this about herself:
I promote our electronic databases, assist small business needs, teach computer classes and do collection development for OverDrive downloadable materials and print books on the subjects of computers, economics/finance, and business.
I grew up in Black Hills of South Dakota. My father worked as a forest service ranger, so respect for the land was a must! Fresh out of high school, I wanted to be a year-round National Park worker; taking turns seasonally in the Everglades, Denali, Bryce Canyon, etc. But I only managed to work in Yellowstone National Park and Sequoia/Kings Canyon. Working and living in the “gateway” city to the Rocky Mountain National Park has been a great compromise!
I fell into a business major and got my first job as a used bookstore manager. My career path has been written ever since . . . books and information! I then added an undergrad in History and a Masters in Library Science, accumulating years of experience in bookstores and libraries along the way.
I have two daughters; one is a sophomore at an engineering college and the other is a freshman at Charter Performing Arts High School. And, what would a librarian be without cats? So I have two.
When I’m not busy trying out new gadgets, and absorbing the latest RSS feeds on technology and the library profession, I’m a big “foodie.” Favorite past times include trying new restaurants and taste-touring of breweries, wineries, and distilleries. The Beer Drinkers Guide to Colorado has been a great resource to fuel the interest. I just joined our local Weiz Guys Homebrew Club and I’m working on my first batch of craft brew—a spiced ale, hope it turns out! [Geez Jolie, you’re my new beer-swillin’, tree-huggin’, feed-readin’, book-lovin’ hero. You’ll appreciate that my dog’s name is Guinness and my cat’s name is Porter. If my next animal is dark as well, it will be named Dunkel.]
RMSLA member Mary Smith (@marythomp on Twitter) is a librarian for the Sierra Nevada Corporation and a recent graduate of the University of Denver’s LIS program. She told us about herself:
I grew up in Mobile, Alabama on the Gulf Coast. I loved all things “marine” when I was a kid, so I suppose that’s where my interest in environmental issues stems from. I attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I was the photo editor of our school paper. I received my bachelor’s in communication studies in 2008, but knew when I graduated that I didn’t want to be a journalist. I bounced from job to job for a year, working as a school portrait photographer and a teacher assistant at a preschool. I also worked at a boutique toy store, which was soul crushing.
Meanwhile I was researching library schools and decided on the University of Denver, mainly because I love Colorado. While in school I volunteered for an archival project at the Colorado Department of Transportation, in the archives at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and at the EPA Region 8 Library.Towards the end of grad school I was offered an internship with the Sierra Nevada Corporation. I completed my master’s degree in a year and moved into a full-time position at SNC.
I decided to ask these two a few questions and mandated that they be answered in 140 characters or less:
Tina: How did you hear about the Rocky Mountain Land Library?
Jolie: A blog post on the Colorado Libraries Web site http://www.coloradolibraries.org/2010/08/16/rocky-mountain-land-library/
Mary: I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure I heard about it from the Tattered Cover.
Tina: Besides the Land Library, what are some of your other favorite environmental, ecological, or educational Twitter feeds.
Jolie: @Chelseagreen for the books & @Greentweets for everyday advice on living smarter.
Mary: @GoodGuide, @GreenprintDenvr, @NatGeoSociety, @Denversnow
Tina: Which Land Library blog post is your favorite so far and why?
Jolie: “Can We Fix The Sky” August 30, 2010. I learned about Wind Powered Cloudseeding Vessel.
Mary: “Beatrix Potter: Author, Illustrator, Mycologist” because I had no idea.
Tina: What’s your favorite acronym for Twitter (or SMS, e-mail, etc.)?
Jolie: Easy, that would be “np” for no problem =-)
Tina: Lol Mary. But “np” is more practical (not to mention professional). I also use “lol” quite a bit, FYI.
Tina: What’s more annoying, someone who tweets too much, or someone who’s on Twitter but never tweets?
Jolie: The person who never tweets. Social networking is ubiquitous. Someone will care what you say. Inform—be informed, it’s a beautiful thing.
Mary: Tweets too much. I’ve unfollowed multiple accounts because of that.
Tina: I have to side with Mary. I just did a search for people who tweeted “I just picked my nose.” I can’t believe how many people “inform” us of this task; not sure I would classify it as a beautiful thing
Tina: Don’t you think the RMSLA’s tweets are the most fascinating pieces of timely notifications that you’ve ever received? [I’m the tweeter, so if you say no this won’t get published.]
Jolie: MOST DEFINTELY!
Mary: They’re not just fascinating, they’re majestic and astounding.
Tina: pshawwww …you guys are just saying that so I’ll publish this…ok you win.
Tina: Speaking of fascination, don’t you think the RMSLA’s meeting minutes (which I compose) are the most poignant pieces of journalism in the English language? I think we should be charging people for access to my minutes.
Jolie: Tina, it’s like reading a finely edited movie script!
Mary: See answer to #6
Tina: If Twitter and Facebook got in a fight, who do you think would win?
Jolie: Facebook it bridges’ the generational gap, grandparents for the family pictures & kids for the posting power & games!
Mary: Twitter. Facebook sucks.
Tina: This soundslike a social media showdown. Calls for some arm wrestling…I’ll put it on the next RMSLA meeting agenda.
Tina: If the director of the Land Library and the director of the Sky Library (www.bigskylibrary.org) got in a fight, who do you think would win?
Jolie: Neither! Chuck Norris wouldn’t let that happen.
Mary: Land Library, because I’m required to say that, but why should they be fighting? I’m sure both can come to some kind of peaceful agreement…
Tina: Because I love a good fight – that’s why.
For anyone interested in helping, the next project for the RMLL is to catalog the library’s collection of 20,000 books. They will also be hosting more fun, outdoor workdays to spruce up the ranch.
The library (in partnership with the Tattered Cover bookstore) also hosts the Rocky Mountain Land Series, where authors and writers are invited to speak about their works—usually addressing issues affecting the Western landscape.
Thanks Jeff, Ann, Jolie, and Mary for your work. I hope people will continue to enjoy the Land Library’s contributions toward education and environment, and that the RMSLA will continue to help with its progress.
RMLL Advisory Board