Happy Chinese New Year 2017


The Chinese New Year, known in modern Chinese as the Spring Festival, begins on January 28 this year, and it marks the start of a new animal’s zodiac year. This year that animal is the Rooster. People born in a Year of the Rooster have many fine qualities, like being hardworking, talented and courageous. They also enjoy the spotlight and exhibit their charm at every opportunity. But don’t take my word for it. Learn all about the Year of the Rooster and Rooster personalities here.

Fun fact: Eating fish is a must-do on this holiday, because the Chinese word for fish sounds like the word for “surplus.” So if you eat fish you could potentially receive a surplus of money and luck during the year. I’ll bite!

The beautiful part of the Chinese New Year’s tradition is that it is a time for families to come together and enjoy food and family time.

If you’re not already familiar with this holiday and its traditions, read up! You can also check out the following local events, or celebrate Chinese culture through reading and learning on your own. Happy Chinese New Year!

Go & Do 

Kids’ Zone – Celebrate Chinese New Year
Thursday, January 26, 4-5PM
DCL in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue

Kids in grades 2-6 celebrate this holiday by learning to ribbon dance, write characters, cut designs, and make greeting cards. Plus, they get to take home a special treat! No registration required.


HRCA Chinese New Year Celebration & Cultural Fair
Saturday, January 28
Celebration Performance: 2-3PM
Cultural Fair: 12-4PM
Southridge Recreation Center, Highlands Ranch

Learn about China’s rich culture by experiencing the traditions of Chinese New Year. Performances include Chinese dragon and lion dances, folk dances, and martial arts, as well as choral and instrumental performances.


Chinese New Year Celebration
Saturday, February 4, 10AM
DCL in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue

Celebrate with festive crafts, activities and special performances at the library. A great event for families! Registration is required.



Dive into Chinese culture without leaving your house — all you need is your library card. Check out these resources.

  • Learn Mandarin with Mango.
  • Experience China by learning about its culture.
  • Explore China’s history.



  • Browse the library catalog for a variety of books about China, Chinese culture, and even Chinese cooking.
  • These adorable stories give youngsters an early education about Chinese New Year — what it’s all about and how it is celebrated.




Love Is in the Air at DCL



Many people give cards, candy and flowers to the ones they love on Valentine’s Day. At Douglas County Libraries (DCL), love is in the air all month long with programs to indulge your love of books, movies, people, pets, wine and more! Here are just some of the lovely things happening at DCL in February.



Lone Tree

Love Is in the Air: Film Series

Ditch the DVDs and stem the streaming. Instead, relax with an afternoon movie at the library, and then stay for an engaging conversation about the film. Our Friday screenings feature discussions with local film expert Matt Wigdahl; Librarian Anne Ledford will facilitate the discussion of our Sunday screening. Movie snacks are provided! Registration is required.

Friday, February 3, 1-4PM: Calendar Girls
Friday, February 10, 1-4PM: Vertigo
Friday, February 17, 1-4PM: Chocolat
Friday, February 24, 1-4PM: Moonrise Kingdom
Sunday, February 26, 2-3:30PM: The Loving Story (a documentary)


Book Lovers
Thursday, February 9, 6:30-8PM

DCL staff and special guest Dedra Anderson share sweet nothings about the love stories they recommend adding to your book list. Enjoy refreshments as we talk books, and win door prizes! Registration is required.


Castle Pines

Animal Adoption Fair
Saturday, February 25, 9AM-5PM

Meet your local pet adoption agencies, learn about being a pet-foster family, and potentially meet the next great love of your life — a furry friend! No registration required.




Now Playing!
Come to the library and stay for a movie! Drop in for free showings of some of your favorite films during the month of February. Sunday movies are guaranteed to be kid-friendly, and popcorn is served during all weekend showings. There’s no charge, and no registration required! Check out all movies and times here.







Castle Rock, Philip S. Miller

Life-Size Family Game Night
Saturday, February 24, 6-7:30PM & 7:30-9PM

Spend the evening with the ones you love — your family! For a family night of fun, dive into popular life-size board games throughout the library. Two game night sessions are available; registration is required.



Wine & Cheese Pairing
Thursday, February 16, 7-8PM

Adults 21 and older learn sweet tips for pairing, sampling and enjoying wine and cheese together. Registration is required.

Find the complete schedule of events at all DCL locations here. And if you feel like indulging your passion, check out these love-inspired reads!


Indulge Your Passion With These Reads!

When it comes to matters of the heart, love is in the air at Douglas County Libraries with books to entertain, enlighten and inspire you year-round.

If You Love Nonfiction …



Beer Bites: Tasty Recipes and Perfect Pairings for Brew Lovers

by Christian DeBenedetti

Beer lovers, raise your glasses and put down the pretzels. Explore the basics and nuances of beer and food pairings. This collection serves up a wide range of recipes from appetizers to snacks and main courses that go beyond typical pub grub, with recommendations of beer styles and widely available must-try brews for each dish.







Crush: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing and the Power of Their First Celebrity Crush

Dive into this star-studded collection of essays from acclaimed and bestselling authors and celebrities that illuminate the lasting power of desire and longing, and celebrate our initiation into the euphoria, pain and mystery that is our first celebrity crush.








Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China

by Eddie Huang

Fresh Off the Boat was Huang’s story of growing up in his wild family as a first generation Chinese-American in the comically hostile world of suburban America. Inspired by a culinary adventure to sample the best food of China, his new book begins as a story about food and widens into a powerful story of love and family and what really makes us who we are.






Food: A Love Story

by Jim Gaffigan

Gaffigan has made his comic career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet. Food brings to print his thoughts on all things culinary(ish), with insights such as: why pretzel bread is no. 3 on his list of most important inventions of humankind (behind the wheel and the computer), and the answer to the age-old question, “Which animal is more delicious: the pig, the cow, or the bacon cheeseburger?”






Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing

by Jennifer Weiner

Best known for her bestselling witty, female-themed novels, Weiner brings us the stories of her life in a stunningly honest, funny, heartbreaking and, ultimately, redemptive memoir about hunger and humor, loving and losing, and a woman who searched for her place in the world and found it as a storyteller.







Keepers: The Greatest Films and Personal Favorites of a Moviegoing Lifetime

by Richard Schickel

Move over IMDB. Schickel’s no-holds-barred, often raucously irreverent opinions range from panning classics, to spotlighting forgotten treasures, to defending the art of “popular” genres. Above all, he gives us a collection of the true gems, the immortal moments that have stuck with him over a lifetime of movie watching.







The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World

by Abigail Tucker

Meow! Take a lively adventure through history, natural science, and pop culture in search of how cats conquered the world, the internet, and our hearts.








Love: The Psychology of Attraction

by Leslie Becker-Phelps

Crack the code of compatibility and find the path to true love with this unique guide to finding the perfect mate in the modern world. Becker-Phelps’ guide is grounded in scientific study, psychological expertise, and practical insights about romance in the age of social media.







Love Is All You Need: The Revolutionary Bond-Based Approach to Educating Your Dog

by Jennifer Arnold

New tricks for old and new dogs. Learn an alternative method of dog training based on the belief that dogs are social learners that can be taught to make choices and interpret what their humans want from them. Arnold is the founder of Canine Assistants and has trained service dogs for the past 20 years.







Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality

by Debbie Cenziper

The inspiring true story of the lovers and lawyers behind one of the most important national civil rights victories in decades, the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.








Modern Romance

by Aziz Ansari

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth commentary from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices. Ansari teams up with a sociologist to explore the nature of modern relationships, evaluating how technology is shaping contemporary relationships and considering the differences between courtships of the past and present.







121 First Dates: How to Succeed at Online Dating, Fall in Love, and Live Happily Ever After (Really!)

by Wendy Newman

Relationship expert Newman dishes up practical wisdom for navigating the online dating trenches with grace, efficiency, and a strong dose of humor. Her dating tales will find you laughing, commiserating, and nodding your head as you learn how to stay in the dating game.






Tasting Wine & Cheese: An Insider’s Guide to Mastering the Principles of Pairing

by Adam Centamore

Is there anything better than a great wine and cheese pairing? You might enjoy a robust cabernet with a sharp, aged cheddar, or perhaps a crisp Sancerre with a tangy, creamy chevre. Whether you’re looking to broaden your appreciation for gourmet combinations or simply looking for a menu to host a party, you’ll find everything you need in this comprehensive guide.







The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran
by Jennifer Klinec

Klinec is fearless. In her 30s, she abandons her bland corporate job to launch a cooking school from her London apartment and travel the world in search of delicious recipes and obscure culinary traditions. Prepare yourself for a true story of forbidden love set against the rich cultural and political backdrop of modern-day Iran.







Why You Love Music: From Mozart to Metallica, the Emotional Power of Beautiful Sounds

by John Powell

Music impacts the ways we work, relax, behave and feel. It can make us smile or cry, it helps us bond with the people around us, and it even has the power to alleviate a range of medical conditions. Scientist and musician Powell dives deep into decades of psychological and sociological studies in order to answer the question, “Why does music affect us so profoundly?”





Fond of Fiction?



All the Birds in the Sky

by Charlie Anders

Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working to avert a catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of a hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted. Little do they realize that something begun years ago in their youth is determined to bring them together — to either save the world or plunge it into a new dark ages.






The Bollywood Bride

by Sonali Dev

Ria Parkar is Bollywood’s favorite ice princess — beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.








by Connie Willis

In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal. But things don’t quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely and in a way far beyond what she signed up for.







by Curtis Sittenfeld

This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you haven’t (or maybe you have) met before in a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s enduringly popular novel of love and manners.









by Stephanie Danler

Meet Tess, a small-town girl thrust into the upscale New York restaurant scene. Her appetites are awakened, for food, wine, knowledge and experience, and she’s pulled into the thrall of two other servers — a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman whose connection to both young lovers is murky, sensual and overpowering.





View the full list in our catalog.

Top Checkouts in 2016

Ah, 2016. The year of thrilling suspense, action, sci-fi fantasy, laughs, and household organization! Here’s what Douglas County residents read and watched the most last year.

Adult Fiction



The top adult fiction titles were All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, and The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. Rounding out the top-five most popular checkouts were C.J. Box’s Off the GridThe Last Mile, by David Baldacci; and John Grisham’s Rogue Lawyer.








Adult Fiction Audiobooks



Turns out, many of you listened to the same books others read. All the Light We Cannot See, The Girl on the Train, and Rogue Lawyer topped this category. The Martian, by Andy Weir, and Janet Evanovich’s Tricky Twenty-Two were neck and neck in the fourth and fifth spots.










The top-circulating DVD for the year was The Martian (Matt Damon, anyone?), followed very closely by Bridge of Spies and The Big Short. The two children’s movies Minions and Hotel Transylvania 2 came in a close fourth and fifth.








Juvenile Fiction



Care to venture a guess as to the most popular juvenile fiction title? Did the graphic give it away? Yes, J.K. Rowling was at it again with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. The Wimpy Kids series by Jeff Kinney was also hugely popular, particularly Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone made a magical resurgence as the fourth most-popular juvenile title, followed by Roald Dahl’s The BFG.






YA Fiction



Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone struck again! It was the most checked out title in Young Adult fiction. But YA titles with movie tie-ins were also a hit: The 5th Wave, by Richard Yancey; The Maze Runner, by James Dashner; and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. Finishing fifth was The Crown by Kiera Cass.








Adult Nonfiction



Topping the adult nonfiction checkouts were Marie Kondo’s bestsellers The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. There are now more than 800 people in Douglas County with obsessively organized sock drawers! DCL made that happen.

The other top adult nonfiction reads included A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, by Sue Klebold; The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel Brown; and Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience With Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate, by Gary J. Byrne.




Adult Biographies



Real life is interesting, and these were the biographies many of you were interested in: When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi; Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, by Leah Remini; Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance; The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer; and The Sound of Gravel, by Ruth Wariner.







Picture Books



Finally, the top spot for picture books was held by none other than Fancy Nancy: Saturday Night Sleepover, by Jane O’Connor. The other most popular titles included Mo Willems’ The Pigeon Needs a Bath!Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean; I Really Like Slop! (Mo Willems again!); and Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century for good measure.



Happy reading in 2017, and happy New Year!


2017 DCL Reading Challenge

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-9-24-25-amThis time of year is perfect for reflection and looking ahead. What do you want to achieve in the new year? If some of your New Year’s resolutions include reading, we have a great challenge for you! Our reading challenge is back with new challenge items to encourage you to broaden your reading in 2017.

It’s simple to participate: Download our printable list. Read all 12 challenge items on the list. Fill out the PDF and submit it to socialmedia@dclibraries.org to be entered to win a prize. Here are the 12 challenge items for 2017:






  • A book that changed your life
  • A book by an author of color
  • A “book club” book
  • A food memoir
  • A book that is more than 100 years old
  • A book set in a place you’d like to visit
  • A book based on a historical event
  • A book with a blue cover
  • A banned book
  • A horror book
  • A book that was turned into a movie
  • A funny book


Our staff is compiling lists of book suggestions to correspond with each challenge item. You do not have to read a book they suggest to complete the challenge; they are simply options to help you get started! Check back here to discover more ideas or walk into any of our DCL locations to chat with a staff member for a personalized recommendation.



Easy Peasy Party Snacks



Hosting a New Year’s Eve party? Attending someone else’s shindig? Hanging out at home with the family? These simple snacks make for a more festive evening wherever you land.







Crunch & Munch

  • Chips and guacamole are always a hit.
  • Go crazy with kettle corn. They’ll love this coconut variation!


Fresh & Fantastic




Finger-Licking Good


Slow Cooked & Worth It!


Kid-Friendly Deliciousness


Sweet Treats


A Toast to 2017!


Best wishes for a snacky New Year!

A Party Plan for New Year’s

The party’s at your house this year! After all, there’s no better way to ring in the new year than with those who know and love you best. If you’re anxious about hosting a party on short notice, relax. It can be simple, fun and family-friendly. Read on for ideas.


Make It Simple

Yes, it can be easy! Pare the party down to its essential elements — decor, food and drink, and guests — and plan from there.

Festive Decor
  • Balloons = instant fun. Decorate with a rainbow of hues, or go monochromatic for a more stylized theme. Add glow sticks! Or surprise your guests young and old with a balloon drop.
  • Glitter makes everything more festive. Strategically place these do-it-yourself (DIY) glittery votives around your party space, and set the evening aglow.
  • Hang paper snowflakes from the ceiling or light fixtures for the perfect touch of whimsy to your party decor.
  • Repurpose your Christmas tree as a decoration-worthy New Year’s tree. Added bonus: It’s an instant “activity station” for guests.
  • Use those glittery and metallic Christmas ornaments to create festive centerpieces.
Food & Drink

The options are endless! Make it a potluck, purchase appetizers and snacks, cater your own party, or incorporate all three. If you’re feeling the DIY vibe, there’s no shortage of cookbooks available through the library, like these. Simply break out your library card!

Lively Guests

Your party, your guest list! You know your friends and family best, so invite wisely — and lively.


confetti-poppersMake It Fun


Every great New Year’s party calls for an awesome playlist. And you can create one through the library, using just your library card. Download classic party songs or New Year’s hits from Freegal, or stream rockin’ New Year’s tunes through Hoopla. Get the party started!

Good Conversation

Not sure how well your guests will mix and mingle? Want to avoid the topics of weather and politics?

  • Try a classic DIY version of 20 Questions to get the conversations started.
  • Provide pre-cut note paper and ask guests to write down their New Year’s resolutions. They could fold them up and place them in the balloons decorating the New Year’s tree. Take it a step further by giving your guests their written resolutions in the new year as a reminder.
  • Ask guests to write down their predictions for 2017 — no names attached! Place all predictions in a fish bowl, pluck them out throughout the night, and have everyone guess whose prediction belongs to whom — prizes optional.
Party Favors

You can buy inexpensive favors at any party store or dollar store. But you can also make a fun craft project out of creating your own, like tissue paper confetti poppers or New Year’s noisemakers.


countdown-clock-1Make It Family-Friendly

Keep the kids engaged — and awake! — by setting up an activity station for party crafts, like these:

  • The benefits of this New Year’s countdown clock are twofold: It’s a creative project for the littles and it helps them keep track of the impending New Year.
  • Focus their attention on their New Year’s reflections. There’s a teen version and one for the youngsters among you.
  • Get the kids thinking about their wishes for the new year by making a wishing wand.
  • And who doesn’t love bling? These fireworks rings might even be a hit with the moms!


Want more party planning ideas?

Winter Break Ideas

The kids are going to be home from school! Here are some ideas to keep them entertained for the next two weeks of winter break. Did we mention they are all free with your library card?

Indoor Dance Party

If the weather is too chilly to venture outside, burn off some of that restless energy with a dance party in your living room. Need some new tunes? Download the newest radio singles from the Sony catalog using Freegal or stream some new hits from popular movies via Hoopla, like hit songs from Moana or Frozen.

Cozy Up With a Movie

Stream a holiday classic or family-friendly movie without even leaving the house. Use your library card to access the Hoopla catalog. It also has several kids television shows.

Get Out of the House

Request a free pass to a Denver-area attraction like the Butterfly Pavilion; Denver Firefighters Museum; Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys; Dinosaur Ridge; or History Colorado through our Adventure Pass program.

Explore the Mountains

Drop by any of our locations and ask if a Check Out Colorado backpack is available. These packs include a pass to any Colorado state park. It’s part of our Your Lucky Day program, so backpacks are only available on a first come, first served basis.


Kids’ Zone – Make & Take New Year’s Fun
Thursday, December 29
DCL in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue; free
No registration required

Kids in grades 2-6, get ready for a rockin’ New Year! Drop in and have fun making festive New Year’s party supplies with fun, noisy and explosive New Year’s crafts.

New Year’s Eve Noon Countdown & Celebration – Parker
Saturday, December 31
Free; registration is required – Parker

A fun-filled early New Year’s celebration for all ages. Activities include hat decorating, special Storytimes, fun with balloons, and a balloon drop as we count down to Noon Year’s Eve!

Castle Rockin’ New Year’s Eve
Saturday, December 31
Downtown Castle Rock is having a spectacular celebration for the New Year.


DIY @ DCL in January

It’s January. Don’t buy expensive handmade birthday gifts, or shell out money to get a professional manicure. This is a new year, and we want to help craft a new you!

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is here for you, because this year we’re helping you do it yourself (DIY) with empowering programs designed for DIY. Here are some of the things you can learn.


t-shirt-scarfCastle Pines

DIY @ DCL: A Festival
Friday, January 20: 3-5PM
Saturday, January 21: 9AM-5PM
Sunday, January 22: 12-5PM
No registration required

This weekend festival helps you step out of your comfort zone and learn how to do all kinds of new things, like making a t-shirt scarf or paneer cheese, learning how to apply stage makeup, and crafting paper art.



coastersHighlands Ranch

DIY @ DCL Sundays
Sunday, January 8, 1-3PM: DIY Paper Crafts
Sunday, January 15, 1-3PM: DIY Gifts
Sunday, January 22, 1-3PM: DIY Fiber Arts
No registration required

These simple projects don’t require any previous experience, and they’re guaranteed to be Pinterest-worthy. The program is great for families! Some of the items we’ll craft include:

  • Paper pompoms
  • Snowflakes
  • Family coasters (please bring your family photos!)
  • Owl earbud case
  • Sugar scrub



DIY @ DCL: How-To Fest
Saturday, January 21: 11AM-3PM
No registration required

This DIY event is great for all ages. Participate in demonstrations, talks, and hands-on activities, from arts and crafts to cooking, and more!



Tools You Can Use

Our January DIY events feature tools that you can check out beginning in February:

  • Schacht Ladybug Spinning Wheel
  • The Cricket Loom
  • Brother Feature-Rich Sewing Machine





Check out all of the DIY programs happening this month at various DCL locations, and join us.