Do You Have a 4-Year-Old?

OneBook4CODid you know that every 4-year-old in the state is eligible to receive a free book through the One Book 4 Colorado program?

This year, the title is Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley.

One Book 4 Colorado, started in 2012, gives away copies of the same book to each 4-year-old in the state through public libraries and Denver Preschool Program classrooms.

Studies have shown that 4-year-olds who have access to books (and adults who read to them) will be much more likely to be reading-ready by kindergarten. Research has also shown that children in low-income families tend to have fewer books in their homes and are exposed to 30 million fewer words before the age of 4 compared to their higher-income peers. Therefore, One Book 4 Colorado aims to close any vocabulary gap by getting a book into the home of every 4-year-old across the state and foster a culture of reading.

Head to a Douglas County Libraries branch near you!

If you have a child in your family who is, was, or will be 4-years-old in 2017, please stop by any of our locations to pick up a copy of Mouse Mess April 17-May 1. But hurry! This only applies while supplies last.

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in Douglas County

Celebrate the environment by participating in one of these great local events. Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day

  • Learn what trees are best-suited for the Colorado climate.

Shrubs and Trees of Colorado: Right Plant, Right Place
Douglas County Libraries (Highlands Ranch)
Saturday, April 22, at 11AM

A Douglas County Extension Service Master Gardener will talk about selecting the best shrubs for your yard and how to care for them. Free serviceberry seedlings will be given to registered participants.

Register now!

  • Learn about xeriscaping and how to implement it in your yard.

The Principles of Xeriscape
Douglas County Libraries (Castle Pines)
Thursday, April 27, at 10AM

A six-part series taught by Craig Miller with Castle Pines North. Xeriscaping offers a way to have beautiful, livable landscapes without excess water use, and all good xeriscapes begin with a good design. Learn the basics of xeric yard and garden design in this instructive class.

Register now!

  • Shred old documents.

2017 Earth Day Shred-A-Thon
West Parking Lot
7901 Southpark Plaza, Littleton, CO 80120
Saturday, April 22, at 10AM 

Help your local boy scout troop fulfill their service project for Earth Day by bringing old paperwork and documents for on-site shredding.

Find out more here.

  • Teach your kids about plants.

I’m Diggin’ My Doug: Planting Home Gardens in Douglas County
Douglas County Libraries (Castle Rock)
Saturday, April 22, at 1PM

Students will learn how to plant a seed and care for their plant from seedling to harvest. Their experience will include singing, yoga poses that relate to the environment, tasting, and smelling and feeling different types of plants and soil. The children will take their newly planted seed home, along with instructions on how to care for their new plant. (Workshop via Douglas County Conservation District. This is not a Douglas County Libraries event).

Find out more here.

  • Party for the planet.

Family Fun Day
CU South Denver
Saturday, April 22, at 10AM

CU South Denver is celebrating Earth Day with special activities at its museum. Be prepared to get a little dirty planting seeds, making art with recycled materials, playing music, dissecting plants under microscopes, looking for birds and bunnies, and making discoveries about the diversity of life on Earth. (Activities are included in museum admission.)

Find out more here.

Egg-Cellent Easter Fun

Celebrate Easter family style with these colorful craft projects and at free community events.

Kids Crafts


Easter Egg Art

String these colorful eggs together for festive holiday decor.
Materials needed: Mixed media (or watercolor) paper, pencil, school glue, black acrylic paint, watercolors (or liquid watercolors), paint brush

Spring Chicks Egg Carton Craft

Reuse and recycle to create these adorable chicks.
Materials needed: Egg carton, acrylic paint in your choice of colors, paint brushes, glue, scissors, black marker, construction paper

Popsicle Stick Baby Chick

This springtime craft is great for children of all ages.
Materials needed: Jumbo popsicle sticks (three per baby chick), white school glue, yellow/orange card stock, yellow decorative scrapbook paper, yellow paint, paint brushes, paper plate, scissors, black marker


Easy Paper Bunny Craft

String these bunnies together to make an Easter-themed garland.
Materials needed: Pastel blue and pink construction paper, scissors or paper trimmer, wiggle eye stickers, glue, white paper, black marker

Family Events

Castle Rock

Easter Bunny Breakfast
Friday, April 14
The Outlets at Castle Rock (Food Court)
All ages

Enjoy entertainment and a free pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny. Fun (and filling) for the whole family!

Highlands Ranch

Humpty Dumpty Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 15
Douglas County Libraries in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue
Ages 2-6; no registration required

Drop in to the children’s room with your youngsters, pick up a basket, and hunt for special eggs! Then, redeem your collected eggs for fun sticker prizes.

Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 15
Northridge Park
Ages 1-11

Bring your basket to collect eggs and other goodies at the park. And don’t miss a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. Great family event! Parking is limited, so plan accordingly. Event is held outside — rain, snow or shine.


O’Brien Park Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 15
Hunt Times: Ages 0-3, 10:15AM; 4-6, 10:40AM; 7 & older, 11AM
O’Brien Park

Bring the family to the biggest Easter egg hunt in Parker! Collect Easter eggs, enjoy snacks, have fun with balloon animals, and visit with the Bunny himself.

CreativeU at Douglas County Libraries


Looking for ways to get inspired, learn a new craft, find a new hobby, relax and make beautiful music? Time to take a break from the daily grind and get creative. During the month of April, Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is offering many events to help you get in touch with the arts and express your creative side.

Here are some of the events you’ll find at different branches across the district.



Lone Tree

Instrument Zoo
Saturday, April 1
No registration required

Kids can get their hands on a variety of musical instruments and experiment, courtesy of Swallow Hill Music. Ukuleles will be available for checkout after the event!

Kids’ Karaoke
Wednesday, April 12

Kids ages 6-12 can sing karaoke-style to some of their favorite Disney hits! Karaoke machines will be available for checkout after the program.

Cultural Arts Fair
Saturday, April 22

Grab a library “passport” and collect stamps by visiting different cultural exhibits around the library. Enjoy a variety of ethnic music and art, as well as “street food” (for purchase) inspired from global cuisines via a mobile eatery. Great for all ages!

Ships of the Sea
Saturday, April 29

Sunday, April 30

Set sail on learning about pirates, passages and ships throughout the ages. A great family event!

Ships of the Sea: Build Your Own Model Ship
Saturday, April 29
12-1:30PM: Register
2-3:30PM: Register

Kids 6-12 can build their own model ships with Rocky Mountain Shipwrights.

Castle Pines

Explore the Art of Improv
Tuesday, April 4, 4:30-5:30PM, Ages 8-12: Register
Tuesday, April 4, 6-7PM, Teens & Adults: Register

Whose line is it anyway? Yours! Jump out of your comfort zone and explore your inner silliness with this improv workshop taught by a certified theater instructor.

Explore the Art of Writing
Thursday, April 6

Thursday, April 13

Teens, grab your notebooks and pens and explore the art of writing with bestselling YA novelist Jessica Brody. Part one of this three-part series is already full, so register today to reserve your seat at one or both of these two sessions, which cover writing memorable settings and exciting plots. Brody’s books will also be sold at the event.

Explore Mehndi: The Delicate Art of Henna
Monday, April 17

Mehndi is the ancient art of adorning one’s skin with henna. Learn the history and techniques of applying henna, and adorn yourself with a beautiful henna design. Great for all ages!

Coloring Inside the Pines
Sunday, April 23

Enjoy adult coloring, community, conversation and snacks. Good for the mind and soul. Adults.


The Art of Spinning & Weaving
Monday, April 3

Kids 6-12 can explore spinning, weaving, and all things yarn through a hands-on presentation by Rocky Mountain Weavers Guild.

Hobby Speed Dating
Wednesday, April 5

Looking for a new hobby but not sure what fits? Teens and adults can spend an evening speed dating hobbies! Knitting, candy making, and other fun and interesting activities will be included.

Art Works With Clyfford Still
Tuesday, April 18

Learn about the artist behind the Clyfford Still Museum and create your own masterpiece in a professionally guided workshop. Adults.

Masters of Disguise
Saturday, April 29

Want to cosplay? Teens and adults can prep for cosplaying and costume making, learning tips and tricks from local experts.

Castle Rock – Philip S. Miller

Teen Photography Contest
Accepting Entries Through Wednesday, April 5!
Judging: Thursday, April 6-Sunday, April 30

Teens, enter your best photos through April 5 (see Teen Photo Contest Is Back for more info and rules). Judging begins April 6. All are invited to vote for your favorite images in the library and online!

Express Yourself Through Painting
Friday, April 28

Learn to paint — yes, even you can learn! A local artist will show you how. Adults.

Celebramos el Dia!
Sunday, April 30

Kids celebrate and explore diverse cultures and heritages through crafts, stories, dancing and more!


Express Your Creativity

Give yourself a creative spark all month long with these books and some surprising new items available for checkout at Douglas County Libraries (DCL).


Dyeing to Spin & Knit

by Felicia Lo
Fiber enthusiasts, get ready to be inspired. Fiber artists will learn the fundamentals of how color works, how to combine and coordinate colors, and how to control the results when dyeing wool and silk yarns and fibers. Spinners will learn how to subdue intense and bright colorways or prevent muddiness in handspun. Knitters will gain the knowledge to avoid or maximize the effects of pooling. Ignite your love of color — unapologetically! Looms and spinning wheels are available for checkout at DCL.


Play Ukulele Today! Starter Pack

by Barrett Tagliarino
Want to play the uke? Then this is the book for you! This complete guide to the basics contains everything you need to get started on the ukulele. It covers: songs, chords and melodies; picking, fingerpicking and strumming; playing tips and techniques; standard notation and tablature; and much more. Over 150 songs and examples are included. Have fun as you open the door to the world of ukulele! Check out a ukulele from DCL.


30-Minute Sewing

by Heather Love
Don’t have tons of time? No worries! In just 30 minutes you can use the instructions provided to create fun fashion, home accents, and hair accessories. Sewing machines are available for checkout, too!


Sewing Happiness

by Sanae Ishida
Sew your way to happiness. Twenty simple sewing projects are tied together with a thread of memoir that tells the story of how sewing brought the author profound happiness. Each seasonal project, specially designed to promote health, creativity, relationships and more, provides gentle inspiration to live your best life. Check out a sewing machine!


Tapestry Weaving

by Kirsten Glasbrook
Learn many techniques for weaving tapestries with these helpful step-by-step instructions. The book is great for beginners. Inspirational pictures of beautiful tapestries will inspire your creativity. DCL offers looms for checkout.


Epic Cosplay Costumes

by Kristie Good
If you are interested in cosplay or are just getting into cosplay, check out this book for some great ideas and designs. Presented in a kitschy, comic-book style, the book combines fantabulous illustrations with all the how-to information you need for creating your own cosplay designs. Whether you’re a hero, heroine, villain or sidekick, the author gives you the power to create the most talked-about designs!


Bold Expressive Painting

by Annie O’Brien Gonzales
Boldly go forth and paint! Learn tips and tricks on how to be expressive and embrace your creativity, whether using acrylics or oils. Break from tradition and learn to paint in a bold and modern way.


Leap Write In!

by Karen Benke
Practice your creative writing with these imaginative writing exercises and make your story known.


Teach Yourself Visually: Quilting

by Sonja Hakala
Check out this book to easily begin quilting, as it visually takes you through the steps of quilting. It’s amazing what you can do with two pieces of fabric and a layer of batting — the variety of quilts and quilting techniques is staggering. This guide introduces you to the essential skills you need to set off on your own quilting adventures. It walks you through everything from selecting fabrics to assembling blocks to binding the edges.


The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting

by Margaret Hubert
Grab your needles and get ready to knit your heart out. Looking for the perfect beginner’s book on knitting? This is it! This stitch guide is the ultimate knitting reference. A comprehensive how-to book about all aspects of knitting, you’ll be making scarves, hats, socks, mittens, sweaters, and other projects in no time!


Homemade Modern

by Ben Uyeda
Save money and still have a modern, stylish home with these home projects.


Paper Craft

by Jemma Fletcher
This easy visual guide will show you how to make beautiful handmade paper crafts that are great for gifts, cards, framed art, and more. The sky is the limit!


Crafting With Wood Pallets

by Becky Lamb
Upcycle with wood pallets to create unique décor and furniture for your home.


The Art of Mindful Origami

by Richard Chambers
Tackle two birds with one stone through the guidance in this book: Take a break to practice mindfulness, and make beautiful pieces of origami.


Crafting With Nature

by Amy Renea
Take a walk outside, enjoy a natural treasure hunt in beautiful Colorado surroundings, and then craft with nature. A beautiful and practical step-by-step guide to growing and gathering plants and using them to fill your life and home with natural homemade creations. The book offers an incredible collection of easy projects that use natural materials you can gather or grow and form into beautiful and useful crafts.


Knitting Mochimochi

by Anna Hrachovec
Learn how to make these super-cute characters that are very popular in Japan. They make great toys and gifts. And who doesn’t love toys? They make you smile, give you something to squeeze and hug, and even keep you company on the couch while watching TV. But could the toy be a couch, or an old-fashioned television? Is that too weird? Not if the toy is mochimochi, the strange knitted toys the author created after falling in love with the bizarre character designs that are popular in Japan.

Fun for the Family!


Sewing School

by Amie Petronis Plumley

Kid-friendly projects for learning and practicing sewing, no machine needed. These kid-tested projects require only minimal supervision and most can be made using simple hand stitches, so no sewing machine is required. The book helps little sewers develop their skills while sparking a passion that will last a lifetime.


Art Lab for Kids

by Susan Schwake
This book presents art lessons for art projects of varying styles, including drawing, printmaking, and mixed media. Master the art world with these quick and easy lessons.


Susan B. Anderson’s Kids’ Knitting Workshop

by Susan B. Anderson
Kids can start knitting right away using this easy beginner’s guide. This accessible introduction to knitting in the round includes easy-to-follow illustrated tutorials on techniques from casting on and binding off to joining colors to make stripes, and 17 progressively challenging knitting projects. Step-by-step text and photos that kids can read and follow on their own make it easy for kids to knit independently in no time!

The Finals! 2017 DCL March Book Madness

DCLMarchBookMadness_Bracket2017-final2The votes are in, and the finalists are set to face off in our 2017 March Book Madness. Your votes will determine this year’s champion! Will it be fantasy, or reality?

What are you waiting for? Vote now for your favorite!

The Finals!

Outta the Park Dogs & Brats

The 2017 baseball season is a week out and you know what that means: It’s time to step up to the plate for some great dogs and brats! Here are a few recipes to try until you can make it to your favorite ballpark concession, or check out this cookbook for Wieners Gone Wild.

Fiery Dogs


Vietnamese-Inspired Hot Dogs (via tbsp.)

Handful of your favorite chips
1/4 cup ketchup
2-3 tsp. sriracha sauce
2-3 tsp. honey, divided
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
Pinch of jalapeno powder (or cayenne)
2 hot dogs or sausages
2 hot dog buns
Cilantro, for garnish
Pickled or fresh jalapenos, for garnish

Barbecue Pulled Pork Hot Dogs (via Dinners, Dishes & Desserts)

1 package hot dogs
1 package your choice pulled pork BBQ
1 package hot dog buns
1 16-oz. package coleslaw mix
1/2 cup mayo
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Unbeatable Brats


Grilled Brats With Cherry Bacon Brussels Sprout Slaw (via Spiced)

1/4 cup dried cherries
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
Bratwurst sausages, grilled
Hot dog buns

Jalapeno Beer Brats (via Spicy Southern Kitchen)

1 (19-oz.) package brats
2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup sauerkraut, drained well
5 slices Swiss cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (or 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices, drained)
5 buns

2017 March Book Madness: Round 3


It’s Round 3 of DCL’s March Book Madness, and reality and fantasy are facing off. Who will win? You decide — vote for your favorites today!




Welcome, Spring Break!


Spring break is just over two weeks away. You still have plenty of time to make plans for an engaging, fun week with the family, whether you spend it indoors or out. Here are some ideas — and all you need for a good time is your library card!

Explore & Discover

  • Check Out Colorado! Stop by any Douglas County Libraries (DCL) location and check out a Colorado State Park pass and backpack for free, then visit any state park in our state and make your own adventure.
  • Reserve a free Adventure Pass to six local cultural institutions: Butterfly Pavilion; Clyfford Still Museum; Denver Firefighters Museum; Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys; Dinosaur Ridge; and History Colorado Center. There’s something for everyone!
  • Discover a geocache with the kids. This great family activity gets everyone outside and moving. And there’s no telling what treasures you’ll find!
  • Take a GPS tour of Denver with the kids. Alphabet Denver: A GPS Alphabet Hunt Book, by Kitty Migaki, is full of color photos of the ABCs found in downtown Denver architecture. Every letter has a GPS code to encourage people to visit each letter in person. Simply use a smartphone or hand-held GPS to find the letters, which fall mostly between the Denver Art Museum and Coors Field.

Learn Something New

  • Did you know DCL offers sewing machine checkouts? Check one out, along with books on sewing projects for kids (or find a YouTube video), and get crafty!
  • Start a garden. The kids will love digging in the dirt and then watching their seedlings grow. You can check out a number of how-to books for getting your garden going and growing!

Get Creative

  • Our branches in Lone Tree, Castle Pines and Parker feature Everbright walls — life-size Lite-Brite-inspired light grids that can be manipulated to create colorful, artistic designs. Stop by and play! Then share your masterpiece with us on social media using the hashtag #IMadeThisatDCL.
  • Reserve time at the Parker Recording Studio to record an e-book featuring your children’s voices, or have fun with the green screen and make a video you can share with the whole family!


  • Who wouldn’t want to make cupcakes? Tie on the aprons, break out the cookbooks, and whip up some confectionary delights!

If you’re traveling over break, load your tablet with great kids’ magazinese-books and audiobooks for the journey. Keep the younger tykes entertained with talking picture books and fun games through Tumblebooks.

Happy trails!