DCL Gear to Go

Conditions are looking pretty great for spring skiing and boarding this year! You’ll find five Colorado resorts in ZRankings’ list of the Top 12 Best Places to Ski in March — four of which are within fairly easy driving distance.

You know what that means: It’s time to plan your trip to the mountains!

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) offers these gadgets and resources to help you make the most of your trip, and all you need is your library card.

Consumer Reports
Tires can make or break the drive — make sure you’ve got good ones. If you’re in the market for a fresh set, do your research. Consumer Reports’ Tire Ratings include all-season and snow tires. Use your library card number and PIN to access Consumer Reports.

Launchpads & Video Games
These pre-loaded tablets work like a charm when it comes to keeping the kids entertained, and bonus: They’re educational. The library’s collection includes a variety of devices with different games and activities to choose from — no Wi-Fi required. Check them out!

GoPro
Capture all the mountain moments. Check out a GoPro and make a time-lapse video of the drive or your day on the slopes, or a family documentary about your trip. Or simply get video proof of conquering that black diamond. Ski Magazine listed Breckenridge’s Crazy Ivan 2 as one of the steepest in-bounds runs in North America. But, no pressure! Stay safe and have fun.

Wireless Hotspot
Stay connected without wearing out your smartphone battery! This hotspot gives you long-range Wi-Fi access, indoors or out.

Movies & Videos
Download some shows before you go, or stream them. Hoopla has audiobooks, digital movies, TV and music — for kids, too. Or try Tumblebooks for kids’ videos.

10 Things to Love About Your Library

No. 7: Meeting a favorite author. Craig Johnson, 2018

 

It’s February, and love is in the air. We thought we’d get in on that!

10 Things to Know & Love About Your Library

1. The library is free, and so are many of the vital resources and programs available to you. Douglas County Libraries (DCL) gives kids and adults of all income levels, ethnicities, and physical abilities free access to early and adult literacy programs, reading programs like Bark for Books and Reading Buddies, imagination-encouraging play environments, tech tutoring and assistance, internet and Wi-Fi, public computers, nontraditional items like hotspots and GoPros, and more. Come in and see for yourself!

2. The library is a community space. You belong here, where there are plenty of comfortable spaces and nooks to relax, read and browse, not to mention DCL’s beautiful, state-of-the-art amenities for celebrations, meetings, tutoring and learning.

3. It’s a safe place for kids when they’re not in school. Kids and libraries just go together. It’s the ideal place for kids to improve reading skills and boost confidence through kid-centric programs and book clubs, use the public computers for homework help, and attend after-school programs and events that make the library a fun place to be. And the library’s spring and summer day camps give kids the chance to try new activities while enjoying a break from school.

4. This is where like-minded people meet, gather, and stay connected. Book clubs, lifelong learning events, drop-in craft and needlework groups, cultural programs and events … there is always something happening at our libraries to keep you actively engaged with others and your community.

5. DCL is active in the Douglas County community. Outreach and partnerships through programs like homebound delivery, Cuddle Up & Read, Book Start, Children’s Hospital initiatives, Operation Paperback, Battle of the Books, and more are strong.

6. The library is where people come to innovate. We love it when great minds meet in our spaces to talk about ideas, collaborate and create.

7. It’s a great place to meet authors! DCL author events give book lovers of all ages the opportunity to meet favorite authors, share a laugh, get an autographed book, and maybe even take a photo or two. We shamelessly indulge your love of reading.

8. Cool library perks! Sometimes, a DCL library card really is all you need. In addition to all the books and usual fare, you can access free audiobooks, music, e-books, and other digital media; state parks passes; museum and cultural attractions passes; local merchant discounts; online learning and craft classes; and so much more.

9. The library helps boost workforce and economic development. DCL gives telecommuters spaces in which to work, free internet access for people seeking employment opportunities and skills development, and access to information services for entrepreneurs and small businesses through DCL for Business.

10. We love helping people reach their personal and educational goals. DCL’s citizenship and ESL programs and adult tutoring services open the door to achieving personal goals and success for our neighbors. What’s not to love about that?

“My encouragement to you is to go tomorrow to the library.”

– Poet Maya Angelou, during a speech to a college audience that encouraged students to read voraciously and never stop learning

 

Sharing the Love of Reading

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) continues its support of Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2019 through book donations and local outreach. Join us!

Through our partnership with local radio station Alice 105.9 and its Alice 105.9 Cares for Kids Radiothon, DCL is sharing the love of reading on Wednesday, February 13, and helping to create healthier futures for kids. Radio listeners can make monetary donations during the Radiothon February 13 and 14, and on February 13, DCL will be on-site at Children’s south campus in Highlands Ranch to serve coffee to visitors and hospital staff throughout the morning and to donate books that will go to patients at each Children’s Colorado location. All donations support kids and families at Children’s Colorado.

DCL believes in supporting local community partners and spreading the love of reading. Tune in to the Alice 105.9 Cares for Kids Radiothon February 13 and 14, and drop by Children’s Hospital Colorado in Highlands Ranch Wednesday morning, February 13, to show some love!

 

 

 

Top Checkouts of 2018

It’s always interesting to see which books, audiobooks and DVDs resonate with the Douglas County community. These are the titles, in several categories, with the most checkouts in 2018.

Adult Fiction

These were the top-circulating adult fiction titles in 2018: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, The Fallen by David Baldacci, The Rooster Bar by John Grisham, and The Midnight Line by Lee Child.

Check out the 20 top-circulating titles in adult fiction here.

Adult Nonfiction

Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House topped our list of most-circulating adult nonfiction this year. Rounding out the top five are A Higher Loyalty by James Comey; Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis; Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward; and 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson.

Check out the top 20 checkouts in adult nonfiction here.

Adult Fiction Audiobooks

John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar ruled the roost (so to speak) for our audiobook listeners. Origin by Dan Brown comes in second on the list. Fun fact: DCL hosted the author and nearly 1,000 of his fans in November 2017, shortly after Origin’s release. Camino Island by John Grisham and End Game by David Baldacci tied in the number-three spot, followed by All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Check out the 20 top-circulating adult fiction audiobooks here.

Adult Nonfiction Audiobooks

Brené Brown really spoke to Douglas County listeners in 2018: Her nonfiction audiobooks occupy four of the top-five spots on this list. Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, Rising Strong and Braving the Wilderness sit atop the top five at numbers one, two and three, followed by The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Brown’s Daring Greatly and Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life are tied at number five.

There’s more of Brown in the top 20, and other authors you’ll recognize. Check out the list here.

Young Adult Fiction

Some (relative) oldies and a couple new goodies top this list, starting with Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. No doubt the 2018 movie release spurred renewed interest in this title. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (also released on film in 2018), and Cinder by Marissa Meyer round out the top five.

Check out the full list of DCL’s 20 top-circulating young adult titles here.

Juvenile Fiction

Harry Potter and the Wimpy Kid have staying power, but kids also gravitated to a story for slightly older kids. The top-five checkouts in 2018 were The Getaway by Jeff Kinney, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney.

Check out the top 20 juvenile fiction checkouts here.

Picture Books

Kids love creatures of all kinds (and Mo Willems!). These are the adorable picture books kids perused most in 2018: Oodles of Kittens by Jane O’Connor; Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean; The Pigeon Needs a Bath! and The Thank You Book, both by Mo Willems; and How Do Dinosaurs Choose Their Pets? by Jane Yolen.

Check out all 20 top-circulating picture books here.

DVDs

Great stories featuring superheroes, Tom Cruise, an inspiring protagonist, survival drama, and a classic whodunit topped the list of top-circulating DVDs in 2018: Spider-Man HomecomingAmerican Made, Wonder, The Mountain Between Us, and Murder on the Orient Express.

Check out the full list of the 20 top-circulating DVDs here.

5 Holiday Party Don’ts

‘Tis the season for holiday parties! Whether yours is an intimate affair for a small group of people or a larger soiree, be aware of these five party don’ts.

Don’t Serve Trendy Drinks

If you’re serving alcohol at the holiday party and aren’t sure about your guests’ individual tastes, steer clear of those trendy signature drinks. Instead, serve something more classic, like a nice variety of wines and craft beers. Top off the evening by serving quality scotch and/or whiskey for your guests with more developed palates.

Don’t Overdo the Red & Green

Don’t use red and green as your main color theme when decorating. If you want a traditional holiday look, opt for a neutral color as your base and then add in pops of one or two colors. It will make a bigger impact on the whole.

Don’t Forget to Add Music

Music is a must for any party! No one wants to hear crickets (i.e., the sound of silence) during a “festive” party. At a minimum, pipe in some holiday tunes or other music of your preference, being careful to adjust the sound so it doesn’t overwhelm conversations.

If your budget allows, splurge on hiring live musicians or an entertaining DJ. Doing so can go a long way toward putting guests in the holiday mood and giving the party a more fun and lively vibe.

Don’t Forget to Plan for Flow

You know how everyone ends up in the kitchen at home? Set the room so it feels like a party in the kitchen, and make it easy for guests to mix and mingle.

Use various table sizes and styles to bring people together. Highboys are great when serving drinks and light appetizers, while pub-style tables work well for those who like to sit with their drinks. Traditional round and/or rectangular dining tables with chairs are ideal when serving a meal. Make sure there’s plenty of space for traffic flow in and around the room.

Don’t Overspend on Table Décor

Just because a centerpiece is expensive doesn’t mean it’s beautiful. This is not where you want to spend your budget! And you certainly don’t want to splurge on expensive centerpieces for every table. Instead, focus on creating a comfortable experience for your guests, making sure they can see each other across the table.

If you feel the need for a statement centerpiece, spend the money on a signature floral design that you can use on the buffet table or welcome table. It will definitely be noticed!

Need Help With Party Planning?

Douglas County Libraries’ experienced Event & Hospitality Services staff can introduce you to the library’s meeting and event spaces and services, and will work with you to accommodate the style, size and complexity of your event.

For more information about DCL’s meeting and event spaces and services, visit DCL.org/event-services or call (303) 688-7605.

DCL Donates Snowshoes to Project Sanctuary

Project Sanctuary’s fundraising radiothon on Nov. 12, sponsored by 99.5 The Mountain.

Douglas County Libraries recently donated nine pairs of gently used snowshoes for men, women and children to Project Sanctuary, a Colorado-based nonprofit that focuses on supporting military families through therapeutic programs that address the mental health of the entire military family, not just the soldier returning from service.

The donation will allow Project Sanctuary to provide assessment and intervention programming, a six-day therapeutic outdoor retreat, and customized follow-up services for at least two years for the families it serves.

DCL Collection Development Librarian Andrea Wyant says, “I have always been impressed with [Project Sanctuary’s] commitment to the military families it serves, and I knew that the snowshoes would get good use in the mountains.”

The donated snowshoes were part of DCL’s eclectic collection of nontraditional items, things you wouldn’t normally think of checking out from the library. That list of items now includes sewing machines, ukuleles, drawing tools, microscopes and more. All you need to try them out is your library card and a sense of adventure.

Check out a backpack containing a weeklong pass to any Colorado State Park.

More Library Perks

DCL also offers cardholders free access to art and craft video classes through Creativebug, passes to Colorado State Parks and museums, and more! Learn about all the ways you can use your library card here. And if you don’t already have a library card, what are you waiting for? Get a card here!

7 Ways to Grow Your Client List

You’ve built your small business, so customers should be rolling in, right? If only it were that easy!

A little creativity mixed with tried-and-true methods of promoting your business can help. Here are seven ideas to help expand your client list.

Investigate your target market

It isn’t exactly stalkingbut you should learn all you can about your ideal customer. You can use DCL business databases that provide information on demographics and psychographics for consumers and industry information for business customers. Additional sources of information include government resources, trade associations, and general news sources.

Volunteer

Demonstrate your passion, whether it’s personal or professional, by donating your time and expertise in support of other organizations and causes. This tactic not only demonstrates what you care about, but also has the added benefit of broadening your network.

Be a thought leader

No one knows your industry like you do! Share those insights with others through conference presentations, trainings, podcasts, essays, or any social media outlets. Your unique perspectives demonstrate your expertise and establish you as a leading voice in your field. An added plus: All that publishing helps your SEO!

Ask for that email

Once you’ve created all that great content that people are clamoring for, you can build your contact list by asking for a private email in exchange for your expert insights. This provides a direct way to communicate with people who are already interested in your business.

Analyze your results

Don’t forget to keep track of which tactics are the most effective. Without some analysis of all of your efforts and channels, it can be hard to measure what is working and what isn’t. It only makes sense to ditch the campaigns and messages that don’t resonate with your target market, and analyzing results is the way you can track your endeavors.

Look for partners

Find companies that meet different needs for similar target markets and work together. This cross-promotion opens you up to new audiences and clients, and shows your innovation and flexibility.

Invest in your employees

From recruiting and training to work-life balance and compensation, doing the best you can for your employees means they will do their best for you. They are the first and best ambassadors for your company, so finding the best fit and then supporting them throughout their tenure can really impact your ability to gain market share.

Douglas County Libraries offers meeting and event spaces and services appropriate for all of your small-business needs, from business training, meetings and presentations to your company’s social events. Our experienced Event & Hospitality Services staff will work with you to accommodate the style, size and complexity of your event.

For more information about the library’s meeting and event spaces and services, visit DCL.org/event-services or call (303) 688-7605.

Operation Paperback: A Mission for Our Service Members

“Just a note to let you know how thankful we are for all the donations sent for our soldiers. We recently admitted a seasoned warrior with four deployments behind him. He and his family were at their wits’ end not knowing how to handle the PTSD he has been enduring for years. He got treatment and support, and his wife readily accepted the book donated by your library. It was the one entitled ‘When Someone You Love Has PTSD.’ They are better armed now to deal with some of their trials. Without your help we would be less able to make an impact. I think of you and your library so often as I see your gifts being put to use.” – Rosa

“Our service members and their families make sacrifices every day for our country … We are truly thankful to [the] Lone Tree library on behalf of Operation Paperback for showing your appreciation by donating books! It is heartwarming to know that you are willing to let America’s military members know that you appreciate their service and their sacrifices.” – Eisenhower Army Medical Center Personnel

These are just some of the thank-you notes Douglas County Libraries (DCL) has received over the years from U.S. service members and the organizations serving them who have received donated books from DCL through Operation Paperback, a national, nonprofit organization.

DCL sends gently used books that have been donated and/or withdrawn from our collection to those who serve our country, as well as to organizations that serve them. We’re able to do this with the help of dedicated volunteers and the Douglas County Libraries Foundation, which funds the costs associated with the program. Volunteers donate their time for this worthy opportunity often to fulfill their own personal passion, sometimes because they have family members actively serving in the military.

The program is administered through DCL’s Lone Tree location. Each month, volunteers at Lone Tree review Operation Paperback’s list of books desired by soldiers and their families, residing both stateside and overseas, and determine which requests can be filled using our donated and withdrawn books. They then package the books for each order and DCL’s Lone Tree Branch Volunteer Coordinator mails the packages.

DCL typically sends two to six packages a month to service members and their families. With the Foundation’s financial support, we’ve been able to connect with our nation’s service members by donating 2,017 books of all genres since 2014; in 2018 alone, we’ve already sent nearly 480 books.

“Thank you so much for donating books to our platoon! We have been busy reading and enjoying the new titles you sent us.” – Soldiers of 1st Platoon

We’re honored to share these books with our nation’s service members and are grateful for their service.

Join DCL in Doing Some Good!

Douglas County Libraries Foundation helps fund programs like Operation Paperback that reach youth, adults and families in our community and beyond. Join DCL in doing some good on Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, December 4. When you schedule your donation to the DCL Foundation, your gift will go even further thanks to Community First Foundation and FirstBank’s $1 million incentive fund.

Make a difference today! Learn more about Douglas County Libraries Foundation and the various ways you can give, or schedule a donation now.

Want to Do More?

Honor local veterans at our Veterans Celebration event, presented by Highlands Ranch Metro District and Douglas County Libraries.

Sunday, November 11, 11AM-2PM
DCL in Highlands Ranch; upstairs main library area
All ages; no registration required
Learn more

 

6 Strategies for Productive Meetings

Time is a valuable asset, and most people don’t want to spend theirs in meetings. After all, there are only so many hours in the day to actually get things done. Emails are piling up and projects are paused when the team is sitting in one of those meetings.

Yet, meetings can be extremely worthwhile if they’re thoughtfully executed. Here are six strategies you can employ to make your next meeting more productive.

1. Create a Meeting Agenda

This is the foundation of your meeting. The agenda sets out the topics that will be covered, in the order they will be covered, and can even include a set time frame for each topic. Sharing the agenda and any related documents with meeting participants a day or two before the meeting will help them prepare for the meeting and will keep everyone on track.

Be sure to also include any scheduled breaks on the agenda and other important information for meeting attendees.

2. Start and End on Time

This is a simple matter of respecting others’ time. The agenda should include the event’s start and end time, so be sure to stick to those set parameters. There’s nothing wrong with ending the meeting a little early, it might even be a nice surprise for participants; but they likely won’t be as forgiving if it goes too long, and their attention will most certainly wane.

If questions and side discussions arise during the presentation that can’t be addressed quickly, agree to talk offline or set up a separate meeting to discuss those issues.

3. Keep Meals Light

Whether your meeting includes lunch or dinner, make sure the fare is light enough so guests aren’t crashing afterward. A heavy meal makes for a sluggish meeting participant. Curb that post-meal lethargy with light, healthful food that fuels participants rather than drains them.

4. Provide Activity & Interaction

This is especially important if your meeting or event continues after a meal break. Activities or interactive sessions are an entertaining way to maintain a high level of focus during the meeting.

The activity can be as simple as asking participants to stand up for a 10-minute presentation or to brainstorm ideas. If the group is small enough, you might suggest meeting on the venue’s patio for a quick discussion of the topic at hand. People will pay closer attention and be more mindful when you do something a little unexpected.

5. Make It Engaging

No one really enjoys sitting through long-winded “lectures,” even if the subject matter is relevant. Succinct, interactive presentations are more engaging, and will keep participants tuned in to what you have to say, whether you’re presenting facts, figures or marketing initiatives.

Start by capturing the audience’s attention with an impactful story or tease about what they’re about to hear or learn. If you get their attention up front, chances are you’ll keep it. Avoid talking to only the points outlined in a PowerPoint. And if possible, keep your presentation to less than 30 minutes. The more succinct and interactive the presentation is, the more engaged your audience will be.

6. Follow Up

If it’s a large or complex meeting, be sure to survey attendees following the event. You can do this at the end of the meeting, with a hard-copy survey attendees fill out and hand in or by emailing an electronic survey within the first couple days after the meeting.

Surveys are a valuable way to collect important feedback about meetings. Was the event informative? Did it meet expectations? Was it too long, or not long enough? Were the speakers/presenters engaging? Were the activities stimulating? Were the meals/snacks exceptional or below par? Any feedback you receive will help you create an even more polished and productive meeting in the future.

 

Looking for a venue for your next meeting? Douglas County Libraries offers meeting and event spaces and services appropriate for everything from corporate functions to social events. Our experienced Event & Hospitality Services staff will work with you to accommodate the style, size and complexity of your event.

For more information about the library’s meeting and event spaces and services, visit DCL.org/event-services or call (303) 688-7605.

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Make Your Event Premium

Your event offers a unique opportunity to connect with your organization’s employees, clients and/or prospects. It also provides the event’s participants with an opportunity to interact with their colleagues and peers and learn important new information. It can be an engaging and well-executed experience, even without a star keynote speaker or dazzling presentation. In fact, the most successful and enjoyable events and meetings are ones that create a comfortable, friendly environment.

Knowledgeable, courteous staff and clear, easy-to-read event signage are givens for any meeting or event you host. But did you know that the small details can be just as important to attendees? In fact, it’s often the little things that people remember most!

Following are five quick and easy ways to make your event more premium for attendees by focusing on a few small details.

Say Hello With a Smile

Make a friendly first impression with this simple greeting. Attendees don’t always know what to expect when entering an event, and they may not know anyone else in attendance, so a warm hello can go a long way toward putting them at ease and giving them the opportunity to approach staff with questions. It sets the tone for the event.

Take it a step further by adding a “welcome” element to the event. You can be as elaborate as your budget allows, but it doesn’t require a huge investment to make participants feel special and welcome. Some ideas include:

  • Hire musicians to perform as guests check in.
  • Hand out branded goody bags or bottled water at event check-in.
  • Hand attendees a creative program highlighting information they’ll want to know, such as the meeting agenda and Wi-Fi logon details. You could also include some fun trivia or puzzles.
  • Encourage your staff to roam among attendees and ask if they need anything or just engage in friendly conversation.

Use Name Cards

Name cards are not the same as name tags, and they don’t have to be affixed to clothing. Instead, attendees can place their name cards at their table for the duration of the event. This gives them the freedom and opportunity to introduce themselves to other attendees and network informally during the course of the event.

You could take it a step further by color-coding the name cards to differentiate between new and long-term employees, partners, VIPs, clients/customers, and prospects. This allows everyone to feel like they’re part of a special group and can make it easier to network with others who are part of that group, or with those who aren’t! After all, your event provides attendees a unique opportunity to connect with peers in their field.

Dress Up Your Tables

Presentation is everything! Using even simple, plain table linens versus naked tables will improve the event experience for attendees. Amp it up by using colored linens or a colorful theme. A little expense on linens goes a long way.

Provide Water Service

Be sure to provide pitchers of water and glasses at each table, and wait staff to service the tables. This eliminates the need for guests to get up mid-meeting in search of refreshments, minimizing disruptions.

You may also want to include sweet treats that attendees can nibble on during the meeting, things like wrapped hard candies, bite-size candy bars, and an assortment of chocolate. Remember that presentation makes a difference. Place the candies in glass jars or bowls where everyone at the table can access them or easily pass them around.

Other important items to include on each table are pens and notepads, things attendees can use on-site during their time at the event.

Serve Healthy Snacks

It’s hard to focus and be productive when you’re hungry. That’s why it’s important to offer healthy snacks between meal breaks during your meeting. Unhealthy snacks can make attendees feel sluggish versus healthy snacks, which pack more of a nutritional punch, fueling your guests with the energy and nutrients necessary to maintain focus and concentration.

In addition to being healthful, snack options for attendees should be tasty, fuss-free and easy to eat. Fruit, nuts and low-fat popcorn are all good options. Consider making snack breaks interactive with a popcorn bar or mini-buffet, or a make-your-own trail mix station. Snack “shots” and snacks on sticks are also good no-muss, no-fuss options.

 

Looking for expert assistance with your next event? Douglas County Libraries can help. DCL offers meeting and event spaces and services appropriate for everything from corporate functions to social events. Our experienced Event & Hospitality Services staff will work with you to accommodate the style, size and complexity of your event.

For more information about the library’s event spaces and services, visit DCL.org/event-services or call (303) 688-7605.