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.
‘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.
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.
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 stalking, but 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.
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.
“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.
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
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.
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.
It’s time for frights and confectionary delights! Douglas County’s little ghosts and goblins will love celebrating Halloween at these events.
Creepy Crawlies Around the Rock (Castle Rock)
October 20, 1PM, FREE
Join Nature’s Educators in Festival Park to celebrate the creatures of the season! Live Halloween-themed characters, such as snakes, spiders, toads, owls, and hissing cockroaches, will be on hand (weather-dependent).
PumpkinFest (Castle Rock)
October 20, 1PM, FREE-$
Visit the giant pumpkin patch behind the Grange! Meadows residents get one (1) free pumpkin per household. Non-residents and residents who want additional pumpkins can purchase them for $5 each (cash only).
Fieldhouse Fright Night (Parker)
October 20, 5:30PM, $
Fieldhouse Fright Night welcomes ghastly ghouls, spooky spirits, and wicked witches of all shapes and sizes for an evening of family-friendly fun! There will be tricks and treats, games and more!
Teen Murder Mystery (Roxborough)
October 26, 6PM, FREE
Don’t miss “Murder on the High Seas,” a classic, interactive whodunit with a fantastical pirate twist. Join your friends at DCL in Roxborough to solve this interactive mystery!
Spooktacular Festival (Castle Rock)
October 27, 1PM, FREE
Enjoy Halloween fun for the entire family at Philip S. Miller park. Festivities include games, bounce houses, face painting, crafts, candy, and contests. Costumes are encouraged! Your last name determines your attendance time, so be sure to check their website for information.
TLC Presents: Fall Fest (Parker)
October 30, 6PM, FREE
The whole family can have fun with boo-tacular games, pumpkiny crafts, tasty treats, and spooky science at this annual autumn festival at DCL in Parker.
Fangtastic Festival (Castle Rock)
October 31, 1PM, FREE
Celebrate Halloween in Festival Park with costumes, candy, inflatables, carnival games, hayrides and more!
Wicked Wednesday (Castle Rock)
October 31, 5PM, FREE
Enjoy a “wicked” night out, featuring face painting, a spooky magic show, costume contest, and trick-or-treating throughout the Outlets at Castle Rock.
Last Stop (Highlands Ranch)
October 31, 7PM, FREE
End your Halloween night at the Highlands Ranch Mansion and Historic Park. Ghouls and goblins of all ages are invited. This is a free outdoors-only event; the interior of the Mansion will be closed. Some visitors just make a quick stop to trick or treat at the front door, while others might stay for music and a cocktail on the veranda.
Trick or Treat on Mainstreet (Parker)
October 31, 3:30PM, FREE
All your little ghouls, ghosts, goblins, princesses, superheroes and anyone else can celebrate Halloween in downtown Parker. Local businesses will line Mainstreet, providing a fun and safe place for kids of all ages to trick or treat.
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” – Lauren DeStefano, Wither
Welcome, fall! We’ve been waiting for you, and we’re ready to celebrate all month long.
Take a hayride, tour the ranch, enjoy live bluegrass music, and choose a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch. Other activities include a petting zoo, Cave of Confusion, and crafts at various vendor tents. Learn more here.
Play games, enjoy crafts, snap pics at our green screen photo booth, and indulge in some sweet treats. Costumes encouraged. Register here.
Enjoy fall activities at the farm, including pumpkin picking in the patch, pony rides and horse-drawn hayrides, photo booths, barrel train rides for kids up to age 12, a mini-maze for kids up to age 10, and much more. Get more info here.
Navigate through seven acres of corn, then visit some barnyard friends, explore the treehouse and water feature in Deer Creek Discovery, and more. A mini-maze is available for kids 10 and younger. Get more details here.
Find your way through two corn mazes, including a mini-maze for kids, and enjoy farm animals, a bouncy castle, barrel cart rides, a hayride to the pumpkin patch, on-site food vendors, and more. Learn more here.
The whole family will have fun at the library’s annual autumn festival featuring seasonal games and crafts, tasty treats, and some spooky science. Costumes are encouraged. Register here.
The farm festival experience includes a corn maze, haybale maze for kids, duck races, bounce houses, petting zoo, and much more, plus a pumpkin patch. Get more info here.
This year’s Peter Pan-inspired Fête des Fables Gala is no ordinary party. You’ll enjoy delightful adventures straight out of J.M. Barrie’s imagination, and also meet some favorite characters. Here are a few of our favorites, along with some inspired reading suggestions we think they — and you — might enjoy.
Get ready for adventure! These books will set the stage.
She adds a bit of magic wherever she goes. Connect with the spirit of Tinkerbell with one of these reads.
There’s nothing villainous about mixing and mingling. Don’t be afraid to read these.
She loves a story with heart. We think these would hit home.
A gala is just the sort of event this sophisticated yet playful gent would love. Know what else he loves? Interesting stories!
She’s very loyal to her charges. These reads would probably be appreciated.
Join the Douglas County Libraries Foundation at the Highlands Ranch Mansion for Destination Neverland, Friday, September 28, 6-11 p.m. Take the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.