Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions!


The new year is here, which means it’s an opportune time to wipe the proverbially slate clean and start fresh. 2017 is so last year — it’s time for brand-new resolutions, and maybe even a few bookish ones.

You make ‘em, and DCL can help you stick to them! 2018 is going to be a piece of cake (or whole-grain deliciousness, depending on the resolution).

Resolutions That Stick!

Resolution: Save money, but still enjoy life.
Stick to It: Let’s count the ways DCL can help you save money using just your library card:

  1. Check out DCL Local for great deals and discounts at area shops and restaurants.
  2. Get free passes to local museums and cultural attractions with Adventure Pass.
  3. Watch the best movies by conveniently downloading or streaming them to your device via Hoopla. Cost to you: $0.
  4. Read the newest books coming out, or the classics you’ve been meaning to get to. You can easily stream or download books for free using OverDrive and Hoopla.
  5. Go ahead and splurge on that new gadget you’ve been eyeing, but do your research first at Consumer Reports to get the best deal.
  6. Get fit without the expense of special classes. Hoopla offers a variety of health and fitness videos you can stream or download for free.

Resolution: Learn some skills, or at least some new ones!
Stick to It: makes it easy to brush up on skills, learn new ones, or just polish the old resume. All you need is your library card number.

Resolution: Read more, and maybe read something a little different.
Stick to It: We’ve got a Reading Challenge for you! Or you can join one of the many book clubs that meet at our libraries.

Resolution: Help my child become a stronger reader.
Stick to It: Struggling readers can gain reading skills and confidence through DCL’s Bark for Books and Reading Buddies programs.

  • Bark for Books allows kids to read out loud to trained dogs in a relaxed setting, with no judgement from classmates or parents. This kind of practice helps improve reading skills and build confidence.
  • The Reading Buddies program pairs kids ages 6-9 with trained teen volunteers for reading practice and literacy-based games.

Resolution: Cook healthy meals.
Stick to It: A new year calls for new recipes. Check out these cookbooks for healthy eating.

Resolution: Learn a new language.
Stick to It: Get started with Mango Languages via the Research page on this website. Learning with Mango is easier than you think, and you can do it from the comfort of home, the coffee shop, or even the airport. All you need is your library card number.

Sticking to your resolutions can make for a much happier new year. Here’s to that!




DCL’s Most Popular Checkouts in 2017

Wondering what your Douglas County neighbors were reading, watching and listening to in 2017? Wonder no more! These are the year’s top checkouts.

Adult Fiction

It’s safe to say Douglas County readers love twists and turns, and thrills and chills. Topping the adult fiction checkouts in 2017 were Camino Island and The Whistler by John Grisham, followed by David Baldacci’s The Fix, Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye, and C.J. Box’s Vicious Circle.

Want more? View the expanded list of top adult fiction checkouts here.

Adult Nonfiction

Life-changing stories topped the list of popular nonfiction in 2017. And yes, we’re still trying to get organized! The top five included The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines; Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly; The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo; Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg; and The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman.

View the expanded list of top adult nonfiction checkouts here.

Young Adult Fiction

These page-turners were tops with young adults (and more than a few, ahem, older adults, too): Cinder by Marissa Meyer; The Maze Runner by James Dashner; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon; and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

View the expanded list of top YA fiction checkouts here.

Juvenile Fiction

Wimpy kids flexed some major muscle with young readers in 2017. The top-five juvenile fiction checkouts included: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling; Wonder by R.J. Palacio; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney; and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling.

View the expanded list of top juvenile fiction checkouts here.

Picture Books

Easy reading, great lessons, and adorable illustrations. These were the most popular picture books: Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean; The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems; Ice Cream & Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin; The Thank You Book by Mo Willems; and How Do Dinosaurs Choose Their Pets? by Jane Yolen.

View the expanded list of top picture book checkouts here.

Adult Fiction Audiobooks

Historical fiction found a place among the thrillers at the top of this audio category, which included: No Man’s Land by David Baldacci; The Whistler by John Grisham; All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; and Night School by Lee Child.

View the expanded list of top fiction audiobook checkouts here.

Adult Nonfiction Audiobooks


Disney’s animated film Moana topped the list of DVD checkouts in 2017, followed by The Girl on the Train, Trolls, Hacksaw Ridge, and Sully.

View the expanded list of top DVD checkouts here.



New Year’s Eve Party Soundtrack

Glittery-2018-Confetti-with-Ribbons2017 is swiftly coming to a close. Fresh starts and new beginnings await with 2018. We hope you’re taking some time to celebrate the end of the year (either because you had a fantastic one or the fact that it’s finally over).

This playlist is designed to have you dancing into the new year. You can download each song using your library card. (Download up to five songs per week from Freegal.)


Celebration” by Kool & the Gang

Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen

Raise Your Glass” by P!nk

Havana” by Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug

Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

Blame It on the Boogie” by The Jacksons


Of course, you’ll have to end the night with the old favorite: “Auld Lang Syne” by Mediaeval Baebes

New Year’s Party Crafts for Kids

These simple party crafts are great for ringing in the new year with a bang!

Easy Party Poppers

These easy-to-make crackers add a fun surprise to any party.

You’ll need: tissue paper, toilet paper rolls, washi tape or string/ribbon, and candy and confetti

Paper Plate Party Animal

Via Crafts by Amanda for Kix

For the party animal in all of us! The whole family can get creative with this silly noisemaker.

You’ll need: one paper plate per crafter, yellow and light blue paint (or colors of your choice), two large pink pom-poms (or any color), black felt, and party blowers


You know that eclectic mix of buttons you’ve collected over the years? Here’s a festive way to use them!

You’ll need: scissors or decorative edgers, cardboard or corrugated kraft paper, markers, craft glue, ice-pop sticks, hole punch, waxed twine, and beads or buttons

New Year’s Fortune Cookie Messages

These paper fortune cookies are a creative way to share personal New Year’s messages with friends, family, and even the kids’ teachers.

You’ll need: scrapbook paper, glue dots, white paper, and scissors

Noon Year’s Eve Countdown

Get a head-start on your New Year’s celebration with DCL! Register for one of our annual Noon Year’s Eve countdown parties at these DCL locations. All events are free and take place on Sunday, December 31, at noon.


Thank-You Notes, DCL Style

2017 is almost in the books, but we couldn’t let it go without a quick look back and a heartfelt thank you for being part of the DCL events and activities that made it such a memorable year.

Camp DCL

Thank you, kid campers, for exploring what you want to be at Camp DCL. You cooked, created and built some amazing things. You learned detective skills, how to code games, and how to build robots. And you taught us that discovery is alive and well. We hope to see you at our spring break camps in 2018!

Camp DCL parent thank-you note: “Everyone was awesome! My son was on the younger/less experienced side and everyone was great at helping and getting him excited about it. It was his first experience with coding and was super positive, so thank you!”

Summer Reading Program

Thank you, Readers @ Play, for helping us meet our Summer Reading Program’s community goal of 4 million minutes of reading. But you didn’t just meet the goal, you totally crushed it with 6.8 million minutes read! You make us proud. Be sure to join us next June to kick off Summer Reading 2018.

Summer Reading Program parent thank-you note: “Thank you! For a few weeks, my son was a voracious reader. That’s never happened before!”

Outside the Lines

Great Douglas County Brew Tour

Thank you, library lovers, for taking your DCL experience Outside the Lines during the 2017 Great Douglas County Brew Tour. With our Brew Tour partners, we paired local libations with cheese and chocolates, made a few Pinterest-worthy crafts, and learned hipster coffee brewing tips and tricks from the pros. Cheers to you!

Brew Tour participant thank-you note: “What a great program from our local public library!”

Author Events

Thank you, book fans, for showing your book love to the 21 authors who joined us this year for compelling author talks and book signings. Stay tuned for more of these exciting events in 2018, starting with bestseller Jojo Moyes on Monday, February 5!

Dan Brown event attendee thank-you note: “Wow! Wow! Wow! What a fabulous event!”

Colorado Gives Day

Thank you, generous supporters, who helped Douglas County Libraries Foundation exceed our Colorado Gives Day goal of raising $20,000. The more-than $23,000 donated will help make wishes come true in our community, providing scholarships for high school equivalency testing and Camp DCL and supporting programs like Summer Reading, Cuddle Up & Read, and much more. We couldn’t do it without you!

If you missed us on Colorado Gives Day, there’s still time to make a tax-deductible donation toward our year-end goal.

Camp DCL scholarship recipient thank-you note: “Thank you so much for this scholarship for Luke. I know he will enjoy this camp, and my husband and I are so overwhelmed by the kindness from Douglas County Libraries.”

Storybook Holiday Party

Thank you, literary party people, for joining us at our inaugural Storybook Holiday Party earlier this month. It was a Grinchy good time, complete with Santa and his reindeer, and we can’t wait to see you at next year’s Storybook Holiday extravaganza.

Storybook Holiday Party guest thank-you note: “I just wanted to say that what you did last Saturday night [December 2] was absolutely magical! My daughter and I had a blast!”

Get the inside scoop on upcoming DCL events and activities when you sign up for our eNewsletter.

Our Favorite Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

You know what doesn’t easily fit into stockings? Books. Here are some alternatives to delight the literary lover in your life (or for shameless self-gifting).



Fell Asleep Here Bookmark (via Etsy)

Bed is one of the coziest places to read, but the downside is you run the risk of losing your place by falling asleep while reading. This bookmark will keep your place if you escape to dreamland before the next chapter.








From-The-Page-Candles221B Baker Street Candle (via UnCommon Goods

This Sherlockian candle evokes notes of black currant tea and leather books. It’s a pleasant scent to burn during late-night reading sessions.









library-card-socksLibrary Card Socks (via Out of Print Clothing

You really can’t go wrong with anything from Out of Print, but we especially adore these old card catalog socks. It makes us nostalgic for the days of yore.











Books Are My Happy Place Pin (via Etsy

Shiny, tiny and cute. You can’t go wrong with these pins for book lovers.








NovelteaNovelTea Tins (via NovelTeas

Teas with bookish puns?! We adore this entire collection, and we have a feeling the book lover in your life will too.

12 Books to Give

Got a book lover in your life? Give the gift of good reading. These books come highly recommended by Douglas County Libraries staff. Check one out for yourself, and then wrap up your holiday shopping.


Manhattan Beach

by Jennifer Egan
This mesmerizing historical novel has the feel of a noir thriller.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders

by Joshua Foer
A weird and wonderful collection of crowd-sourced attractions for the most adventurous tourists, or curious armchair travelers.

A Lot Like Christmas

by Connie Willis
A collection of short stories for the Christmas lover in your life. But these are not your usual holiday stories. There are odes to classic tales here, but also plenty of humor, science fiction, and fantasy.

The Alice Network

by Kate Quinn
Historical fiction featuring World War I lady spies, brave heroines, villains you love to hate, and high drama. The audiobook is wonderful, as well.

The Rules of Magic

by Alice Hoffman
This prequel to Practical Magic is spellbinding. A great read for those who like magical love stories.

Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders
This book has been on all the “best” lists. Now you can add it to your gift list! History and fantasy collide in this moving novel that takes place in a graveyard with Abraham Lincoln as the main character.

The Best of Us: A Memoir

by Joyce Maynard
This touching memoir of true love and partnership is heartbreaking at times, but ultimately life-affirming.

Magpie Murders

by Anthony Horowitz
For the reader who loves mysteries, this one offers a double dose. There’s a mystery within a mystery, and both are fascinating.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

by Jesmyn Ward
A captivating, lyrical story that follows three generations of a struggling Mississippi family. It’s the winner of the 2017 National Book Award for fiction.


by Ron Chernow
Civil War and history buffs will enjoy this dramatic, masterful portrait of one of our most complicated presidents.

Vacationland: True Stories From Painful Beaches

by John Hodgman
A comedic look at the trials and tribulations of the author’s “accidental summer homes” in Maine and Massachusetts, along with other vacation disasters.


by Peter Heller
The Denver author based this mystery on his own mother, a fascinating real-life private eye. Bonus: The writing is simply elegant.

Now Featuring: Game On!

Douglas County Libraries has games on the brain this month! Here is a selection of game-focused books, videos and streaming media to keep the fun going through the holidays.

Games & Life for Adults

It’s All a Game

by Tristan Donovan
Renowned games expert Tristan Donovan opens the box on the incredible and often surprising history and psychology of board games, tracing the evolution of games across cultures, from the paranoid toy genius behind Operation and Mouse Trap to the role of Monopoly in helping prisoners of war escape the Nazis.

The Monopolists

by Mary Pilon
A humorous, engaging look at the history of board games, revealing a broader view into social history. This is a quick, enjoyable read that takes less time than a game of Monopoly.

The Queen of Katwe

by Tim Crothers
The astonishing true story of Phiona Mutesi, a teenager from the slums of Kampala, Uganda, who, inspired by an unlikely mentor (a war refugee-turned-missionary), became an international chess champion.

Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

by Stuart Brown
From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives. Play is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play.

Games & Ideas for Adults & Families

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary

Did you know Scrabble allows 105 two-letter words? Find them, and more than 100,000 others, in this indispensable source of Scrabble words.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors

by Drew Daywalt
You’ve played the game, now read the legend of how it all began. Cheeky humor and goofy pictures will have kids and adults laughing out loud.

Balls on the Lawn: Games to Live By

by Brooks Butler Hays
The serious leisure aficionado knows that it doesn’t take much to transform a ho-hum afternoon into a truly memorable one — all it takes is just a few balls, some mallets, and maybe a horseshoe or two. This ode to classic outdoor games includes rules as well as appropriate accompanying cocktails!

Unbored Games: Serious Fun for Everyone

by Joshua Glenn
Looking for game ideas? This book has instructions and illustrations for more than 70 games — from outdoor fun to inside parlor contests to Google Earth challenges — plus ideas for making up your own games. Written in an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek (yet helpful!) style, this book is meant to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Play With Us: 100 Games From Around the World

by Oriol Ripoll
This collection of more than 100 games from around the world will keep kids busy having fun all year round. With clear instructions and fun illustrations, kids can learn about traditional games that can be played indoors and outdoors, alone or with a group, running the gamut from quiet board games to wild games of chase.

399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young

by Nancy Linde
Based on the science that shows that adults who solve word games and brainteasers have a significant cognitive advantage over those who do not, this book provides 399 fun games, puzzles and trivia challenges to stretch and cross-train your brain.

Digital Gaming

The Ultimate Indoor Games Book: The 200 Best Boredom Busters Ever! (e-book)

by Veronika Alice Gunter
Don’t let a rainy day get you down. This e-book is packed with ideas to harness your creativity and your energy and spend a fun afternoon learning new games, including scavenger hunts and push-popcorn-with-your-nose races!

Chess for Kids: How to Play & Win (e-book)

by Richard James
This is the perfect introduction to chess for children ages 7 and up. Using the characters of 7-year-old twins Alice and Sam, the book teaches the main moves and the concepts of check, checkmate and stalemate.

Mathematics of Games & Puzzles: From Cards to Sudoku (streaming video)

from The Great Courses
Take a mathematical approach to playing games and solving puzzles by learning about various games, from games of pure strategy (like chess), to games of pure luck (like many casino games), to games that mix strategy and luck (like blackjack, backgammon and poker). Improve your ability to play these games, and learn some interesting mathematics along the way.

Every Move Must Have a Purpose (streaming audio)

by Bruce Pandolfini (read by the author)
Fluid and elegant, yet rigorous and rule-bound, chess is a game that seduces, confounds and hooks. Now, world-renowned chess master and Fortune 500 business consultant Bruce Pandolfini tells listeners how chess principles can be simply and logically applied to any business or life situation.

Jumanji (DVD)

Rated PG
When Alan Parrish discovers a mysterious board game, he doesn’t realize its unimaginable powers until he is magically transported into the untamed jungles of Jumanji! He remains there for 26 years, until he is freed from the game’s spell by two unsuspecting children. Now a grown man, Alan tries to outwit the game’s powerful forces.

Clue (DVD)

Rated PG
Who killed Mr. Boddy? Was it Colonel Mustard in the study with the gun? Miss Scarlet in the billiard room with the rope? Or was it Wadsworth the butler? Based on the popular board game.

Searching for Bobby Fischer (DVD)

Rated PG
Fred Waitzkin is a sportswriter who dreams his 7-year-old son, Josh, will grow up to play baseball. One day in the park with his mother, Josh displays more than talent; he has a gift. Sensing his son is a future champion, Fred places Josh under the tutelage of a strict chess teacher. But when Josh suddenly starts to lose, his parents must confront their own motivations, and recognize what Josh prizes more than winning: his family’s love.

Fun Is the Name of the Game at DCL

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is celebrating the positive power of play this month — we’re getting our Game On with game-inspired events and activities! You can also stop by your library to check out a Launch Pad game or play a pickup board game with friends.

Get your game on and play with DCL at any of these featured events happening around the district.

Highlands Ranch – James H. LaRue

International Game Day
Saturday, November 4
All ages
No registration required

Join the annual worldwide celebration of games, play, libraries, learning and FUN for the whole family.

Geeks Who Read Teen Trivia Night
Thursday, November 9
Registration is required

Join in a fun evening of trivia based on books and pop culture.

Play Chess!
Wednesday, November 8 & 29
All ages
No registration required

Drop in and learn to play chess or improve your game with the Highlands Ranch Chess Club.


One of the earliest-known board games, the royal game of Ur, dates back to 2600 B.C. and eventually evolved into backgammon.



After-Hours Arcade
Friday, November 3
Registration is required

It’s game night at the library! Bring a friend and play video games, life-size Jenga, cards and board games — refreshments provided.


Scrabble permits 105 two-letter word combinations.


Castle Pines

Geeks Who Read
Friday, November 3
Ages 12-18
Registration is required

Express your inner (or outer) book nerd! Teams will answer questions about books, movies, music, and pop culture while snacking on pizza and root-beer floats. Prizes and glory go to the winning team!

Family Game Night: Board Games
Sunday, November 5
All ages
No registration required

Bring your prized board game or learn a new favorite!


It took Erno Rubik, of Rubik’s Cube fame, almost a month to solve his cube.


Lone Tree

Minute to Win It
Tuesday, November 21
Ages 11-18
Registration is required

Can you win it in a minute? Join us for an afternoon of 60-second games and find out! Bragging rights and a ridiculous trophy awarded.


Nintendo created Super Mario by accident, when the company was unable to license the rights to Popeye.


Castle Rock – Philip S. Miller

Geeks Who Read Teen Trivia Night
Thursday, November 16
Registration is required

Express your inner geek and test your knowledge of books and pop culture at this fun evening of exciting trivia.

Game Club
Sunday, November 5
No registration required

Drop in and join this new group for role-playing, strategic and board gaming. Bring your own or play those available.

Chess Club
Mondays, 6-8:30PM
All ages
No registration required

Drop in and play chess with local enthusiasts. All skill levels are welcome!


The number of permutations within a deck of cards is mind-bogglingly large: 8 times 1,067 (or an 8 with 67 zeroes after it). That means there are more card combinations than stars in the Milky Way, which amounts to as many as 400 billion.



Saturday, November 18
All ages
Registration is required

Bring the whole family for some old-fashioned fun with a classic game of bingo. Win prizes and enjoy snacks.

Life-Size Game Day
Sunday, November 19
All ages
No registration required

Drop in and enjoy your favorite games on a crazy-big scale!






Halloween Events Around Douglas County

halloween-jack-o-laternsIt’s time for frights and confectionary delights! Douglas County’s little ghosts and goblins will love celebrating Halloween at these events.



Family Fall Fest (Parker)

October 24; free

more details

The whole family can have fun with enchanted Storytimes, boo-tacular games, spooky crafts, and tasty treats at this annual autumn festival!

Harvest Festival (Castle Rock)

October 28; free

more details

The perfect autumn setting for making wonderful memories with family and friends. The food is rich, the drinks are warm, and the beer is crisp.



Paranormal Investigation (Lone Tree)

October 19; free

more details

A team of paranormal investigators will share true ghost stories from around our area, as well as tips and tricks for investigating the paranormal.

Zombie FX (Parker)

October 26; free

more details

Learn makeup tricks and techniques for transforming yourself into a zombie or other ghoulish monster.

Haunted Douglas County (Castle Rock, Louviers, Castle Pines)

October 17, 24 & 29; free

more details

Shaun Boyd from the DCHRC shares the real-life creepy tales of our area that will send shivers up and down your spine!



Castle of Terror (Castle Rock)

October 20, 21, 27 & 28; $10-20

more details

Castle Rock’s most frightening haunted house features the Bearded Lady, Werewolf Boy, Medusa and other terrifying characters! Hosted by the Castle Rock Fire Department, all proceeds from this event benefit the Fire and Police Explorers.

Reaper’s Hollow (Parker) 

October 20, 21, 27, 28 & 31; $20

more details

Are you brave enough to enter the shack at Reaper’s Hollow and survive an over half-mile trek through a ghoulish cornfield and the terrifying woods?

Haunted Forest (Highlands Ranch)

October 20 & 21; $13

more details

The gates of the Haunted Forest are open for two nights only, where nightmares lurk behind every tree and bush!



Wicked Wednesday (Castle Rock)

October 25; free

more details

Before All Hallows’ Eve, take your Halloween costumes out for a test run at the Wicked Wednesday Halloween Party at the Outlets at Castle Rock! This kid-friendly evening will include face painting, a holiday magic show by Keir Royale, a costume contest, all-center trick-or-treating, and more.

Trick-or-Treat Street (Highlands Ranch)

October 28; $2

more details

Kids 12 and under are invited to put on costumes, grab their trick-or-treat bags, and join the fun at Trick-or-Treat Street! Local businesses provide treats for all the little ghosts and goblins.

Trick-or-Treat on Mainstreet (Parker)

October 31; free

more details

All your little ghouls, ghosts, goblins, princesses, superheroes and anyone else can celebrate Halloween in downtown Parker. Local businesses will line the street, providing a fun and safe place for kids of all ages to trick or treat.