Once Upon a Time … At Your Library

Author Neil Gaiman said, “Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” And at Douglas County Libraries (DCL), we agree!

During the month of October, DCL is featuring fairy tale-themed events to celebrate the vanquishing of dragons and the magic of storytelling. Join us at one of these featured events around the district!


Castle Rock – Philip S. Miller

Once Upon a Festival of Fairies, Fables & Folktales
Saturday, October 14
All ages
Registration is required

Celebrate a love of magic and storytelling with a festival of fairies, fables and folktales! Dress up and enter enchanted realms full of live music, jousting, crafts and more.

Haunted Douglas County
Tuesday, October 17
Adults & teens
Registration is required

Shaun Boyd from the Douglas County History Research Center will recount real-life creepy tales of DoCo that will send shivers up and down your spine!


LEGO Movie Maker
Saturday, October 21
1-2PM & 3-4PM
Ages 8 & up
Registration for either session is required

Create a fairy tale-inspired stop action movie with LEGOs.

Family Fall Fest
Tuesday, October 24
All ages
No registration required

This autumn tradition for the whole family combines enchanted Storytimes, spook-tacular games, crafts, and tasty treats.

Halloween Films & Faces
Thursday, October 26
All Ages

Registration required for make-up sessions at 6PM and 6:30PM.

Lone Tree

Fall Fun Night
Thursday, October 5
All ages
No registration required

Have big fun at the library with life-size games, a kids’ carnival, dance party, and a special Storytime at 7PM. Costumes are encouraged!

Slick Science
Friday, October 13
Ages 9-11
Registration is required

Explore the science of engineering by helping the Three Little Pigs build their homes!

Castle Pines

Stuffed Animal Taxidermy
Friday, October 13
Ages 8-13
Registration is required

Choose a beloved stuffed animal to memorialize and proudly display!

Hogwarts House Party
Saturday, October 28
All ages
Registration is required

Celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter books! Let the Sorting Hat assign you a house, compete alongside your friends in a trivia challenge for the House Championship, and enjoy crafts, snacks and games.

Haunted Douglas County
Sunday, October 29
Registration is required

Discover all the spooky stories in your neighborhood, presented by Shaun Boyd of the Douglas County History Research Center and her ghost-hunting team.


Ghostbusters Double Feature
Friday, October 6
All ages
Registration is required

Watch a double feature of the classic 1984 film at 5PM and then the 2016 remake at 7:30PM. Wear comfy clothes and dig into some popcorn at the library!

Fairy Tale Murder Mystery
Friday, October 13
Ages 12-18
Registration is required

A classic whodunit with a fantastical twist! Join your friends in the land of fairy tales to solve this interactive mystery.


Haunted Douglas County
Tuesday, October 24
Registration is required

Shaun Boyd from the Douglas County History Research Center will share the real-life creepy tales of DoCo that will send shivers up and down your spine!

Highlands Ranch – James H. LaRue

Ready-to-Read Workshop
Saturday, October 28
Registration is required

Prepare your child for reading! You’ll discover picture books that are perfect for reading aloud to babies, toddlers and preschoolers while your children attend Storytime. When they return, you can work on a fall craft.



Fairy Tales & More

Douglas County Libraries is celebrating fairy tales, folklore and fables this month! Check out some of these enchanting reads.

YA Fiction


by Marissa Meyer
“Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.” The author who brought us the Lunar Chronicles takes on the origin story of the Queen of Hearts in this YA novel. Like any good Wonderland story, there’s madness, magic, monsters — and fate.


by Meagan Spooner
Hunted stays true to the more original tale of Beauty and the Beast. Some not-so-great sisters, a loss of their father’s fortune and accompanying social status, an enchanted forest, a creeping obsession, and an overall Russian influence make for a haunting, complex and picturesque retelling.

Tiger Lily

by Jodi Lynn Anderson
“Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…” This coming-of-age story is told from Tinkerbell’s perspective, complete with the growing pains that come with budding romance, friendships and goodbyes, and set in a beautifully fearsome Neverland.

A Court of Thorns & Roses

by Sarah J. Maas
“Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries. As her feelings toward him transform from hostility to a fiery passion, the threats against the faerie lands grow. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse or she will lose Tamlin forever.” The author of the high fantasy Throne of Glass series gives a faerie twist on Beauty and the Beast in this captivating read.


by Ashley Poston
Replace an idyllic kingdom with a passionate fandom, swap the royal ball for cosplay and conventions, substitute Prince Charming for a celebrity teen heartthrob and you have Geekerella, a delightful retelling of the classic fairy tale set in modern day. This is a must-read for nerds everywhere.

A Wicked Thing

by Rhiannon Thomas
After awakening, Aurora finds that her “true love” is really a nice stranger, her time asleep made her a target for use as a political pawn, and everyone she knew is long dead. Picking up where the fairy tale leaves off, A Wicked Thing answers the question: “What happens after happily ever after?”

Adult Fiction

The Bear and the Nightingale

by Katherine Arden
This Russian-style novel is steeped in magic, winter and occasional darkness.

The Noble Servant

by Melanie Dickerson
This novel is set in medieval times and is based on the fairy tale The Goose Girl. Robbed of her identity by a servant on her way to marry the Duke of Wolfberg, Magdalen is left to tend geese in a town where nobody knows who she really is, and she has no way of proving her identity — until she meets a fellow shepherd.

Practical Magic

by Alice Hoffman
Hoffman has written several novels sprinkled with magic that have been called fairy tales for adults. This book spawned both a 1998 movie starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman and the upcoming prequel titled The Rules of Magic.


by Orson Scott Card
Ivan stumbled across a beautiful, sleeping princess in a Carpathian forest as a child. He was scared away by a malevolent presence, but has never been able to get over it. Even though life took him to a graduate program in America, he is compelled to return to that forest as an adult. The well-known author of Ender’s Game spins a story influenced by Sleeping Beauty and Russian myth with this novel.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

by Genevieve Valentine
Twelve Dancing Princesses is given a delicious Jazz Age revamp, where princesses are flappers and princes bootleggers.


Usborne Illustrated Grimm’s Fairy Tales & Usborne Illustrated Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales

Usborne has collected a sampling of both of these authors’ works, making the original fairy tales accessible for children.

The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales

by Maria Tatar
If you want a comprehensive approach to all the great fairy tales, presented by an expert academic on folklore and fairy tales, this is the book for you.

Books to Fuel Renewal

Douglas County Libraries is celebrating the spirit of renewal throughout September. Check out these books for ways to fuel your personal renewal, sustainability, and intentional living.

Recycled Chic

by Amanda McKittrick
Take a creative plunge and explore the possibilities for refashioning your wardrobe with these unique, yet simple projects.

Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy

by Deborah K. Heisz
This book offers an eye-opening shift of perspective on the secret of authentic happiness and how surprisingly simple, everyday acts lead to lifelong joy and fulfillment. Organized around the key components of a happy life, from gratitude to attitude and play to purpose, Live Happy brings together illuminating real-life happiness stories, eye-opening examinations on the science of happiness, and simple and inspiring everyday “happy acts” to empower readers to achieve big happiness breakthroughs.

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, & Eliminate Negative Thinking

by Barrie Davenport
Feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts? Struggling with anxiety about daily tasks? Worried about life? The truth is, we all experience the occasional negative thought. But if you always feel overwhelmed, then you need to closely examine how these thoughts are negatively impacting your lifestyle. The mindfulness techniques in this book can help provide the clarity that leads to happiness.

Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body

by Kate Hudson
A beautiful, insightful and personal look at health from the inside out. , an authentic plan for an authentic life from a woman who truly lives what she speaksAn ancient Chinese proverb says that if you want to change your life, you must move things in your home.

The Mindful Home: The Secrets to Making Your Home a Place of Harmony, Beauty, Wisdom & True Happiness

by Craig Hassed
Home is where the qualities that we equate with “good” itself live: true happiness, peace, beauty, wisdom and inspiration. It is also where you can find the good things in life, such as harmony, relationships, health and wealth. So how are we to find our core and create a home that reminds us of the qualities associated with it? That is where the practice of mindfulness comes in.

Fundamentals of Sustainable Living

If you take your own reusable grocery bag to the supermarket or buy green products, you’re already engaging in sustainable living practices. Stream this video (it’s not a book) to learn about other steps you could be taking to make an impact and save money.

The Beeswax Workshop

by Chris Dalziel

Making all kinds of amazing, all-natural stuff out of beeswax is easy and fun. Packed with over 100 step-by-step recipes, Beeswax Workshop shows you how to make beautiful gifts, household cleaners, beauty supplies, and so much more.

The Good Living Guide to Beekeeping

by Dede Cummings
In recent years, there has been a surge of folks struck with the desire to build and nurture beehives of their own. This book is for beginners and experts alike, with all the basic information you need to get started, as well as stories and tips that will inspire and instruct the most seasoned beekeeper.

Sustainability Made Simple: Small Changes for Big Impact

by Rosaly Byrd
This introduction to sustainability and sustainable living explores the relationship between everyday life and the intricate global environmental issues of today, including air and water pollution, deforestation, and climate change.

Relax & Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times

by Judith Lasater
Experience the rest of your life with restorative yoga, the supported poses, and breathing practices that will help you heal the effects of chronic stress.


Renew! With Douglas County Libraries


Looking for ways to relax, learn a new craft, find a new hobby, or renew your lifestyle? Check out Douglas County Libraries (DCL) in September. We’re hosting a variety of events at our locations around the district that focus on renewal, sustainability and living intentionally. Learn more or register today!

Castle Pines

Feel Good, Look Good, for Life With Author Angela Gaffney
Friday, September 8
Registration is required

After surviving a personal health crisis that nearly took her life, author Angela Gaffney is sharing her life-changing strategies for thriving and living your best life, with tips from her book Feel Good, Look Good, for Life.

Over the Mountain & Through the Woods
Saturday, September 9
Registration is required

Thinking of exploring Colorado’s trails or climbing a 14er? Get important tips from experienced hikers.

Learn Embroidery
Saturday, September 23
All ages
Registration is required

Looking for a new hobby? Learn the art of embroidery and gain the skills to make your own design.

Castle Rock – Philip S. Miller

Sustaining You & Your Community
Saturday, September 23
No registration required

Experience adult Hula Hoop, Zumba, guided meditation, yoga and tai chi, and hear about water conservation from special guests, followed by a Q&A session.

Friday, September 29
Registration is required

Learn techniques for de-stressing, and make your own relaxation products like bath bombs and sugar scrubs.

Lone Tree

Growing Garlic
Saturday, September 23
Registration is required

Learn about planting and harvesting this beneficial plant (it’s easy!) and take one home for your own garden.


Active Minds Presents: Coffee, a History
Monday, September 18
Registration is required

Relax, and indulge in tasting and learning about coffee with Active Minds.

Composting With Worms
Saturday, September 23
Ages 6 & up
Registration is required

Kids can learn the ins and outs of composting with worms.

Healthy Snacks
Saturday, September 30
Registration is required

Families can learn together about healthy snacking and assemble healthy snacks for everyone in the family.


Restore Through Mindfulness
Sunday, September 17
Registration is required

Learn to use mindfulness and meditation to be more present, aware, responsive and calm, presented by Gregory Weeks, a seasoned meditation teacher and graduate of the contemplative psychology program at Naropa University in Boulder.

Costumes in Your Closet
Sunday, September 24
All ages
Registration is required

Learn to make cool costumes from clothing and thrifty items you already own — just in time for Halloween!

Active Minds Presents: Spices
Monday, September 25
Registration is required

Add spice to your life as Active Minds traces the rise of spices from colonialism and the spice trade to the varieties we love at grocery stores today.

Reuse Your T-Shirts
Saturday, September 30
All ages
Registration is required

Upcycle those old tees to make scarves, pet toys, bags, rugs and more!

The Most Loved & Hated Required Reading in Douglas County

Classic BooksIn the spirit of Back to School, we asked our Facebook fans for their most loved and most reviled required reads. The loves were far more diverse with 69 different titles compared to only 63 titles on the loathed list. Often someone’s favorite was another person’s least favorite; 22 titles appeared on both the loved and loathed lists. In fact, all of the books in the top-fives listed below appeared on both lists. The sign of great literature is how many emotions a book evokes. As Edmund Wilson once said, “No two persons ever read the same book.”


Here are Douglas County’s favorites:

These are Douglas County’s least favorite:

To see the full list of Douglas County’s favorites, go here.

To see the full list of Douglas County’s least favorites, go here.


What do you think? Is your most loved and most hated book from your school days listed above? Tell us yours in the comments.

New Ideas for Your Kids’ Lunch Bag

Looking for some new ideas for your child’s lunch box? Here’s a great list of cookbooks to check out to step up your lunch game. They include a wide variety of options, from inventive sandwiches to cute bento boxes. Here’s a delicious sandwich and easy mason jar salad to use this week:


Saucisson & Cornichon from The Little Book of Lunch 

  • 2 slices of multigrain bread
  • soft butter
  • 2-inch pieces of saucisson (dried salami)
  • 1 tbsp of cornichons

Butter bread slices. Slice cornichons and place on one slice of bread. Place saucisson slices on other side. Wrap in foil.




Barley & Kale Salad from Mason Jar Salads

  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 3 tablespoons White Wine Vinaigrette (see below)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup quartered cucumber
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale
  • 1 quart-size Mason jar

Pour water into a saucepan over high heat, add pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the barley, reduce the temperature, and simmer, covered, for 10-12 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Set aside and let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Pour vinaigrette into the Mason jar. Add layers of diced onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, 1 cup of the cooked barley, and red bell pepper. Fill the rest of the jar with kale. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.

White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until thickened.

Learning Resources & Support at DCL

Douglas County kids are heading back to school for another year of learning! Whether you have children just starting kindergarten, moving into middle school, or heading to high school, Douglas County Libraries has a variety of tools and resources to help all students grow and excel academically.

Learning-Centered Tools & Services

  • DCL’s Bark for Books and Reading Buddies programs help budding and struggling readers gain confidence and skills.
  • Live online tutoring from expert tutors and homework help are available for free through Brainfuse, which also offers writing and language labs, test preparation, and a 24/7 question center.
  • Find the right books to match your child’s reading level and foster growth through AR BookFinder and Scholastic’s BookWizard.
  • Tech tutoring can help with technology subjects like basic internet use, tablets, popular software basics, and more.

Research Resources

Students can access a variety of information online from respected newspapers, magazines, journals and educational materials through popular research resources like:

  • Brainfuse – Homework help and tutoring for students of all ages and learning levels.
  • World Almanac for Kids – Grade-appropriate content on a variety of topics.
  • Facts on File – A research portal for a variety of history resources.
  • CultureGrams – Cultural and geographical information.
  • EBSCO – A collection of database resources with access to comprehensive information.
  • American History Online – More than 500 years of American history.
  • Brittanica – Targeted search levels for children and adults.
  • And many more!

Other Resources

  • Private study rooms can be reserved with your library card at our Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker and Roxborough locations.
  • The Recording Studio at our Parker location includes state-of-the-art software and equipment you can use to create videos, musical compositions, animations, and much more for top-notch classroom projects. Reserve the Recording Studio using your library card.
  • The Douglas County History Research Center is a great resource for researching local historical information and events. Visit the DCHRC in person at our Castle Rock location or online.
  • Teens 14 and older can volunteer at DCL to earn community service credit toward graduation requirements. Check out VolunteerConnectDC.org and search on Douglas County Libraries to find the volunteer opportunity that’s right for you!

Looking for more? Stop by and ask us! We’ll help you find the materials and resources you need.



Harry Potter-Inspired Party Ideas

Harry Potter fans are celebrating the fictional wizard’s birthday this week. Looking to throw your own Potter-themed party? We’ve got some fun ideas for you!


Party Invitations

via One Creative Mommy

These decorative, letter-style invites are brilliant, as Harry would say!

A few things you’ll need: white balloons, black marker or Sharpie, white ribbon, aged cardstock paper.

Party Favors & Decor

Harry Potter Ties

via East Coast Mommy

These adorable ties can be made from cardstock, and they can double as a party activity if you provide the supplies for kids to color and personalize their ties.

Here’s what you’ll need: paper cardstock, crayons, hole punch, elastic.

Treat Bags

via The Preppy Planner

These creative treat bags make great party favors to send home with each guest. You can fill them with whatever treats you can conjure.

Materials needed include: lunch-sized paper bags, scissors, gold ribbon, wizard treats (candy), pretzel rods.

Potion Jar Centerpieces

via Today.com

These magical centerpieces are a delightful, if not disgusting, feast for your party guests’ eyes!

Here’s what you’ll need: glass jars in different sizes, labels for jars, food coloring, water, a variety of odd-looking substances to serve as “magical” ingredients.

Ghosts & Dementors

via Over the Big Moon

What would a Harry Potter party be without a few terrifying dementors? Hang these throughout your party space for horrifying, but fun, effect!

Materials needed include: cheesecloth, fabric stiffener, balloons, string, invisible nylon thread.

Treats & Snacks

Cheese & Pretzel Broomsticks

via One Little Project

These cute, simple snacks will be a big hit with your young party witches and wizards!

Ingredients: cheese sticks, pretzel sticks, chives.

Butter Beer

via Parenting.com

This Harry Potter staple is a must-have for any themed party! And it’s simple to make.

Ingredients: vanilla ice cream, cream soda.

Golden Snitches

via Bite-Sized Biggies

Fun, simple, delicious — a party trifecta! Everyone will want to get their hands on these golden snitches.

Ingredients and materials needed: wrapped chocolate truffles, glue dots, paper wings.

Houses of Hogwarts Reading Guide

Harry Potter fans, you don’t need a sorting hat to find a great read at Douglas County Libraries. We’ve done the sorting for you! The only question is, which Hogwarts house do you prefer?

Gryffindor House

The most famous Gryffindor, of course, is Harry Potter. These books are for those who can’t get enough of the bravery, daring and nerve of characters like Harry.

Ravenclaw House

Intelligence, knowledge and wit are the admirable values of Ravenclaw. If those sound good to you, then you’ll love these books. Fun fact: Ignatia Wildsmith, inventor of magical fireplace-travel floo powder, is one of this house’s most famous residents.

Hufflepuff House

Hufflepuff values hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fairness — themes you’ll find in these stories. Newt Scamander, the famed Magizoologist and author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, belongs to Hufflepuff house.

Slytherin House

If you can relate to the Slytherin house values, which include ambition, cunning and resourcefulness, then these are the books for you! Tom Riddle, aka “He Who Must Not Be Named” (later known as Lord Voldemort), is the sinister face of Slytherin. (But we all know how that ended.)


Lovin’ Summer Bucket List

It’s summer in Colorado — and there’s simply no better place to be (in my humble, but biased opinion)! The sun is shining and the days are warm and long. That means the time is ripe to squeeze out every ounce of pleasure the season has to offer.

Make this summer one to remember! Do something you’ve always wanted to do, something outside your comfort zone, something that takes you out of your day-to-day life … something silly! Now’s the time, because summer won’t last forever.


Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List

  1. Dine al fresco, sip a cup of joe on a patio, or indulge in some soft-serve yogurt. As a card-carrying library user, you can do so at a discount!
  2. Make your own ice cream treats.
  3. Give the stove and oven a break for the summer, and fire up the grill instead.
  4. Have a picnic or go hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, camping or fishing (there’s so much to do!) at one of Colorado’s great state parks. Bonus: You can score a free State Parks pass from the library through Check Out Colorado!
  5. Host a patio party — at your place or ours.
  6. Take that road trip you’ve been thinking about. Here are some ideas for inspiration.
  7. Indulge your passion by reading a romantic novel or two.
  8. Better still, sign up for the Summer Reading Program and dive into some binge-worthy series to hit your reading goal.
  9. Create the soundtrack for an awesome summer using Freegal or Hoopla — all you need is your library card.
  10. Record your own summer smash or music video purely for fun (and maybe a few laughs) at our Parker location’s Recording Studio.
  11. Explore all of the museums and attractions in our Adventure Pass — for free, using just your library card!
  12. Visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and feed a giraffe, at a discount! You might just get to see baby Rae.
  13. Come to the library and meet a bestselling author! C.J. Box (The Highway trilogy) visits Highlands Ranch on Wednesday, July 26, and Peter Heller (The Dog Stars, The Painter) stops by Parker on Friday, August 18.
  14. Do some stargazing on a warm summer night — you can check out binoculars for the occasion!
  15. Grow an herb garden. Here, some resources to dig into.
  16. Experience a real western rodeo in person. And you’re in luck, because the Douglas County Fair & Rodeo rides into town August 3-6 in Castle Rock. Giddyup!