Renovated Library to Reopen on April 6

For immediate release: March 13, 2019

Douglas County Libraries in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue branch (9292 S. Ridgeline Blvd.), is excited to reopen to the public with a Grand Reopening Celebration on Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Library patrons will again have full access to all library services, the physical collection, children’s Storytimes, and numerous new and upgraded amenities throughout the branch. The festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks from library staff and special guests, followed by family-friendly activities throughout the day.

“The community has been so supportive throughout our time of reduced services and construction, and we’re excited to show off their new library,” said Highlands Ranch Branch Manager Tammy Clausen.

The new and updated features patrons can use and enjoy include:

  • Active and interactive areas for children, such as the expanded farm-to-table Market playscape and Kids Corner Storytime space.
  • Increased meeting and community spaces, and state-of-the-art technology in meeting and study rooms.
  • A new shade structure on the second-floor terrace that overlooks Civic Green Park.
  • Laptop borrowing using a library card.
  • A larger, more flexible Event Hall space, plus an additional conference room and study room.
  • Dedicated spaces for tutoring and family activities.
  • Increased square footage available for public use.

The first floor houses the youth collection and children’s spaces, with adult materials and quiet reading spaces located on the second floor. Features important to the community were retained with the renovation, including the Second Chapter Used Bookstore, now located on the library’s second floor; an updated commemorative book wall; and the veterans’ display case. Book donations will also resume upon the reopening.

“Though no additional square footage was added during the renovation, every square foot of existing space has been touched, and patrons will see parts of the library they’ve never seen before,” Clausen said.

The community is invited to explore the refreshed library and get familiar with all its new features and amenities. A variety of spring-themed activities and crafts for kids and families will be sprinkled throughout the branch, with Storytimes occurring at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Light snacks and refreshments will also be served throughout the day.

For more information, visit DCL.org or call (303) 791-7323.

Douglas County Libraries elevates our community by inspiring a love of reading, discovery and connection.

Community Partnerships Foster Friendly Competition and Lively Theater

For immediate release: February 28, 2019

Douglas County Libraries’ longstanding partnership with the Douglas County School District continues with this year’s book-based Battle of the Books and Page to Stage programs. The tournament-style Battle of the Books is underway and will culminate in a District Finals competition on March 13, 2019, at the Parker Arts, Culture & Events Center (PACE). The 2019 Page to Stage production of “The Jungle Book” opens in schools and at various Douglas County Libraries (DCL) locations in April.

Battle of the Books is a bowl-style trivia tournament that’s all about books. Teams of kids in grades 3-6 compete against each other in interschool battles to determine a districtwide champion for all of Douglas County.

DCL kicked off its 10th season of book battles in late January. According to Kerri Morgan, Department Head Special Events at DCL, Battle of the Books has come a long way over those years. “We’ve been doing battles since the 2008-2009 school year, and at that time only seven schools were involved and just one library branch, Highlands Ranch,” Morgan said.

Today, the program is active at 48 schools and four DCL locations: Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Parker and Highlands Ranch, with Highlands Ranch battles taking place at the Recreation Center at Southridge during that library’s renovation. Roughly 1,000 kids participate each year, and in 2018 the competition saw approximately 12,500 spectators over its six-week run.

Kathy Kubala, whose children previously competed, commented that the program was a wonderful experience for her kids. “My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the books and working through their nuances. But it is with our son that we noticed such a dramatic difference. He is more confident, self-assured, and ready for the next challenge,” she said.

Coyote Creek Elementary School Teacher Juli Puleo said her team is always impressed by how smoothly the program runs through the library. “We really appreciate the support and commitment to our kids,” she added.

Designated library staff assist the schools with understanding and facilitating their programs. Morgan said the library provides all administrative-level support, such as contracting with the schools, creating and distributing each year’s book lists and rules, administering mock battles, and fielding questions. Team creation and practices are left to the schools. Once the tournament begins, DCL facilitates the battles and provides the battle and district finals locations, as well as blog support and championship trophies.

“Not all kids are meant to be, or want to be, athletes,” said Morgan. “Battle of the Books gives those kids the opportunity to represent their schools with pride, and to be able to participate in a competitive event that doesn’t require athletic ability.”

Page to Stage

This spring marks the library’s 14th consecutive year of taking children’s theater to students in Douglas County schools through Page to Stage. Each literature-based production reaches kids in 40-50 elementary schools, promoting reading and providing entertaining interpretations of classic stories like “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Peter Pan,” and this year’s production of “The Jungle Book.”

In partnership with Front Range Theatre Company of Castle Rock, DCL will facilitate approximately 50 school performances of “The Jungle Book” this spring, from April 1 to May 24. Six free library performances, which are open to the public, will take place between April 17 and May 9.

“It is always such a treat to bring something like this to the students here, and I am just so thankful that DCL and Page to Stage partner up to offer something like this to the schools,” said Bear Canyon Elementary School Teacher Nancy Kinjorski.

One parent remarked that even though last year’s Page to Stage came to her daughter’s school the day before the library performance in Castle Rock, her daughter insisted they see it again.

Page to Stage was performed for nearly 10,000 Douglas County School District students in 2018 and an additional 200 patrons at DCL branch events.

For more information on Battle of the Books and Page to Stage, visit DCL.org or call (303) 791-7323.

Douglas County Libraries elevates our community by inspiring a love of reading, discovery and connection.

Douglas County Board of Commissioners Appoints Three Members to Library Board of Trustees

For immediate release: February 19, 2019

Douglas County Libraries is pleased to welcome three members to its Board of Trustees. The Douglas County Board of County Commissioners appointed the three new board members on February 12, 2019. Louise Wood, Meghann Silverthorn, and incumbent Ron Cole round out the library’s seven-person board.

Louise Wood is a Highlands Ranch resident and will represent District III. She is a former financial planning and wealth management professional. Wood said she loves working with students and reading great literature, and now teaches at the high school and college levels.

Meghann Silverthorn, a Parker resident, has a diverse background in public and civil service, including 10 years with the Department of Defense and eight years serving on the Douglas County School District Board of Education. She will represent District I.

Ron Cole previously served as vice president on the DCL Board of Trustees. He is a former senior intelligence leader with extensive experience in the intelligence community and has served as a board member of the Colorado Space Business Roundtable and in roles with space-related organizations. He’ll continue to represent District II.

Volunteer trustees govern the library district, with authority given by Colorado library law. Wood, Silverthorn and Cole join current trustees Sean Duffy, Bob Morris, John Beckwith, and Lawrence Falter.

For more information, visit DCL.org/board.

Douglas County Libraries elevates our community by inspiring a love of reading, discovery and connection.

Library’s Day Camps Give Working Parents an Affordable Option for Spring Break

For immediate release: February 14, 2019

With spring break for Douglas County kids just around the corner, Douglas County Libraries is pleased to offer full-day spring break camps that give working parents an affordable child care option while school is out. Parents can register now for their choice of three camps being offered at the library’s Castle Rock, Parker and Lone Tree locations, March 18-22.

The budget-friendly day camps give kids ages 6-11 the chance to try new activities, express their creativity, and build confidence while having fun. In addition, Camp DCL scholarships may be available from the Douglas County Libraries Foundation for qualified applicants.

“Over the years, we’ve participated in several camps around town. The baking camps at Douglas County Libraries provide real cooking lessons, and as a parent, I appreciate that my daughter is getting exposure to new foods,” said Annette Hanowski, whose daughter has attended Camp DCL since its inception in 2017.

“There are so many camps out there that look interesting, but they fail our parental cost-benefit analysis. I’ve found DCL camps to be reasonably priced considering the impact they’ve had on our daughter and the lessons she’s learned. We love them!” said Hanowski.

Douglas County Libraries’ 2019 spring break camps include:

  • Culture Camp, Lone Tree. Kids ages 6-10 can explore global cultures through cooking and art.
  • Superhero Camp, Castle Rock – Philip S. Miller. Kids ages 7-11 will make a live-action superhero mini movie and engineer superhero vehicles and hideouts with LEGOs.
  • Pop Art and Music Camp, Parker. Kids ages 7-11 can express themselves through pop-art projects and by working together to create an age-appropriate music video.

Spring break camps have been expanded to full days, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, March 18-22, for $325 per camper. To register or learn more about the camps and scholarship opportunities, visit DCL.org/camp-dcl or call (303) 791-7323.

The library will also offer weeklong, half-day summer camps for kids ages 5-12 from June 3-August 2, 2019. Registration for those camps begins Friday, March 1, 2019.

Douglas County Libraries elevates our community by inspiring a love of reading, discovery and connection.

Library’s New Memory Care Kits Aid Those With Memory-related Issues and Caregivers

For immediate release: January 31, 2019

Douglas County Libraries has added Memory Care Kits to its collection of nontraditional items that library cardholders can check out. The self-contained kits are designed to engage individuals with memory-related issues and their caregivers, and include books, DVDs, puzzles, games and more.

Memory care is an important issue across the country. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, “Millions of Americans have Alzheimer’s or other dementias. As the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will grow. This number will escalate rapidly in coming years, as the population of Americans age 65 and older is projected to grow from 53 million in 2018 to 88 million by 2050. The baby boom generation has already begun to reach age 65 and beyond, the age range of greatest risk of Alzheimer’s; in fact, the oldest members of the baby boom generation turned age 72 in 2018.”

In Douglas County specifically, 11.1 percent of the population is age 65 or older, which translates to 38,469 citizens. (Source: DemographicsNOW database, Mature Market comparison report 2018A, as of Jan. 31, 2019)

Douglas County Libraries’ Operations Director Sheila Kerber said, “The Memory Care Kits are designed to trigger special memories of life experiences and encourage positive interactions between those affected by memory issues and their caregivers.”

The kits include an assortment of books, DVDs, books on CD, and hands-on activities such as puzzles and games that can help spark conversations and make reminiscing fun, despite any age or generational gaps that might otherwise make communication difficult between caregivers and those with memory issues.

“Each DCL kit is unique, with different resources in each one so caregivers have the opportunity to provide varied experiences for the people in their care,” Kerber said.

Books for caregivers are also included in the kits.

Each Memory Care Kit is self-contained within a sturdy canvas bag and can be checked out for three weeks at a time. The kits are a free resource available through the library’s holds service.

For more information, visit DCL.org or call (303) 791-7323.

Douglas County Libraries elevates our community by inspiring a love of reading, discovery and connection.