Summer Reading Hits the Road in June

For immediate release: May 15, 2019

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is on its way to a summer of fun! The Great Summer Reading Road Trip kicks off at all DCL locations on Saturday, June 1, with life-size games, live DJs, bouncy houses, food trucks, a book fair, and much more from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The annual reading program is for all ages and runs from June 1-July 31. Kids, teens and adults can register for the Great Summer Reading Road Trip at any of the kickoff parties on June 1 or online anytime at DCL.org/summer-reading.

  • Get prizes! Summer reading participants will receive prizes from Texas Roadhouse and the Colorado Rapids just for signing up.
  • Enjoy good books. Tracking the time spent reading is not required this year. Participants are encouraged to enjoy the read instead—and may collect a prize just for having an awesome summer. Adults and kids who like a challenge may still track their reading on a DCL log, or they may create their own goal and track their time online.
  • Support a Douglas County nonprofit. If DCL meets this year’s community goal of 16,775 registered reading program participants, the DCL Foundation will donate $500 to Nature’s Educators.

“We really hope participants will rediscover reading for the fun of it with this year’s program,” said DCL Special Events Coordinator Kristen Kallio. “If that means reading together as a family, discovering new topics to read about, reading to family pets, holding a dramatic reading of a favorite book or re-reading favorite books … whatever makes it most enjoyable, we encourage everyone to do it!”

School Contest Returns

The friendly fundraising competition among K-12 schools affiliated with Douglas County School District is back this year! The elementary, middle and high schools with the most summer reading sign-ups by July 31 will win a $250 prize—one winning school at each level. Some rules and restrictions apply; visit DCL.org/summer-reading for more details.

Volunteers Needed

DCL is seeking volunteers to help with summer reading kickoff parties on Saturday, June 1, and throughout the summer. No special skills or prior experience is needed, and teens can earn community service credit toward graduation requirements. Interested volunteers may learn more and/or sign up via VolunteerConnectDC.org; search Douglas County Libraries opportunities.

For more information about the Great Summer Reading Road Trip, registration, and associated events and activities, visit DCL.org/summer-reading or call 303-791-7323.

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

STEM School Students and Families Come Together at Library

For immediate release: May 10, 2019

Douglas County Libraries in Highlands Ranch welcomed more than 100 STEM School Highlands Ranch students and parents to the library today, offering activities and spaces where they could gather to support each other and express themselves in the aftermath of the tragedy that unfolded at the school on Tuesday, May 7. The library serves many of these same families and students on a day-to-day basis throughout the year.

Students and family members of all ages participated in a free creative art session in the second floor Event Hall with instructors from KidzArt, where they could draw and create colorful art works. The library provided hot chocolate and cookies, as well as additional private meeting spaces for people to gather and talk. Many kids also spent time expressing themselves using the library’s interactive white board in the lobby.

Library’s Small-business Services Give Local Companies a Boost

For immediate release: May 9, 2019

May is National Small Business Month, a month dedicated to celebrating and empowering the small businesses that have such a big impact on local economies and communities. According to the Small Business Administration, two-thirds of new jobs each year are created by small businesses. Douglas County Libraries (DCL) works to connect local small-business owners and entrepreneurs with the information and resources they need to launch, grow and succeed.

The library’s DCL for Business information services are available to startups and entrepreneurs, as well as established small businesses, providing help with business plans, registration information, market research, and data on industry trends. Resources include:

  • Personal, boutique-style services, including competitive intelligence and market information.
  • Online business and finance research databases, including sources for demographics and market research and segmentation.
  • Free workshops on various small-business topics at DCL locations throughout the county, presented in partnership with the South Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

According to DCL Business Analyst Colbe Galston, Douglas County is home to approximately 11,530 small businesses with between one and 19 employees and another 2,228 home-based businesses. (Source: ReferenceUSA)

Over the last five years, Galston said DCL for Business services were used on more than 670 unique projects for local business owners and business support organizations.

CPA Joel Cowden, owner of Fianza, LLC, worked with Galston and DCL for Business when he was putting together a business plan for his new company. Using the library’s business support services and databases, Cowden was able to access key information about his chosen industry, competitors, and target customers.

“That support really helped me to head in the right direction with my business from the beginning,” said Cowden.

The library also provides meeting and event spaces at its various locations that may be reserved for uninterrupted work, client meetings, and business presentations.

For more information on DCL for Business and library services for small-business owners and entrepreneurs, visit DCL.org/business or call (303) 791-7323.

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

Local Author’s Story Began at Douglas County Libraries

For immediate release: April 18, 2019

When local blogger Amy Scott Grant decided to boldly explore the craft of fiction writing in 2012, the first thing she did was check out Douglas County Libraries’ website for resources. There, she discovered a free fiction writing workshop and the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) contest. It was the beginning of “Annabel the Lost,” Grant’s recently published juvenile fiction novel.

NaNoWriMo challenges aspiring authors to write an entire novel—50,000 words—in one month, November. The New York Times bestseller “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen was a NaNoWriMo novel.

Four Douglas County Libraries (DCL) branches hosted the contest in 2012: Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree and Parker. Each branch held special events during the month to help the writers accomplish the challenge. Winning manuscripts from contestants at each branch were then judged to determine one districtwide winner.

“I didn’t even have an idea for a novel, but that [writing] workshop really prepared me to start plotting a story, developing characters … essentially everything I needed to start writing,” said Grant, who participated in Castle Rock’s contest.

Following the recommendations of the writing workshop instructor, Grant set clear and specific goals for herself and carved out time every day to write. She pushed herself beyond the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days to finishing with 94,662 words. “I achieved more than I ever thought possible,” she said.

Grant’s story of fourth grader Annabel Parsons was DCL’s districtwide winner. Her prize package included professional manuscript editing and an ISBN number. At the time, Grant didn’t feel like the book was ready. After what she described as an overwhelming editing process, she set it aside to focus on other work. It wasn’t until late 2018 when she decided to finish the book and bring it to market.

In addition to her now-published middle-grade novel, Grant has written 10 nonfiction books. She is one of several local authors who will be featured at DCL’s upcoming Local Author Showcase on Saturday, April 27, at the library’s Highlands Ranch location (9292 S. Ridgeline Blvd.).

DCL regularly hosts writing workshops and local author events, giving readers and aspiring writers a chance to hear from published authors in their own communities about their work and experiences.

To learn more about DCL’s Local Author Showcase and other author events, visit DCL.org/authors-events or call (303) 791-7323.

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

Graduation Ceremony Celebrates Education Accomplishments

For immediate release: April 16, 2019

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is thrilled to host a spring graduation ceremony for adults completing their high school equivalency at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, at the library’s Lone Tree location (10055 Library Way). The graduates prepared with the help of volunteer tutors in DCL’s Adult Literacy Program, the library’s Douglas County School District (DSCD) partners, and the DCSD Oakes GED Center.

DCL’s Adult Literacy Program provides support and resources to adults needing to complete their high school credentials. “We’re so excited to graduate seven individuals this spring—our biggest graduation yet,” said DCL Adult Literacy Specialist Tiffany Curtin.

Graduates range in age from 17-45 and earned their diplomas between December 2018 and April 2019. One student, a former accountant in Mexico, found the math section easy but was able to work on her English fluency while also preparing for the exams. Another graduate plans to join the Air National Guard and learn airplane mechanics, while two others have plans to become barbers.

The Douglas County community is invited to celebrate the accomplishments of all seven graduates at the cap and gown ceremony on April 28. The event will feature guest and graduate speakers, followed by a reception with light refreshments.

In addition to its high school equivalency tutoring and test prep program, DCL offers qualifying students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma through the Career Online High School (COHS) program. The library also partners with campus navigators at Arapahoe Community College who are available to help students develop a path forward after receiving their GED or COHS diploma.

For more information about DCL’s adult education and test prep programs and services, visit DCL.org/adult-education or call (303) 791-7323.

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