Exploration Stations

The Douglas County Libraries Foundation supports exciting new ways to inspire a love of discovery and connection in our community, and one of those ways is through Exploration Stations at two Douglas County healthcare facilities.

Located at both Parker Adventist and Castle Rock Adventist hospitals, these entertaining areas for kids are located near the family birth centers. The stations include interactive software programs, books, puzzles and toys for the hospitals’ youngest guests.

The Exploration Station at Castle Rock Adventist was commissioned in 2016 in memory of Aspen Tucker, a little girl who loved both books and being outdoors. The warm space provides learning opportunities and activities for visiting children.

Learn more about the many ways to support the work of the DCL Foundation at, or schedule a donation for Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, December 8.

Teacher Support Resources

Douglas County Libraries offers a variety of services and tools to support educators throughout the school year. Here are a few ways we can help you in the classroom, and with making learning fun for your students.

Scholastic Teachables

A teacher’s best friend! This pre-K to 6th grade resource provides high-quality worksheets and lesson plans from Scholastic, plus:

  • Ready-made collections that accommodate the learning requirements of all students.
  • Mini-books for every subject and grade.
  • Learning games, fun projects, activities, and more.

Try it now.

Services & Experiences

Book an Archivist – Our Archives & Local History staff can talk up local history in your classroom.

Page to Stage – DCL takes literature-based children’s theater to K-5 students in Douglas County schools.

Epic Reads – Our youth librarians visit schools throughout the year to recommend specially chosen books for students in grades 1-8.

Book Bank – Get free books for teachers


Visit our Parents & Teachers page to learn more about these great teacher resources:

Resources by Request – Request books, DVDs and audiobooks on any topic or genre and we’ll compile your “shopping list” for easy pickup.

Library Tours – Bring your class to the library to see how the magic happens!

Educator eNewsletter – Our eNewsletter is full of useful tips and ideas to help you prepare for each new semester of the school year. Sign up here.

School Liaison – Connect with a DCL liaison assigned to your school.

Kanopy – Instructional films, K-12 lessons, and more are available online. – This site provides great resources for educators.

Research Databases – Access a variety of databases for expanded research and learning.

For more information about DCL’s educator support services and resources, visit or call (303) 791-7323.

Your DCL Schoolkit

It’s August, and that means students are heading back to school. As a reminder, DCL’s “schoolkit” includes a variety of tools and resources to keep learners on top of their game throughout the school year.

Online Databases & Lessons

Our student research resources are conveniently categorized by grade level, making it easier to find the info needed for projects and studying. All your student needs is a library card—get one here if needed.

  • Students of all ages and levels can access live homework help and tutoring through Brainfuse. Spanish-speaking tutors are also available.
  • The Britannica online encyclopedia offers three age-appropriate levels and can be accessed from any device, including tablets and smartphones.
  • Our full collection of databases for schoolwork, research and more can be found here.

Need help finding the right books to match your child’s reading level? Try AR BookFinder and Scholastic’s Book Wizard.

Foreign language lessons can boost classroom learning, and they’re available for free through Mango. Choose from over 70 languages.

Kanopy offers The Great Courses, a series of college-level video courses covering a variety of subjects.

Library Programs & Amenities

Bark for Books – Kids ages 6-12 can boost literacy skills and reading confidence by reading out loud to trained therapy dogs.

Reading Buddies – Trained teen volunteers work with struggling readers in grades 1-3 to help them improve skills. Ask a librarian for more information.

Private Study Rooms – Reserve them with a library card at our Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker and Roxborough locations.

Parker Recording Studio – The perfect place to create videos, musical compositions, and other digital school projects—state-of-the-art video and recording equipment included! Reserve the Recording Studio with a DCL library card.

Archives & Local History – This local and state history resource is at our Castle Rock location and online.

Community Service Opportunities

DCL needs volunteers, and students need community service credits for high school graduation—it’s a perfect match! Volunteers can assist with fun library events, participate in Reading Buddies or Teen Library Council, and perform other general library duties for credit.

Visit and search Volunteer Opportunities with Douglas County Libraries to get started.

Check It Out! Large Print Books for Kids & Teens

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) has expanded its collection of bestselling and popular large-print titles for children and young adults. The easy-to-read format is helpful for reluctant readers and those learning English or struggling with developmental delays or diagnoses like ADD/ADHD or dyslexia.

Large Print = Big Advantages

Larger print boosts comprehension and fluency for readers of all ages—and that leads to increased reading confidence and enthusiasm. Because there are fewer words per page, readers can more easily process information and sound out words. For kids and teens, large print can play an important role in motivating them to become better, lifelong readers.

The books in DCL’s expanded large-print collection look the same as their standard font editions. They’re the same size, feature the same cover art, and fit into lockers and backpacks, easing any concerns about social stigmas.

Explore DCL’s large-print collection for kids and teens today.

DCL Gear to Go

Conditions are looking pretty great for spring skiing and boarding this year! You’ll find five Colorado resorts in ZRankings’ list of the Top 12 Best Places to Ski in March — four of which are within fairly easy driving distance.

You know what that means: It’s time to plan your trip to the mountains!

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) offers these gadgets and resources to help you make the most of your trip, and all you need is your library card.

Consumer Reports
Tires can make or break the drive — make sure you’ve got good ones. If you’re in the market for a fresh set, do your research. Consumer Reports’ Tire Ratings include all-season and snow tires. Use your library card number and PIN to access Consumer Reports.

Launchpads & Video Games
These pre-loaded tablets work like a charm when it comes to keeping the kids entertained, and bonus: They’re educational. The library’s collection includes a variety of devices with different games and activities to choose from — no Wi-Fi required. Check them out!

Capture all the mountain moments. Check out a GoPro and make a time-lapse video of the drive or your day on the slopes, or a family documentary about your trip. Or simply get video proof of conquering that black diamond. Ski Magazine listed Breckenridge’s Crazy Ivan 2 as one of the steepest in-bounds runs in North America. But, no pressure! Stay safe and have fun.

Wireless Hotspot
Stay connected without wearing out your smartphone battery! This hotspot gives you long-range Wi-Fi access, indoors or out.

Movies & Videos
Download some shows before you go, or stream them. Hoopla has audiobooks, digital movies, TV and music — for kids, too. Or try Tumblebooks for kids’ videos.

5 Holiday Party Don’ts

‘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 or call (303) 688-7605.