Flock to the Library, Summer Reading Is Here

For immediate release: May 13, 2024

Pre-register now for fun and prizes at DCL.org

Douglas County Libraries invites the community to Flock to the Library for this year’s vibrant Summer Reading celebration, June 1-July 31. Readers of all ages may now register for the annual celebration at DCL.org/summer-reading, with the official kickoff on Saturday, June 1.

“Our goal with summer reading is to inspire and foster the love of reading, no matter your age. But, of course, we want to make it fun, too, because it should be. We’ve got a lot of fun events and activities in store for our participants this summer, and some nice prizes,” said Kristen Kallio, Special Events Supervisor at DCL.

All participants who register for Flock to the Library will be entered into DCL’s Fly Away prize drawings for a $500 Southwest Airlines gift card. Three winners will be drawn in August. Registered participants also receive other fun prizes for signing up, like discounted Colorado Rapids tickets for select games, plus reading logs and a special, limited-time gift at a kickoff on Saturday, June 1, while supplies last. The special gift is available only on June 1, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at any DCL location. Finishing prizes are available beginning June 3, while supplies last.

K-12 students are encouraged to sign up and help their schools earn a $500 prize in the program’s friendly annual school contest. The schools at each level with the most sign-ups receive the prize donation courtesy of Douglas County Libraries Foundation.

Flock to the Library participants of all ages can also log minutes online to help meet this year’s community challenge of 9.5 million minutes read. If the goal is met, Douglas County Libraries Foundation will donate $1,000 to HawkQuest of Parker, a nonprofit whose mission is to make education both meaningful and fun, while creating an atmosphere that fosters respect for the land and for the stewardship of all living things.

To learn more and register for Flock to the Library and related events, visit DCL.org/summer-reading.

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

Douglas County Libraries Board Approves 2024 Budget, including Taxpayer Savings

For immediate release: January 17, 2024

On January 9, 2024, the Douglas County Libraries Board of Trustees approved the library’s 2024 budget with an estimated taxpayer savings of $5 million. This budget approval will help sustain library services and quality, while temporarily lowering the library’s tax levy this year.

In response to escalating tax assessments in Douglas County, the library’s Board of Trustees limited revenue growth to the rate of inflation and within the library’s historic average of about 6% each year. This temporary change is expected to result in estimated savings of over $5 million for Douglas County taxpayers.

After being called into special session by Governor Polis in November 2023 over the statewide escalation of property taxes, the Colorado Legislature changed the state’s property tax appraisal rates and added deductions setting back county assessor support to determine the library’s 2024 revenue. Rather than completing the budget in early December 2023, the board passed the library’s budget and allocated funding on January 9, 2024.

Visit DCL.org/board for more board and budget-related information.

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

Douglas County Libraries Soars Past 1 Million Digital Checkouts in 2023

For immediate release: January 12, 2024

Douglas County Libraries customers reached a major milestone in 2023: 1.4 million e-books and audiobooks were borrowed during the year. This milestone highlights DCL’s commitment to serving the community in innovative ways, including through its large catalog of e-books, audiobooks, and other digital content.

“We love that we are meeting users where they are, and that we’re providing formats that work for our customers both inside and outside the library,” said DCL Collection Development Librarian Angie Brown.

DCL has offered 24/7 access to e-books and audiobooks through OverDrive and the Libby reading app for many years but saw a 16% increase in checkouts last year, with the library hitting the one-million checkout mark earlier than ever before, in mid-September, Brown said.

DCL’s highest-circulating title in OverDrive was “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros, in audiobook format. The most popular e-book was “Happy Place” by Emily Henry.

All readers need to access digital books from DCL is a valid library card, and they can use any major device, including Apple, Android, Chromebook and Kindle.

Readers may access DCL’s digital library at DCL.org/digital-media or via the library’s catalog.

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

Forest of Stories Lights Up Douglas County Libraries for the Holidays

For immediate release: November 15, 2023

150-plus decorated trees at all DCL locations celebrate the joy of stories

Douglas County Libraries’ festive Forest of Stories returns to all library locations November 19 through January 6. Presented by Douglas County Libraries Foundation, the free, interactive exhibit of decorated, book-themed trees includes more than 150 trees decked in beloved stories, from favorite children’s tales to classic literature, crime thrillers, horror, comedy, mysteries, larger-than-life characters, and more.

Forest of Stories is free and open during library operating hours, no ticket or registration required. Families looking for kid-friendly entertainment and tree-peeping opportunities over the holidays and upcoming school breaks can find something to enjoy at every location.

“I just love this event!” said Elaine McCain, Chair of Douglas County Libraries Foundation, the presenting sponsor of this year’s exhibit. “Forest of Stories is a wonderful community event that is accessible to everyone—no tickets are required. Library customers of all ages can experience the joy of stories through amazing decorated trees set to sparkle for the holidays,” said McCain.

Every division in DCL has helped bring this immersive, districtwide display to life, including library volunteers who have donated time to fluff, decorate, and assist with tree installations.

Visitors will find different themed trees at each library location, some decked with life-size trimmings, memorabilia, and artifacts, among other unique details. Each location also features trees representing the individual library communities and DCL’s Archives & Local History. All community members are invited to explore every location to see all 150-plus book-themed trees and discover their favorites.

Forest of Stories is part of DCL’s popular Booked for the Holidays event offerings, providing festive holiday entertainment options for families and the entire community throughout the season.

For more information on Forest of Stories and the themed trees at each location, visit DCL.org/forest-of-stories.

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

Douglas County Schools and Local Nonprofit Receive Summer Reading Rewards

For immediate release: October 3, 2023

Douglas County Libraries and the DCL Foundation recently presented cash awards to four Douglas County schools and local nonprofit Guide Dogs for the Blind as part of DCL’s 2023 Dog Days of Summer reading program. Roxborough Primary School, Mountain Ridge Middle School, ThunderRidge High School, and Ben Franklin Academy each earned $500 for securing the most Summer Reading signups per school level in the program’s school contest. Guide Dogs for the Blind was awarded $1,000 as the nonprofit recipient of the community reading goal.

School contest signups were tallied via DCL’s Beanstack online registration app. The school in each category with the most signups as a percentage of 2022-2023 enrollment earned the award.

“The love of reading is alive and well in Douglas County!” said DCL Special Events Supervisor Kristen Kallio. “It’s great to see how excited kids get about reading for fun, and how motivated our participants are to read for a good cause. Our community has a big heart for their schools and for these nonprofit partners, and it’s really a win-win for everyone.”

Summer Reading encourages reading from a young age and helps to keep kids reading during school breaks, so they grow up with a strong foundation in literacy. Readers of all ages are also encouraged to participate.

At ThunderRidge High School, Teacher Librarian Stephanie Sjoland said some fresh titles and additional copies are needed in the library, so they’ll use the prize money to buy more books. “We have so many people here who love reading and the summer reading program, and our goal is to create more readers every year,” Sjoland said.

“I am very excited to be able to use the money to purchase great new books for our collection,” said Alicia D’Antonio, Librarian at Mountain Ridge Middle School. “We have some voracious readers at Mountain Ridge and keeping them excited about what the library has to offer is important to the growth of the program and building lifelong learners.”

Ben Franklin Academy Librarian Deb Williams gets students excited about summer reading well before DCL’s program begins. “Not only do our students love to read, they also love to win prizes. When we tell them that we can win $500 to buy new books, they get really excited,” Williams said. “We received the award on Monday, and on Tuesday we placed an order for new books, including The Babysitters Club, Bad Guys, Minecraft, and a couple book series that will be new to our library,” she added.

Williams and Ben Franklin Academy Principal Diana Simpson also recognize the role that students’ parents play in their success.

“Our community of parents is one in a million. Without their continued support, we would not be able to make this happen each year,” Simpson said.

Rick Kendall, Principal at Roxborough Primary School, expressed pride in his students and their love for reading. “The Roxborough branch of DCL does such a great job in partnering with our school as we work together to nurture both the skills and passion in our students to become lifelong readers,” he said. The school will use their award to create a daylong celebration of reading for students later this school year.

Summer Reading isn’t just for kids, however. Each year, DCL encourages communitywide participation through the program’s community reading challenge, which benefits a local nonprofit if the reading goal is met. This year, participants exceeded the goal of 9 million minutes read by nearly a million minutes.

Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is a nonprofit, charitable organization that seeks to provide a safe means of mobility for people who are blind and visually impaired. The Highlands Ranch Puppy Raisers train guide dogs from approximately eight weeks old to between 15 and 17 months old, on a completely volunteer basis.

“This [prize] will cover a year’s worth of expenses,” said Darlene White, Volunteer Puppy Club Leader for GDB Highlands Ranch Colorado Puppy Club. Some of those expenses include socialization outings for the puppies, to expose them to as many things as possible so they’re prepared to keep their person safe once they graduate the program.

“We’re so thankful the Foundation chose us, and we’re benefiting from these funds,” White added.

Summer Reading will return in June 2024, along with the annual school contest and community reading challenge.

To learn more about the Douglas County Libraries Foundation, visit DCL.org/foundation.

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