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 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 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

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

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

Annual Brew Tour at Douglas County Libraries Celebrates Community

For immediate release: August 10, 2023

Douglas County Libraries’ annual Brew Tour is underway, offering a unique way for the community to come together and celebrate over shared passions: books and brews. The tour runs through September 30 and includes 15 Douglas County craft breweries and coffee shops, as well as exclusive events at select partner and library locations.

Throughout the Brew Tour, residents get to experience the library at locations outside of Douglas County Libraries while also supporting local businesses.

“We have a few new partners this year and are doing more events, over double what we did in 2022,” said Kerri Morgan, Special Events Manager with Douglas County Libraries. “We’ve also added a new event for 2023, the Power Hour, which is a pop-up event at select breweries and coffee shops that helps tour participants accumulate more points toward prizes.”

Brew tour participants earn prizes by logging visits to the different partner establishments during August and September, and they are automatically entered into the library’s Grand Prize drawing for a Happy Brew Year, consisting of one premium insulated growler with a booklet of fills from partner breweries. They can also earn points toward prizes by attending exclusive Brew Tour events, like literary trivia, books and authors bingo, beer games, and books and brew pairings.

The library’s first event on August 4 at its Highlands Ranch location had teams of guests ages 21-plus competing in a literary scavenger hunt. Brew Tour partner Burly Brewing of Castle Rock poured craft brews during the event.

Participating in the Brew Tour is free and no purchase is required. For more information and to sign up, visit Must be 18 or older to participate, and 21 or older to consume alcohol.

Brew Tour Partners

3 Freaks Brewery, Highlands Ranch

105 West Brewing Company, Castle Rock

Barnett & Son Brewing Co., Parker

Burly Brewing Company, Castle Rock

Castle Rock Collective Coffee, Castle Rock

Crowfoot Valley Coffee, Castle Rock

Deja Brew Coffee, Parker

Downhill Brewing, Parker

Festive Cup Coffee and Boutique, Highlands Ranch

Fiction Beer Company, Parker

Fika Coffee House, Parker

Iron Mule Brewery, Castle Rock

Living the Dream Brewing Company, Littleton

Lone Tree Brewing Company, Lone Tree

Monk & Mongoose Coffee Co., Lone Tree

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