Year: 2023

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.

Library’s Community Relations Liaison Receives 2023 Author Advocate Award

For immediate release: August 7, 2023

Douglas County Libraries is proud to announce that its Community Relations Liaison Lisa Casper received the 2023 Author Advocate Award presented by the Colorado Authors League at an awards presentation on July 30 at the Washington Park Boathouse. CAL members nominate Author Advocates from those who advance the careers of established and upcoming authors, promote literacy and reading, and facilitate access to books and learning.

With this award, Ms. Casper joins the ranks of past Author Advocates Kevin Simpson of the Colorado Sun, Nicole Sullivan of BookBar, and Tattered Cover founder Joyce Meskis.

“It is so special to be recognized by authors and peers, especially when it is a job that I love so much,” Casper said. “When I started working at the Tattered Cover under Joyce Meskis and her team, I knew I loved reading and telling stories, and doing events was a dream job. I’m passionate about advocating for authors and putting books into readers’ hands.”

When Casper began working at Douglas County Libraries 16 years ago, she started doing Book Lovers talks for library customers while continuing to work author events. Through this work and her affiliation with Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association, Casper was inspired to start a service for local authors to share their work, hone their elevator speeches on their books, and network. Today, the library hosts three Local Author Showcase events each year thanks to her efforts.

“In her 16 years with DCL Lisa has exemplified passionate advocacy in her support of authors and their work,” said Douglas County Libraries’ Special Events Manager Kerri Morgan.

“She has helped launch careers, raise profiles, and expose authors to new audiences. One only needs to look at the long list of accomplished authors who consider her a friend to note the impact she has had on their lives and livelihoods,” added Morgan.

Douglas County Libraries will host its next Local Author Showcase on Saturday, November 18, at the library’s Parker location (20105 East Mainstreet). Authors interested in presenting their work are encouraged to fill out an application by emailing Ms. Casper at

For more information on author and Book Lovers events, visit

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

Douglas County Libraries’ New Castle Rock Library Opens on August 26

For immediate release: August 3, 2023

Douglas County Libraries will celebrate the grand opening of its new Castle Rock library on Saturday, August 26, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., preceded by a Masonic Cornerstone Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. The new library is located at the same address as the former library, 100 South Wilcox Street, and guests are encouraged to park in downtown Castle Rock public parking lots and garages while work continues on the new building’s parking lot.

Grand opening events kick off at 10 a.m. on the outdoor Aloha Plaza East with remarks from library leaders and special guests, confetti cannons, and a breakaway banner as the doors officially open.

“We are back in Castle Rock! The grand opening event will be filled with special ceremonies, delicious treats, entertainment throughout the day, and fun surprises to highlight our beautiful new library and welcome the community in,” said Amber DeBerry, DCL’s Director of Community Engagement.

Guests are invited to browse the stacks, discover all the new and upgraded amenities, and enjoy children’s Storytimes throughout the day, along with light snacks, refreshments, and fun giveaways.

According to DCL Executive Library Director Bob Pasicznyuk, the new library prioritizes spaces for families, working adults, and keeping Douglas County history alive for generations.

The two-story building includes 42,000 square feet of dedicated library space and amenities on par with other DCL locations, such as a drive-through book return, 10 study rooms, five larger meeting and event spaces, two outdoor Aloha Plazas East and West, an interactive children’s playscape, The Ranch, sponsored by Castle Rock Rotary Club, and DCL’s Archives and Local History, its collections, and the new Sjostrom History Lounge reading room. The library also boasts a collection of colorful, nature-themed artwork throughout.

The new building will offer at least 220 parking spots for customers and staff once the parking lot is completed in November.

“This new facility has been paid for through library savings over the past decade and is part of an overall effort to provide our citizens with premium library service across Douglas County,” said Pasicznyuk.

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

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