Monthly Archive for May, 2013

Jewell Elementary School Library reinvents itself

The Jewell Elementary School Library in Aurora has just redefined what a school library is about.   The library has revamped itself by renovating, rearranging and adding books for parents to facilitate its future use as not just an elementary school library but as a mini-community hub for its students and parents alike.

The renovating of the 1970s building includes a couch, a tv, a fish tank and laptops. The rearranging was as simple as moving shelving to the perimeter of the library and creating an open space in the middle for a more free flowing layout. It also included a more specific divide between subject matters, like science or math. The additional books, in both English and Spanish, include books about prenatal care or early childhood development.

The district’s director of Library Services, Jan Novak, has stated “As the world evolves and our students have different needs, we’ve moved to keep up with it.” Indeed. Many a library can attest to that!

For the Aurora Sentinel article in full:

Anythink York Street’s Grand Opening!

Saturday is a big day for the Anythink Library as it reopens its York Street branch now housed in a larger building. The festivities begin at 1pm on June, 1st.

This particular Anythink branch is partnered with the Mapleton School District in Thornton and now resides within the Skyview campus.  It is poised to provide much needed services to both the community and the school district. The updated library now houses more computers and a larger book collection. Also, due to its location within the school campus, a wider variety of programs are being considered.

For both the school district and the library the partnership was a win-win. The school district provided the funds for a desperately needed newer building and the Anythink Library will assume both financial and operational responsibility.

For more specific information about the Anythink York Street branch, click this link:


LRS has been busy again doing what they do best-researching. This time there is a new report regarding the Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL). My amazing co-workers, Meghan and Monica have been hard at work correlating the information and creating the report. Any time you notice anything in quotes, I am quoting their report.

So let’s highlight some of their findings.

First, to clarify, the Colorado Talking Library “provides free library services to Coloradans of all age who are unable to read standard print materials because of a physical, visual or learning disabilities. CTBL serves more than 6000 active individual patrons and 339 organizations.”

About a third of the patrons of the library participated in the survey.  The majority of the patrons were senior citizens.  About 80 % of those surveyed are very satisfied with the staff and services offered by the library. In fact, some of the comments provided indicated that CTBL is “superior” to similar offerings in other states. Beyond the highlights, feel free to peruse the report in full-

An e-book is published by DCL

It is an exciting time for libraries in general and especially so when libraries consider their own digital publishing of e-books. And Douglas County Libraries has done just that. They have published their very first e-book. Not only is it momentous that they are publishing an e-book period, but the content of the e-book is of an oral history of a local Colorado World War II veteran.

The book can be viewed free of charge (or DCL membership) on the DCL website:

I’d like to quote Jamie LaRue as to why this is significant—

  • ·         This is an example of library as publisher, taking local content and making it freely available to the world.
  • ·         It showcases the ability of the library to be a player in the digital world, highlighting unique information.
  • ·         It shows a new opportunity for short form writing – something one might read during a commute, on a smartphone or tablet.


And apparently, this is just the beginning…there are 100 more interviews to publish!

Isn’t the future of libraries exciting?!

CLEL Bell Awards

New Picture Book Award To Support Early Literacy
Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Launches the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards


Denver, Colorado, May 17, 2013 – Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy ( an advisory group to the Colorado State Library, is excited to announce the inaugural year of the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards, a new children’s literature award created to recognize picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children.

The first CLEL Bell Awards will be announced February 5, 2014, one title in each of five categories representing an early literacy practice: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play. Research has shown that engaging children in these practices builds language skills and prepares children to become successful readers.

“I am thrilled to have these new awards!” says Carol Edwards, Co-Manager of Children and Family Services at Denver Public Library and a Bell Awards Selection Committee member. “Being aware of the new books coming out and paying attention to the ways they can extend conversation and interaction with children—beyond the act of reading—seems like strong support for our work in libraries with this age group.”

Suggestions for consideration for the 2014 awards are accepted through November 15, 2013 at the CLEL website ( Winning titles will demonstrate content or theme related to one of the early literacy practices, and encourage interaction between adults and children. The five award winners will be released with support materials that describe how each title supports early literacy development, and with suggestions for ways parents, caregivers, and librarians can extend the reading experience with children, through shared activities appropriate for home, childcare settings, and library storytime.

Fostering community discussion about the nominated titles is one of the goals of the Bell Awards, and conversation will be encouraged via regular posts on the CLEL blog ( and through social media.

“Getting the conversation going about how books really can make a difference in encouraging parents and caregivers to increase their early literacy interactions seems like a win-win to me,” says Edwards. “It’s a win for the professionals who introduce new books and encourage best practices, and it’s a win for the child who benefits from more singing, talking, writing, reading, and playing.”

The Selection Committee is comprised of CLEL members from several Colorado public libraries: Shirley Anderson, High Plains Library District; Carol Edwards, Denver Public Library; Jaime Gotlieb, Douglas County Libraries; Rachel Hartman, Denver Public Library; Barbara Huff, Pikes Peak Library District; Sarah Johnson, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library; Mary Kuehner, Jefferson County Public Library; Danica Midlil, Douglas County Libraries; Susan Oakes, Denver Public Library (retired); Carol Wagstaff, Douglas County Libraries; and is chaired by Melissa Depper, Arapahoe Library District.
For more information, visit the CLEL Bell Awards webpages ( or contact the Selection Committee at

About CLEL

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is an advisory group to the Colorado State Library, created in 2008. CLEL members work to strengthen children’s literacy through library services and community advocacy.


Our own Dave Hodgins in the LRS department has an update on the DART program. I shall just leave him to tell you about it.

“DART is a service of Library Research Service and the Colorado State Library that gives libraries tools for tracking and analyzing usage data for services such as reference and circulation.  It is currently used by over 30 libraries in Colorado.  Earlier this month, almost 4 years to the day that DART went live, staff at High Plains Library District submitted data for transaction #1,000,000.

Let’s face it:  data collection isn’t always a glamorous affair.  But by utilizing DART, libraries in Colorado are made stronger by collecting data that they can use to improve and evolve user services, increase staff efficiency, and fuel promotion and advocacy.  Library Research Service and the Colorado State Library are proud to offer this service, and we thank our dedicated DART libraries for helping make it a resounding success.

Interested in learning more about DART?  Point your favorite browser to  We also welcome you to contact us directly at”



CAL is a winner!

The ALA has presented the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) with an award for advocacy! Due to budget constraints we are all very aware of, CAL requested a dollar per capita. This would’ve totaled $5.2 million. The campaign was promoted throughout the state to all pertinent people and organizations. Its success, while not providing the $5.2 million, did gain the attention of the joint budget committee, who granted $2 million in additional funds to the State Grants to Libraries Act.  This is only the second time in a decade this has occurred.

Robin Gard of CAL Legislative Committee is quoted as saying, “We are gratified that our legislators responded to the targeted message and campaign carried on by so many library advocates in Colorado.  We have made every effort to establish on-going relationships with state lawmakers through sharing the library’s role in helping Coloradans succeed.”

I also know, that our own Director here at the State Library, Gene Hainer, was also very involved in making this campaign a reality.

CAL will be recognized for their awesomeness this summer at the ALA conference in Chicago. The award also comes with $1000.

Thank you to all of you who advocated for us!!

Summer Programs

The Colorado State Library is encouraging all of the state’s libraries to participate in summer programs geared towards reading and math for the children of their communities. As we know, summer can cause various bits of school year acquired knowledge to just float away and we are hoping to prevent that.

The summer reading program this year is Dig Into Reading. Apparently “dig” is meant quite literally and the program will explore books about the ground and what is hiding underneath it. Events and activities geared towards this topic will also encouraged.

For keeping those math facts fresh over summer, there is the Summer Math Challenge, geared towards the 3rd-6th graders.  It is an online resource–

For more information, the link to the flyer is below:

I personally love reading in the warm summer sun and it all started as a kid and my weekly visits to the county library.

LRS is doing what it does best!

Research is one of our things here at the State Library. Our Library Research Service team has been busy at work doing what they do best and have compiled the quarterly results from participants’ evaluations of the State Library workshops. I must say, a fair amount of you feel we do a pretty good job with our presentations, trainings or webinars. Of course, it is our goal to serve Colorado’s librarians as best we can.

In this first quarter of 2013 alone, our consultants have been busy! There were 26 workshops  with almost 1200 participants. About a tenth of the participants completed the evaluations (thank you!).

A very large percentage of these participants felt our workshop goals were clearly stated and useful, containing worthwhile content. Many would highly recommend participation in a workshop (I need to toot our own horn here, I personally think our consultants are knowledgeable , delightful, and committed people. However, I may be a wee bit biased). In fact, here are some comments:

“Great ideas! I hope to start a program series with these ideas.”

“The enthusiasm was greatly appreciated! Humor-fantastic!”

“I love the interactive/small  group component, nice break from all the ‘sit and listen’ approach.”

In addition to the workshops mentioned above, each month, the state library offers “CSL in Session” an online class.  In the first quarter of 2013, we have had 74 participants and approximately 40% of those completed an evaluation.

Many of these participants found the classes useful, interactive and engaging, coming away with a better understanding of the topic presented. And of course, there are comments to share:

“This was an extremely well-done session;  very interactive and engaging. It is one of the best online trainings I have attended. Thank you!”

“Very interesting. Presenters did a great job of acknowledging the many comments. And they presented the material very cleanly and concisely!”

The workshops are only as good as the people behind them and we have an awesome staff here! At least I think so and apparently so do some of you (again, thank you!). Please consider participating in one of our future workshops. We work hard to make them fun, interesting and beneficial.



Green light for EBSCO

Lynx Logo

We have a green light for Lynx renewal!  Pricing for individual libraries/schools has been established, and will increase just 3% for the 2013-2014 subscription year (July 2013 – June 2014). For individual libraries/schools, this STILL represents a significant savings — anywhere from a 40% to an 85% discount off retail pricing

The package of EBSCO databases will remain the same. For one low price you can subscribe/renew. You can choose ANY or ALL of the 21 databases and 8 interfaces available in the package. The listing of databases, along with descriptions still can be found on our web site. (

For more information and to subscribe go to