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According to wikiHow, your dream of becoming a famous artist may not be as far-fetched as you think. We here at Jeffco Library agree! The wikiHow to Become a Famous Artist page offers great advice. Here’s their breakdown:

  1. Practice. Every day. An hour or more is ideal, but even just 20 minutes is significant.
  2. Work on the things you love. Choose objects that have meaning to you. Start simple (a ball for example) and build to more complicated subjects as your skills improve (like a rose).
  3. Vary your art tools. Start with a pencil and then go to charcoal, paint, clay, digital – whatever interests you.
  4. Get critiqued by family and friends. Make it clear you want an honest opinion.
  5. Look outside your circle for opinions. Reach out to others like you who are just starting out.
  6. Learn to accept compliments gracefully. Relax, and enjoy the support.
  7. Develop a strong personal style. The more you practice and follow your passion, the more your style will emerge.
  8. Be prolific. Create plentifully and in as many formats as possible.

If you’re an aspiring artist, between the ages of 12 and 18, live in Jefferson County, and want to share your work with others, the Belmar Teen Advisory Board wants to hear from you! We’re seeking entries into our Teen Art Exhibit from now until July 23.
For full details visit jeffcolibrary.org, and mark your calendar now for the Art Exhibit Reception on August 2. The exhibit will be on display at Belmar Library from August 1 until August 31. Everyone is welcome to participate – from art creators to admirers.
The library is also a great place to learn more about your craft, with teen-approved reads on Art History, art how-to  ideas and exercises, and dealing with your worst critic, aka yourself!
For more information on the Teen Art Exhibit, email Librarian Lisa, [email protected].


Sheaffer and SierraIt’s the classic tale of opposites attract. Of boy meets girl, or in this case, cat meets dog. John, a Jeffco Library staff member, shares his pet adoption story with us in support of Summer Reading’s Foothills Animal Shelter cause.
When sweet Sierra, a Golden retriever, was rescued by John and his girlfriend Peggy two years ago, she was scared, skittish and untrusting of humans. Her rescue story asked for, “a home with another dog that can help her learn how to be a dog. She will need to go to a quiet home with someone who is patient and willing to open their heart and take time to spend with her so she can learn to trust again.” Her progress has been slow.
Enter Sheaffer - the cat.
Sheaffer found his forever home with John and Peggy four months ago. After taking a few days to assess the situation, he decided the two big dogs were not so scary and preferable company to the pair of cats who for some unfathomable reason ignore all the cool toys lying around the house and objects on tables just waiting to be knocked over. “He’s a prankster!” says Peggy.
“Perhaps the sweetest part of this story is Sheaffer’s relationship with Sierra. She came from a puppy mill situation two years ago and while she has made a lot of progress, she is still not quite comfortable” Peggy explains. “She has ‘safe spots’ in the house where she stays most of the time. Since Sheaffer has been here she is more animated, and will often jump off of the couch to go and see what he's doing. She also seems to love snuggling with him and it makes me happy to know that, after making all of those puppies for other people, she now has a little friend to nurture.”
“It is very heartwarming to watch them both bond” adds John. “Sheaffer really doesn't seem to know that he's a cat. He gets along much better with the two dogs than he does with our other two cats. We give the dogs treats after their evening meal, and he lines right up with them to get his treats too.”
You can help other animals like Sheaffer and Sierra make friends and influence people by taking part in Summer Reading. Spread the word and help us reach our countywide goal of 30 million minutes logged by July 31 so Foothills Animal Shelter can receive $500 from Jefferson County Library Foundation!


Research has shown that teaming up your kiddo with a reading buddy who’s just a little bit older (and therefore much much cooler than mom or dad) could be just the thing needed to mend a not-so-keen-about-reading mindset and improve reading ability. 

A teacher in Oregon carried out a study called The Power of Two in 1999. Through pairing kids with older peers, a group of sixth graders improved their reading ability by 2.5 years with just 15 hours of reading buddy time! Some students who only had five hours of contact still gained the equivalent of a year and a half in their reading ability.

The Denver Post recently published an article about our Reading Buddy Program. They interviewed a happy parent who’s already given the program a try, as well as one of our enthusiastic teen volunteers. 

If you have a reluctant reader, or think your child would benefit from some extra reading time with someone outside of the home or school environment, then bring them to Belmar Library's Reading Buddies program. We pair kids with a buddy from The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver's Torch Club. They select an interesting book together, read to each other, and talk about the book afterwards. There’s also fun games and crafts too!

1 – 3 p.m., Tuesdays June 13 – July 25

Suitable for: Kids of all ages, including English (ESL) learners

Location: Belmar Library 


How often does the opportunity come along to discuss a WW1 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel with an English Professor from the U.S Air Force Academy? Unless you’re a student at the U.S Air Force Academy, probably not ever – until now!

Mark your calendar with stimulating conversation and American history lesson on June 18, and take advantage of this exciting and rare opportunity.

The book: One of Ours is the 1923 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Willa Cather. It tells the story of Claude Wheeler, a sensitive, restless, and unhappy man with access to his family's fortune, which he refuses to accept. Alienated from his uncaring father and pious mother and rejected by a wife whose only love is missionary work, Claude is an idealist without ideals. When the United States enters the Great War in 1917, Claude enlists in the army where he finds purpose and meaning in his life. 

The presenter: Lieutenant Colonel Max Frazier is an Associate Professor of English and Senior Military Faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy. She specializes in autobiography and women writing from the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century. 

Space is limited; register online at jeffcolibrary.org or call 303-235-5275.

Suitable for: Adults

12 - 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 18



We love being outside in Colorado. That's why we're offering a mini series of events focusing on Colorado's great outdoors. From outside hobbies and interests to gardening in the Mile High State, we hope you'll find the topic that interests you.


Using native plants in landscape design

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3

Add some Colorado flair to your garden. Beth Hanson, Native Plant Master instructor and landscape designer, shares how to incorporate native plants into your landscape designs and gardens.


Mountain wildlife and native plants

2 - 3 p.m. Sunday, June 11

Learn about mountain goats, elk, bighorn sheep, and other animals that you see on Colorado's trails. Milt Robinson, watershed ecologist and retired environmental management professor, shares his plant and wildlife knowledge as he teaches us about the majestic animals of the Rocky Mountains and the native plants that make up their natural habitats.


Colorado wildlflowers

2 - 3 p.m. Sunday, July 16

Learn to identify Colorado's native wildflowers in the mountains and along the Colorado Trail. Jen Toews shares her expert native plant knowledge and experience identifying wildflowers.


Anglers and conservation

2 - 3 p.m. Sunday, July  30

Learn about the angler scene in Colorado and catch some tips for getting started. Milt Robinson shares his plant and wildlife knowledge as a watershed ecologist and retired environmental management professor as he teaches us about the sport and ethics of fishing and the importance of water quality in our lakes and streams.



Be the best parent to your pet by learning about responsible pet ownership through this series that covers everything you need to know. From choosing a new pet to saying good bye, and everything in between, the Intermountain Humane Society (IMHS) helps us become better pet parents.

Wednesday, June 7: Choosing the Right Pet

Are you thinking about adding a pet to your family? Learn the needs of different types of pets to find one that best suits your lifestyle.  Each type of pet is different in terms of care, feeding, behavior, cost, housing and the demands on your time. If you know what you’re getting into, you’re more likely to have a happy animal, a good relationship with your pet, and an easier time dealing with any challenges that might arise. 

Wednesday, Aug. 2: What to Expect as a New Pet Owner

What can you expect as a new pet owner? How much time should you spend with a pet? How do you groom my new pet? What kind of sleeping space does your pet need? What type of exercise does or training does your new pet need?   What type of food is best for my new pet? These questions and more will be answered.

Tuesday, Oct. 3: The Human/Animal Abuse Connection

Are you aware of the high correlation between animal abuse and other violent behaviors? Research shows violence to animals is a strong predictor of violence and abuse to people. Learn about the connection and ways to prevent it.

Wednesday, Nov. 8: Making End of Life Decisions for your Pet

Whether your furry friend is approaching his golden years or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s important to calmly guide the end-of-life experience and minimize discomfort and distress. As your pet’s health declines, you may elect to care for your pet at home—with the supervision of a veterinarian—or you may decide to end his suffering with euthanasia. Discuss this difficult subject with and learn how you can help your pet.

Suitable for: All ages


lalaDid you know you can check out the latest (and past!) award winning movies at the library - for free?

Items like these tend to be quite popular, so we pull aside copies to place on our Lucky Day shelves. If you don’t visit our physical locations, maybe it's time to stop by and take a peek – it may be your lucky day and you’ll find the popular item you want waiting on the Lucky Day shelf.


You can also download movies and soundtracks to your personal device. Here's a list of previous award winners to enjoy!

2016 Winners:


Manchester by the Sea

Florence Foster Jenkins

Hidden Figures



Winners of the 2000s:

2015 - Spotlight

2014 - Birdman

2013 - 12 Years a Slave

2012 - Argo

2011 - The Artist

2010 - The King's Speech

2009 - The Hurt Locker

2008 - Slumdog Millionaire

2007 - No Country for Old Men

2006 - The Departed

2005 - Crash

2004 - Million Dollar Baby

2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2002 - Chicago

2001 - A Beautiful Mind

2000 - Gladiator


Things get a little wild when Lookout Mountain Nature Center joins us at the Conifer Library for a story and show 'n' tell time. Kids, age 3-6 will do an activity to reinforce the story that focuses on the natural world around us - prairies, wetlands, woods, weather, and more! Also, they might meet a live snake or touch a real animal pelt! 

Lookout Mountain Nature Center staff and volunteer naturalists inspire kids and adults to connect with the natural world as participants enjoy a hands-on experience. More importantly, Lookout Mountain Nature Center promotes conservation of Jefferson County's open spaces. It's a fun way for kids and adults to learn how to take care of our earth.

Make a plan to get wild in Conifer!

  • Thursday, May 18, 11:30-12:15PM
  • Thursday June 8, 11:15-11:45AM
  • Saturday, July 29, 11:30-12:15PM

 HomelessnessWomen and children may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the word "homeless," but over 75% of the homeless population in Jefferson County has children. Listen to women’s stories and begin to understand the human impact of homelessness in our community at a special presentation by poet Sheila Norris and photographer Cecilia Broder as they showcase their work, followed by a panel discussion on homelessness with other community advocates.

A new book, Exposure: Homelessness through the Lens of Art and Poetry, captures these stories and advocates for homeless women in the Denver area. Every page offers delicate insights into the experiences of these brave Coloradans as they fight for dignity and safety. Exposure lends a much-needed voice to the voiceless.

This presentation is sponsored by Jefferson County Public Library; Heading Home: Jeffco Community Steps to Housing; Jefferson County Human Services; and Capitol Hill United Ministries.

Suitable for: Adults

3:30 – 5 p.m. Saturday, May 20



Mother's DayIf you have a mother, a mom, or a mama, then you’ve stressed over what to get her for Mother’s Day. Maybe you’re lucky, and your mom just wants to spend some quality time with you. Or maybe she just says she wants to spend some quality time with you, when, in reality, you know she’d appreciate a heartfelt gift too. Either way, we’ve got you covered. 

Here’s the plan: Before Mother’s Day, make your mom something beautiful, like a soldered glass box, a book planter for a succulent, or a 3D decoupage card. Then bring her to the library for a Spa Day, a Health by Chocolate presentation, or an International Tea Party. Better yet,  make a reoccurring date with her to go to a movie time, needle arts group, or Gardening in Colorado discussion. Finally, read a book or watch a movie that celebrates how awesome moms are with her, so she knows how important she is to you!