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Our friends at Scholastic offer these 9 Tips to Inspire Family Reading and we have some of our own ideas to share:

  • Set a Family Summer Reading goal. Add up all the time your family members have read so far, then set a family goal to strive for during the last four weeks of the program. Decide on a prize for achieving that goal. We have free ice cream cones from McDonald’s for our finishers. Maybe a “Family Ice Cream Night” is a good way to celebrate your summer of reading.
  • Nourish your meal times. Make time to cook and eat together. My family has always enjoyed playing “Spin the Fork” at dinnertime. This family tradition came about when we were frustrated by too many people talking all at once. We simply take a fork, spin it, and whoever the prongs are pointing to gets “uninterrupted” time to share what happened during the day or discuss whatever might seem important at the time. Everybody gets a turn! 
  • Play some Family Karaoke. Whether it’s using a Wii game or just downloading song lyrics, seeing the words and singing them at the same time builds vocabulary.
  • Visit jeffcolibrary.org. Ask your kids to show you the databases they use in school that are located on our website. Download an e-book. Check out or download an audiobook. Or just snoop around - you may be surprised at what you can find!
  • Make driving fun. You can easily incorporate reading activities on road trips.

Sign up for Summer Reading and Read. Log Minutes. Win Prizes.


As you reach the mid-point of the Summer Reading Challenge, there’s a lot to celebrate!

You’ve helped  Jefferson County reach an initial reading goal of 1,000,001 minutes, then within just a few weeks, hit the revised goal of 10 million minutes. You’ve encouraged your family, friends and coworkers to signup, you’ve logged your time, and maybe you even won a prize.

So let’s change it up a bit and focus on you! What was your Summer Reading goal? Have you also exceeded the number of minutes you aimed to read? Did you already revise and increase your original goal?

If so, it’s time for you to stop by the library and pick up your Finisher Prize for achieving your personal goal – a free ice cream cone (donated by McDonald’s). And if you’re an adult, you get a $3 coupon for the Jefferson County Library Foundation’s Fall Whale Sale.

There’s also a Certificate of Achievement you can download for your children (or even yourself)!  Go ahead! Hang that certificate on your fridge and celebrate your accomplishment.

And keep reading and logging your time. We still have lots of prizes to randomly award to people who continue to log their reading time. Even if you’ve already won once, you can win again!



Week 6 has come to a close.  Today we gave away more than 75 prizes.  To date, we’ve awarded hundreds of prizes to people who are reading and logging their time.

We thought it might be fun to share with you the top reading amounts for schools and each age category. Our top overall reader comes from the 6 to 11 age group, having read and logged 11,613 minutes (or an average of 4.7 hours a day). Wow!


  • Top Reading School: West Jefferson Middle – 17,414
  • Top High School: Arvada West – 10,410
  • Top Middle School: West Jefferson Middle – 17,414
  • Top Elementary School: Dennison – 10,342
  • Top Charter School: Jefferson Academy – 12,271

Age Groups

  • Top Reader: All age groups - 11,613 minutes
  • Ages 0 -5: 2,880
  • Ages 12 – 18: 7,200
  • Ages 6 – 11:   11,613
  • Ages 19+ : 10,080

Don’t forget to log your reading time. We have 27,401 registered readers but only 4,135 readers who logged time this week were eligible for the weekly prize drawing. We have a few more weeks of prize drawings, then we will award our grand prize drawings for Kindle Fires (three winners from ages 6+) and a LeapFrog Tablet (ages 0 -5).

Mark your calendar to attend the free It’s a Wrap Party on Sunday, August 23 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.


Have you ever wondered how that app works on your phone? Do you like solving puzzles and gaming?
Register for the Jefferson County Public Library Coding Camp for Teens and learn what it takes to become a computer programmer.
At this two week camp, you’ll learn computer programming, improve creative problem solving skills and have fun as you explore the basics of writing code. You'll gain an understanding of the basics of computer programming and complete a web page. Take advantage of this experience and work along side some of Colorado's best mentors from the tech industry. No experience necessary!
July 27 through August 7
Belmar Library

Teens ages 14 - 18
Monday - Friday
2 - 5 p.m.
Registration is limited and available online. Or call 303-235-5275.



Have you or someone you know always wanted to join a book club but find it difficult to get to the library to participate?

Check out our new Dial a Book Club. From the comfort of your own home, you can connect with other readers and take part in fun and engaging discussions resulting from reading.

The process is simple. Once a month, you’ll use your phone or computer to join a conference call at a prearranged date and time. One of our amazing volunteers will moderate the conversation which lasts about one hour. The groups are kept small so everyone gets a chance to be heard, and conversations get lively as you discuss your favorite authors, choose future books to read, and chat with others. 

You’ll be matched with people who share similar reading interests and groups vary by fiction and nonfiction, and genre, like biography and history; general fiction, mystery, romance, historical fiction, westerns, and inspirational reads. 

Sign up now or share the news with a friend.  When we get enough members signed up for a group, we’ll assign a volunteer and a new club begins. 

For more information about Dial a Book Club, or to volunteer as a moderator, call JCPL’s Library2You at 303-275-6173. 


College application time already? Does it seem like just the other day your babies were running around in diapers? Now they are driving and figuring out what they want to do when they graduate. If college is in their future, now is the time to think about  leaving the nest and applying for colleges.

We're excited to be hosting two great events for teens and their parents to help you begin the college preparation process. Both workshops will be held in our Evergreen Library and are facilitated by Karen Fong Donoghue, college admissions consultant.

College Application Workshop
1 p.m.  Saturday, August 1 

Gain an edge in the college application process by:

  • Understanding components involved in a college application
  • Learning how to complete either a Common Application or CU Application
  • Learning how to write a winning primary college essay
  • Formulating timelines to complete all college applications in a manageable and strategic manner

Please bring (if possible):

  • Personal Laptop
  • Updated Unofficial Transcript
  • Copies of Test Scores (SAT, ACT, SAT Subject)
  • Primary College Essay Draft (Optional – Only if student wants it reviewed)


College Planning 101
6 p.m. Wednesday, August 5 

Teens and their parents will discuss college admissions process, understanding how to choose the right college prep curriculum, which standardized tests to take, when and how to find colleges that will be the best fit, and how to get the most college money and scholarships.




Happy 4th of July! This weekend we celebrate America’s independence and give thanks for the freedom and liberties we enjoy today.

As you celebrate the holiday, take a moment to think about the freedoms that our public libraries hold near and dear in our hearts - intellectual freedom - the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas without restriction.

As a public library, intellectual freedom is core to our mission of building an educated and vibrant community by providing equal access to information and opportunities. We want to be your essential destination, where you and all people from all generations can connect, discover and create.

The relationship between librarianship and intellectual freedom is profound. We aim to give you access to information through a diverse library collection, coupled with a commitment to protect your rights to privacy in the use of library materials. We continue to see the library as an integral player in free expression, dialogue and intellectual and personal growth, as well as an agent of social change, democracy and education.

As we enter Week 5 of the Summer Reading Challenge, we are quickly approaching eight million minutes. More than 26,300 people are reading, logging their minutes, and winning. In the spirit of this week, let’s celebrate our nation’s intellectual freedom by encouraging our family, friends and neighbors to sign up for Summer Reading. If they're already registered, remind them to log their minutes or visit a local library. By doing so, they'll rediscover some amazing treasures, and you'll be honoring these liberties that your local library nurtures and supports. 

Happy July 4th holiday!


Week 5 of the Summer Reading Challenge is underway. Check out the list below. It’s a list of the schools with the most actively reading and participating students. I find it fascinating that 24 out of the Top 25 schools are Middle or High Schools, not elementary schools. We don’t see our first first elementary school this week until we hit Swanson Elementary at #25.

Top 25 Actively Reading Schools for Week 4

    1. Wheat Ridge High School
    2. Oberon Middle 
    3. D'Evelyn 7-12 
    4. Ralston Valley High School 
    5. Conifer High School 
    6. Bell Middle 
    7. Jefferson Academy Jr./Sr.
    8. Lakewood High School 
    9. Dunstan Middle 
    10. Evergreen Middle 
    11. Golden High School 
    12. Manning Middle 
    13. Columbine High School 
    14. Creighton Middle 
    15. Drake Middle 
    16. West Jefferson Middle
    17. Arvada West High 
    18. Carmody Middle 
    19. Evergreen High School 
    20. Jeffco Open 7-12 
    21. North Arvada Middle 
    22. Pomona High School 
    23. Wayne Carle Middle 
    24. Chatfield High School 
    25. Swanson Elementary 

It’s often thought that only elementary kids really get into summer reading and that teens are sometimes difficult to reach, being otherwise occupied during the summer. This data tells a different story. It tells me that we are reaching our teenagers. Maybe word is spreading that their friends are winning cool prizes, motivating them to read, log their minutes, and hopefully find themselves a winner, too. Maybe it’s because we’re actively engaging in social media. Or maybe it’s because teens read, and they volunteer, and they do really cool things that matter.

Our Summer Reading program couldn’t function without our incredible teen volunteers. We have more than 120 young volunteers staffing our registration tables, helping people choose a fun book, or showing participants how to go online and log their minutes. They are amazing. They are incredible. And we value what they bring to the program.

Don’t see your school on this list?  Did you forget to affiliate yourself or your child with a school? You can still do so and make their minutes count. Just click “Forgot your password?” You’ll be emailed a link with a temporary password that takes you into your account. You can then update your data, choose your school, and then re-create your password.

Then, reach out to your friends and encourage them to sign up, read, and log minutes. Can Dunstan Middle School read more than Bell or Oberon to claim the top middle school spot? Will Wheat Ridge High School maintain its top spot throughout the summer?  Or will there be a come from behind reading leader? Let’s see which school not only has the most actively participating readers, but which can also read the most minutes. Who knows?  We might just decide to award a big prize for the school that comes out on top!


Have you ever wondered if the library will be getting a much-anticipated new book or movie? Would you like to be first on the list to check it out? Now you can be by calling “dibs”! Calling "dibs" is an American English phrase used to declare first claim to something – like the best seat on the couch, the last cupcake, or the front seat in the car.  Now, you can call dibs on books, movies, and music in our collection.  

It’s easy to do!  When searching for an item, just add the phrase “On Order” to your search. You’ll get a sneak peek at everything that’s coming soon, and you can reserve that item before it even arrives. You can use the following search phrases, or even better, try using an author’s or artist’s name or book title.


Step 1: Search - Type in what you’re looking for and add “on order”.


Step 2: Review the results and select the item you want.


Step 3: Reserve! Click on the item you’re interested in and it will tell you how many copies are on order. Then, just “Request it” and enter your name and library card number.



You’ve now called dibs on your next great read!



You’re halfway there, Jeffco!

You are amazing! When we started our Summer Reading Challenge on May 29, we aimed to collectively read and track more than 1,000,001 minutes. We talked about the real celebrities in life being people like you…people who find a few minutes each day to find a reason to read. These people are the parents who find an extra 20 minutes at bedtime to read to a child. The teens who read for fun when school’s out. The entrepreneurs who read to improve themselves and their businesses. The drivers who listen to audiobooks while traveling this summer. The smarties who take the time to read the directions before trying to put together that crazy new summer toy. 

Regardless of the reason you’re reading, let’s put this milestone in perspective.

By reading 5,000,000 minutes…

  • You’ve read 83,000 hours.
  • If every minute read were a mile, you’d have traveled around the world, TWO HUNDRED TIMES!
  • If every minute read were a foot, you’d have climbed EVERY 14er in Colorado SIX times.
  • If every minute read were an ounce of chocolate, you’d have eaten 800,000 Hershey Kisses.  
  • If every minute read were a foot of a Subway $5 foot-long Sandwich, you’d have eaten 416,666 foot-long subs. 

We could keep going with our comparisons, but the point is – WOW! We’re not even halfway through our Summer Reading Challenge and you’re already halfway to the revised goal of reading 10,000,001 minutes. 

Find your own comparison of 5,000,000 “somethings” and then share it and your reason to read on Facebook – Jefferson County Public Library. We’ll wait a week to see what you come up with and then we’ll pick the wackiest post as a winner. The winning post will receive a Dinner for 5 from Q’doba and will be shared across our social media platforms.




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