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UPDATED: July 25, 2016 10:22 a.m.

We have one week left!  Logging of minutes ends this Sunday, July 31 at midnight. Reading, however, should continue for a lifetime!

We are awarding $300 to one Jefferson County Public School in each category below that has the highest percentage of finishers based on school enrollment. Winning schools will each receive a Visa card presented at a school assembly in September 2016.

Here are the standings going into the final week of Summer Reading 2016!  Go Read! Go!

      • Total participants reading for their school = 22,417
      • 52% of the total minutes read have been read by a Jefferson County Public School student (pre-12); as of 10:22 a.m. on July 25
      • 12,142,353 minutes read by Jeffco Pre-12 students
      • Student finishers = 8,259 (have read at least 8 hours)

When the clock strikes midnight on Sunday, logging of minutes ends.  So hurry, get that last minute reading in and log your time. Make it count!










Updated July 12: Weekly school standings as of 7.12.16

Fun facts:

  • 64% of all the registered summer reading participants are reading for their school! (21,177 of 32,870).
  • Since we announced the first round of preliminary leaders, we’ve seen a 19% increase in school-affiliated readers.
  • As of July 12, nearly 7 million minutes (6,622,479) have been read by a Jefferson County Public School student between the ages of 4 and 18. This represents 40% of our total minutes read (16,681,648).
  • 41% of the affiliated school readers have met their minimum goal of 8 hours (4,903).

The biggest changes to the school contest appeared in the Middle School category, with Oberon making a move up a lot to first, and Dunstan dropping out of the top five to sixth. The same five high schools continue to claim the top five spots, as do the five elementary schools who continue to battle it out for the lead spot. In the preschool category, we saw some newcomers to the top five. Dennison is making a move up to challenge and now claims second.

It's still anybody’s guess as to which school will claim top place in each category.

Go Read. Go!  Keep logging your minutes and encourage your families to sign up, log any reading time they’ve done over the summer to make their reading minutes count!



As of JULY 1:

As part of this year's Summer Reading program, we are awarding $300 to one Jefferson County Public School in each category below with the highest percentage of finishers based on school enrollment. Each winning school will receive a Visa card presented at a school assembly in September 2016.

Total participants reading for their school = 17,124

  • 43% of the total minutes have been read by a preschool – 12th grade Jeffco students
  • Jeffco pre-12 students have read 5,000,355 minutes (total read = 11,576,596)
  • Student finishers = 3,779
  • Students still working on goals = 13,345

Do you want to read for your school and help them move up the ranks?

It’s easy!

  1. Register. (Hint: Use a home email address (or parent’s email) to make sure you get emails over the summer when school is not in session.)
  2. Choose your school from the dropdown list.
  3. Read. Read. Read.
  4. Log your time online.
  5. Get prizes for reading (free Chipotle meal, McDonald’s ice cream cone, and book!) and boost your school’s chance of winning the big award!

Contest rules:

  • Open to Jefferson County Public Schools only, eligible to win $300 for their school.
  • One school in each category with the highest percentage of finishers compared to enrollment receives a Visa card presented at a school assembly in September 2016.
    • Preschool / Head Start
    • Elementary
    • Middle
    • High
    • Jeffco Option & Charter
  • Only summer reading participants between the ages of 4 and 18 are eligible to affiliate with a school. Sorry parents and teachers – this one’s for the students to do and for you to cheer them on!
  • A finisher is someone who reads and logs the recommended minimum reading goal (8 hours).
  • In the event of a tie, prizes will be awarded to the school with the highest total average minutes per reader.
  • Prizes are intended to be used to support literacy based projects, programs and materials.
  • Winning schools are required to share a photo and report on how the school used the award by October 31, 2016.

Special thanks to the Jefferson County Public Library Board of Trustees for their generous donation of prizes!


Grissom Author TalkAuthor Kathleen Grissom will be visiting the Wheat Ridge Library by phone at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 4. Please arrive no later than 9:15 a.m. We’ll enjoy a continental breakfast and coffee before Kathleen calls us to discuss her book by phone.

Kathleen Grissom joins Wheat Ridge Library’s Thursday morning book group to discuss her new book, Glory Over Everything. The author of the New York Times bestseller and beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, whose deadly secret compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad.

The Kitchen House was published in 2010 and became a grassroots bestseller. Grissom’s fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that she found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?”

Glory Over Everything opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover Caroline is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan’s father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie’s help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline.

Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it.

Read more about Kathleen.                                     

Praise for Glory Over Everything: “ Five years after her novel The Kitchen House turned a stunning light on the lives at a Virginia plantation before the Civil War, Kathleen Grissom again takes up the generations of a family as they fight their way not only to a life of freedom, but to a life that matters. Everyone moving through these pages, especially James Pyke, established in this story as a durable character of American fiction, is tangled in a great web of secrets too important to keep and too dangerous to tell. Grissom has done the near-impossible: she has kept the tension alive, tension that doesn’t let up until the final page.” (Jacqueline Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Two if by Sea)


PAWS-mollyFinding respite from summer heat is always welcome, and so are a few minutes with Molly the black lab at Columbine Library.

Molly is a wonderful partner in our PAWS for Reading program. She’s such a mellow dog that her nickname should really be “ZenPup.” 

Sisters Victoria (age 9) and Fernanda (age 6) know how much fun it is to read to Molly. What they may not realize is that by reading aloud, they’re also improving their reading and retention skills—and that will continue to benefit them throughout their lives.  

Molly’s handler, Sue is a real estate agent-slash-dog lover. She’s fostered over 50 dogs so far, including Molly. She and her husband took one look at Molly, who was rescued from death row through the Safe Harbor Lab Rescue, and knew they were going to adopt her to join their other dog, a yellow lab named Dixie.

“Molly’s had quite a bit of training,” says Sue proudly. She was valedictorian of her basic obedience class and went on to earn the K9 good citizen award during therapy lessons. This is a total win for JCPL and the kids who have the chance to read with Molly.

Get to know Molly:

• Birthday: June 17, 2013

• Lives in: Littleton

• Favorite toy: Not much of a toy lover, but Molly and her sister Dixie play keep-away with a tennis ball

• Favorite food: Anything and everything. She’s a Labrador!

• Favorite books: The “Biscuit” collection and “Amelia Bedelia” stories

• Pet peeve: Bunnies and squirrels (often in the ‘favorite food’ list)

If you know someone who’d like to read with Molly or any of our other wonderful pups provided through our partnership with Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program, register for your 15-minute session by calling 303-235-5275 or asking our staff for details. It’s a tail worthy of a tale.


Wheat Ridge Library's Thursday morning book group takes it up a notch with a visit from Author and Editor Ann Marie. She'll be discussing her book, Letters to Ann: The Korean War 1950-51. "Letters to Ann" is a series of heartwarming and humorous letters written to a four year-old girl from her dad while he served as a medical officer in the Korean War. The ultimate question in this true story is whether the solider makes it back home.

Ann Marie began her career in journalism as a television news reporter and morning anchor in Albuquerque, N.M. She then attended law school and practiced as a trial litigation attorney in Denver. After semi-retiring, she turned to editing and published this first book, which was a double-winner at the juried 2014 Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards. It received third place for editing and first place for military/military history.

Suitable for: Adults

9 a.m. Thursday, July 21


Think 8,000 feet above sea level is too high to homestead? Think again! Get tips on high altitude homesteading from a master at Conifer Library. Learn the basics of chickens, goats, bees, food preservation and more from Shantel Scardina of Barefoot Homestead in a series of classes designed for continuous learning. Whether you're interested in starting a full high altitude homestead or just thinking of getting a few chickens for your yard, we're here to help. New students are welcome at any time. Suitable for: Adults

6 p.m. Thursday, July 21: Homesteading at a Glance

This class will focus on the different aspects of homesteading. We will talk about what makes a homestead. What are the different things that are done on a homestead? What kinds of animals are common on a homestead? We will also offer a quick look at the other classes in the series.

6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18: Food Preservation

What do you do with all of the food you grew this summer? There are many ways to store and preserve food. We will go over the different options such as water bath canning, pressure canning, and dehydration.

6 p.m. Thursday, Sep. 15: Chicken Keeping

We will take a look at the basics of chicken keeping. We will cover anatomy of both hens and roosters. Basic chick keeping all the way through older hen keeping will be covered. This class is great for the beginning chicken keeper or someone considering chicken keeping as a hobby.

6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20: High Altitude Bee Keeping

Bees are one of the most challenging critters to keep. This class will cover the basics of bee keeping and the challenges faced at our mountain altitude.

6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17: Goats 101

In Goats 101 we will go over the beginner’s information for goat keeping. Discussed will be different species of goats, milk goats, and meat goats. Common illnesses and basic goat husbandry will be covered as well.

6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15: Being Resourceful and Regenerative

Closing this series we will focus on being resourceful and regenerative. Resources are everywhere, all around you and being regenerative is important on a homestead big or small. We will discuss both of these topics, what they mean, and how to use both to create sustainability on our own homestead.


We are pleased to welcome The Starr Center as the Lakewood Library launches our rotating art exhibit. The artists, young adults with developmental disabilities, create amazingly beautiful works. The Starr Center is a place where young adults with developmental disabilities learn, achieve their goals, and gain independence. The Library's exhibit changes every three months. All are welcome to join us and check out our community spirit and talent proudly on display.


The Starr Center Art Exhibit

June 10 - August 31



Where can you learn professional business, software, technology and creative skills without going to school? If you answered Jefferson County Public Library, you’d be right.

We are proud to welcome Lynda.com to JCPL’s ever-growing lineup of online resources. Beginning July 5, JCPL offers access to Lynda.com, a robust online learning service, to any resident with a Library card. Lynda.com hosts an extensive library of engaging, top-quality online courses taught by recognized industry experts, including more than more than 4,200 courses and over 130,000 videos that support personal and professional development. Topics include leadership and business skills, computer software programs, website development, 3D and animation, video editing, music theory, design, photography and more.

You can access any of the Lynda.com tutorials online, from within the library or from any home, work, or school computer. To use the new service, just log in through jeffcolibrary.org, create a Lynda.com account (which only requires a name and email address) and then access tutorials, watch videos, create playlists, download course files and bookmark pages. The service keeps track of your individual learning paths and is available on mobile devices through web browsers so you can take the classes on the road with you.

We invite you to log on and meet Lynda. She has so much to share!


Way to go, Jeffco! We have officially met the halfway point of our Summer Reading marathon goal of 26.2 million minutes. While we know this is a lofty and ambitious goal, we believe you can make it happen. We are already ahead of where we were last year, both in registered readers and minutes. 

Keep reading! Keep signing up your friends and family! Keep logging your minutes! We still have plenty of water bottles (and sippy cups for the under 3 crowd!).  There’s also a free Chipotle kid’s meal or burrito for teens (BOGO for adults), and a free ice McDonald’s ice cream cone when you hit the hallway point. 

And when you reach your end goal, you’ll have earned your free book!

Remember – everything you read counts!  Books, audiobooks, ebooks, menus, magazines, business reports – even cereal boxes! You read more than you probably think each day so make the minutes count!

So let’s do it. Let’s keep going! Let’s zoom pass last year’s 18 million minutes and finish this marathon!


Always wanted to check out Colorado’s 42 state parks? Now you can. We're excited to now offer Colorado State Parks passes through our Culture Pass and Lucky Day program. You can read the nitty gritty details on how the passes work and how you can get your hands on them, but here’s what you need to know:

  • Valid for all 42 Colorado state parks (Does not include national parks or national monuments)
  • Allows free entry for one carload
  • Does not include camping or fishing fees

Inside the backpack, you’ll find the entry pass; binoculars; Colorado wildlife, trees and wildflowers laminated guides; Guide to Your 42 State Parks; Leave No TraceTM card; activity ideas list; and an evaluation form.

JCPL, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Department of Education and the State Library are pleased to partner in bringing the Check Out Colorado State Parks program to 286 libraries throughout Colorado. 

In case you’re wondering what’s behind this program, it not only provides tremendous learning experiences and encourages healthy activities, it gives everyone the opportunity to experience Colorado’s amazing state parks and all they have to offer. 

We expect these passes to be popular, but don’t despair. We’ve set it up so some are reserveable online and they’re also available as Lucky Day items on a first-come, first-available basis.

We'd love to see your photos in the parks - share it on Instagram @jeffcolibrary #CheckoutColorado. 

Resources:  List of Participating Libraries


As the temperature approaches 100 degrees in Colorado, why not enjoy some amazing Summer Reading events for the entire family at your local library.

If you haven’t visited the Summer Reading events page, check it out. We have something for everyone, from butterfly and karate classes for the little ones, to laser tag and escape rooms for the teens. And adults, we didn’t forget about you. Fitness, yoga, cooking and more are waiting for you to explore. All the Summer Reading events are based around the Go Read. Go! theme.

You can browse the entire calendar of events or search by age. What are you waiting for? Exercise your brain and Go Read! Go!