All-New Youth Events

Game night, after-school art, hands-on Maker projects, Book vs. Movie — and much more. Ages 6 through 17.

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Celebrating Library Love in 2021

On Friday, October 1 at 6 PM, we celebrate an essential group of people: the library lovers who are our donors and caring supporters. Join us for the annual meeting of the Estes Valley Library Friends & Foundation, open to current members, as well as new members who sign up in September.

Current members of the Library Friends & Foundation: click here to sign up for October 1. Not yet a current member? It’s easy to make your annual or recurring gift online through this link.

Library Friends & Foundation memberships provide a margin of excellence that enables the library to be a center of learning and creativity, a source of joy, and a champion of youth and early literacy. As part of this year’s Annual Meeting, we welcome Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of No Regrets Living: 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment.

No Regrets Living is a proactive, 7-step plan to help us better appreciate what we have in our lives, and take greater pride in what we’ve done with our lives—without spending precious time and energy wishing things had turned out differently. The book leads us to see the world through a lens of appreciation for the magnificence around us, which in turn helps us accommodate those not-so-magnificent moments in our lives.

Woven into the timeless message of the book are especially timely observations on the COVID-19 pandemic from Dr. Rotbart’s expert perspective as an infectious diseases physician, including coping mechanisms and paths for going forward as individuals and as a society.

Once signed up, we’ll keep you posted on details regarding the location.

Questions? Email Sarah Walsh at

College Readiness: it begins with a plan

Thinking about college can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a young person exploring your future—or know someone who is—you can ease the anxiety by creating a plan, with some help from a local expert. With a bit of advance preparation, you’ll be more likely to find that perfect school and set yourself up for success each step of the way.

During this back-to-school season, the Library is once again hosting a series of programs and one-on-one appointment times for anyone considering college—parents and grandparents are invited too!

One-on-one appointments are now available for sign-up. Click Here to find available times. Each session is one hour, using the online Zoom platform.

In addition, students and families can sign up for any of the upcoming workshops, each focused on a special component of the college planning process. Here is the roster of upcoming programs and dates:

Basics of Financial Aid and FAFSA — Sunday, October 10

The College Application and Essay — Sunday, November 14

Financial Aid — Sunday, January 23

Did you know that there are more than 4000 different colleges and universities out there? Students can narrow down their preferred schools by creating a personal checklist of what is most important. Location? Choice of majors? Large or small campus? Extracurricular activities they might enjoy? It’s different for everyone.

All appointments and workshops are led by retired college administrator Kaye Orten, who brings her years of experience in the selection, application and admissions processes to benefit local students and their families. Orten has helped the Library develop and refine its college planning workshops over the last 5 years.

Additional dates to remember are October 19 through 21, this year’s free college application days to Colorado’s public universities and colleges, along with many private ones in the state.

Important Resources you can access here:

Watch a College Planning Video with local expert Kaye Orten

College COVID-19 Impacts

College General Planning Calendar

College Comparison Worksheet

College Planning Websites

College planning can—and should—be exciting. We’re happy to help our local young people find their pathways to confidence, success and happiness.

Labor Day & Fall Hours:

the Library is closed on Monday, Sept. 6. Fall Hours begin Sept. 7.

Estes Park’s historic newspapers now online: 1908 to 1975

from the Estes Park Museum and the Estes Valley Library

Decades of Estes Park’s historic newspapers are now available to search online—24/7 and from anywhere. These digital editions are complete page-by-page reproductions of the originals, including all articles, images and ads. The process uses state-of-the-art Optical Character Recognition technology that recognizes text through a digital image, making all newspapers from 1908-1975 word-searchable, including advertisements.

The Mountaineer,
an Estes Park newspaper from June 4, 1908

Beginning with some of Estes Park’s earliest newspapers, this multi-year project has been moving forward chronologically, steadily getting closer to completion. As of this summer, the available editions have leaped a full decade to February 1975. 

The newspaper project is being made possible through a partnership between the Estes Park Museum and the Estes Valley Library. The Museum is preserving the fragile original editions of these newspapers, while the Library is focusing on providing digital access opportunities. The effort would not have been possible without a third essential partner: the Estes Park Trail-Gazette granted permission for copyright-free access to their archives.

To browse these historic newspapers, as well as keep up with project updates on years available, visit or visit the Estes Park Museum website and link to “Museum Collection and Research”. History and discovery await.

Estes Park Trail-Gazette, August 21, 1974
Generosity in full bloom, like the flowers at Cliffhanger

from Sarah Walsh, Development Director, Estes Valley Library Friends & Foundation

Summer flowers outside Cliffhanger Used Books

For many years, August signaled the annual summer used book sale. Now our “big book sale fundraiser” has a perfect year-round home at Cliffhanger Used Books. Stop by to see the selection—and the beautiful flowers outside. 

This Monday, August 9 is National Book Lovers’ Day. Books will be $1 store-wide at Cliffhanger (open 10 AM to 6 PM)! The store opens at 9 AM for Friends & Foundation members’ early-bird shopping. Not yet a member? Join online, or in advance at Cliffhanger.

August is a great time to reflect on many ways that Library Love brightens our community:

Right now, voting is underway for the next One Book One Valley. How have library donors made this reading celebration possible?

For 10 years, friends and neighbors have joined together to read and discuss a shared book, making new friends each time. Donor support funds extra copies of the book to be shared and re-shared among many readers. That support also underwrites the many program activities. Be sure to vote online before August 12.

The Library Building just celebrated 30 years of operation. How has the Friends & Foundation been part of that legacy?

Thanks to donors, the library facility adapts to the changing needs of the community, evolving  within its same square footage as 30 years ago. In recent years, donors funded the 2nd Floor improvements—including technology upgrades, the comfort of the Quiet Room, and the Makerspace, where creativity flourishes with hands-on tools and crafts.

What other library projects are being funded by the Friends & Foundation?

If you’re the parent to a young child, you can take home a Storybook Explorer kit, complete with a book and activity, or have 100 little readers mailed to your preschool child’s home. Are you an Adult reader looking for a hot new title? There’s a “Lucky Day” collection packed with bestsellers and the latest books creating buzz. These are all made possible by our generous community of library lovers.

Cliffhanger Used Books has many happy customers—including a high-volume customer recently. Tell us about that.

We’re grateful to all the shoppers at Cliffhanger, and for everyone who donates books. We couldn’t operate without the loyal volunteers staffing our cashier counter and sorting boxes of donations.

Books from Cliffhanger at the Stanley Hotel’s newly-renovated Carriage House

This year, the Stanley Hotel bought over 7000 books from Cliffhanger. These books are stocked throughout the hotel, including the newly-renovated Carriage House. It’s a win-win: books for their guests to enjoy, and proceeds supporting the Library Friends & Foundation.

What are the ways that people can make a gift and become part of this community of Library Love?

From the Library website, you can arrange a one-time gift. Or, for greater convenience, schedule a recurring gift, where an amount of your choosing is given automatically each month. It’s an easy, efficient way to give. 

The Library is connected to our community—listening, growing, and evolving. The Library Friends & Foundation provide the spark and magic to make that possible.

Homebound? No problem. The Library makes House Calls

Are you or is someone you know homebound? Unable to travel to the Library due to a physical challenge or visual limitation? That’s no reason to give up your love for reading, enjoying a new movie, or listening to audiobooks. The Library provides a regular delivery service to homebound residents of our town and valley, for both temporary and ongoing conditions.

House Calls is the name for this service. It ensures that all residents can continue reading, listening and learning. Clients enjoy home-delivery of items selected around their interests, and brought to their doorstep.

House Calls volunteer Fran Gabrielson

Volunteers are an essential part of the Library–including the House Calls program. Fran Gabrielson (pictured here) is a Library volunteer who makes weekly deliveries. During the stay-at-home days of the pandemic, it was Fran who made regular calls to clients, many of whom live alone, to make sure they were doing fine.

How are deliveries made? The House Calls program uses a doorstep approach. Before an appointment time, clients place their Library returns outside their front door, and a Library volunteer replaces that with a bag of new books and materials. Conversation is done from outside and safely-distanced.

What materials are available for check-out? Anything that checks out of the Library can be checked out through House Calls. New clients indicate the types of materials they enjoy (favorite authors or genres; special areas of interest; preferred types of media, etc.). You can ask for specific titles, or say, “Here’s what I like to read. Surprise me!”

We also offer the tremendous resources of the Colorado Talking Book Library: audiobooks with easy-to-use equipment, plus Braille, and a huge selection of Large Print titles. Give us a call, and we’ll get you connected.

Who is eligible? If you reside within the Library District and are unable to visit the downtown building  due to one of the following conditions, you can sign up for the Library’s House Calls. Eligibility may include any one of the following criteria:

  • You have a short or long-term illness
  • You have visual limitations
  • You have physical challenges
  • You are in non-driver status
  • You’re a caregiver whose responsibilities make it difficult to visit the Library

If you’d like to find out more, or if you know someone that would benefit from home deliveries, call Gretel Bock, House Calls Coordinator, at (970) 586-8116, extension 827, or email You can also find out more by visiting this House Calls link.

The program is open and ready for new clients. “Do you make House Calls?” The Library’s answer is: “Yes!

One Book One Valley: Help us Choose the Winner

by Cheryl Homan-Wendell, Program & Outreach Librarian

For 10 years strong, friends and neighbors have made it a tradition to read and discuss a shared annual book, always making new friends in the process. Neither flood nor global pandemic has halted this spirit of community unity.

The annual literary celebration called One Book One Valley has taken us on some amazing journeys. If you remember all 10 years—wonderful! If you’re joining us for the first time—equally wonderful! We invite you to vote now to select the next literary journey happening this January.

The finalists were just unveiled last week. Click here to find brief summaries of each, so that you can help choose the winner! 

Here are the “Four Finalists” listed alphabetically by author:

What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko

The River by Peter Heller

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

During these past 10 years, we’ve taken literary walks in the woods, re-lived the rollicking Wild West, and imagined the uncertainty of crossing the border as a migrant. Last January, we explored Depression-era Appalachia, meeting a courageous Packhorse Librarian named Cussy Mary Carter.

Where will we go next? After much review and careful thought, our One Book One Valley committee made up of community members like you, narrowed the selection down to the four titles above, each with great discussion and program potential. Now through August 12, we’re seeking your vote to choose the 2022 10th Anniversary book.

Voting is as easy as clicking here and ranking your preferences. Voting is one-time per person.

We love book clubs! One Book One Valley is truly a giant valley-wide book club—where everyone gets a book and everyone is invited to the discussion. Harvard Business Review summarized it well, “Book clubs …have a way of building and deepening relationships through shared learning.” 

We’ll reveal the winning title in early November, Then One Book takes place in January.  More details will follow! Copies of the book will then be available for reading and sharing, thanks to generous support from the Library Friends & Foundation. Thanks also goes to our “One Book” committee, which over the past decade has been composed of Library staff, Friends & Foundation board members, and book-loving community volunteers.

Now a decade strong, we invite you to take part in this opportunity to celebrate literacy, community, storytelling, and civic dialogue through the shared reading of a single title.

History and Society: how the past shapes our views of the future

from Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership, the Estes Park Museum, and the Estes Valley Library

You’ve likely heard the words “true history” used in books, articles, and movies. Something announces, “This is the true history” of an event, a place, or a person. The words sound compelling and authoritative. Yet more and more, there is growing awareness that historical narratives are, in fact, composed of specific interpretations of events, while leaving other interpretations out. As Winston Churchill famously said, “History is written by the victors.”

As part of the local Living Room Conversation series, the community is invited to a dialogue on “History and Society” on Wednesday, July 21, from 3:30 to 5 p.m at the Estes Park Museum.

The conversation will explore how historical narratives do more than just represent the past—they’re also oriented toward the future. They create deep beliefs about who we are, where we come from, and what are the right prospects. They construct images of the others and meanings of intergroup relations, sometimes describing others as enemies or allies, superiors or inferiors. Historical monuments are a timely example, as many communities around the U.S. re-examine figures previously revered in their village squares. Through the dialogue, we’ll gain a deeper understanding and talk about what it all means.

The discussion will use the nationally-recognized “Living Room Conversation” model, which facilitates connections between people. Participants will have the opportunity to share, listen, and learn within the natural style of a small-group setting.

The July 21 program will be held in-person at the Estes Park Museum, led by facilitators from Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership (EVRJP). Museum staff will be taking part in the conversation. The program is a collaborative effort among EVRJP, the Museum, and the Estes Valley Library.

Join us to share your perspectives, learn about the experiences of others, and potentially leave with stronger connections and a shared sense of community. The online registration includes a link to the 2-page Conversation Guide, which participants are encouraged to read through beforehand.  Since this program is interactive, attendees will be asked to engage with and contribute to the conversation.

Visit to learn about the series. Find out more about July’s program and sign up at Advance registration is required, which allows the facilitators to make preparations based on the number of participants.

Library’s Second Floor is set to reopen

by Allison Cavis, IT Specialist and Creative Technologist, Estes Valley Library

The Library’s 2nd Floor is set to reopen this Tuesday at 9 a.m. We can’t wait to welcome you back upstairs! 

Our goal, always, is to serve you better. The closure created an opportunity for maintenance and improvements, and now all those ladders, tools, and cardboard boxes are ready to give way to cozy spaces, refreshed with some new equipment and features.

Here’s a snapshot of what the second floor will look like when it reopens on Tuesday, July 6th: 

Study Rooms, Quiet Room, and Wasson Board Room reopen

Our second floor public spaces are back! The Quiet Room is a comfortable place to read and relax with a book or laptop, or choose one of our four Study Rooms, available on a first-come, first-served basis (2-hour time limit). The Wasson Room also reopens for scheduled library programs and community group meetings.

Makerspace Reopens

Our popular space for creativity and learning is back, with tools like a laser cutter, 3D printers, a craft cutter, sewing machines, and much more. Are you a first time user? See what’s available in the Makerspace and take your online orientation at Patrons who have already taken their additional training can book the 3D printers and laser cutter in advance.

Public Computers, Copies, and Printing Head Back Upstairs

8 brand-new iMacs will be ready for your web browsing, email and word processing needs in the second floor Computer Commons. Printing is 0.10 per page, and we accept cash or credit card at our new printing station. Copies are 0.10 per page (cash-only for now), but scanning to email from the copier is free. 

Reserve a computer from home

Sign up for a public computer on the second floor, or reserve one from home up to 7 days in advance! See for more information.

Print from anywhere with your own device

We’re excited to offer Mobile Print from anywhere! From home or the library, go to and upload your document- that’s it! You can even forward an email to us and it will be ready to print when you get to the second floor—no need to log in to a public computer. Black & white prints are 10 cents a page, and you can pay with cash or credit card.

Expanded Library Hours

Library open hours are increasing from 40 to 60 each week. Starting Tuesday, July 6, the Library will be open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. The second floor closes 15 minutes before closing time on the first floor.

Questions? Stop in, give us a call, or find more information on our returning services at We look forward to welcoming you back to the Library’s second floor starting this Tuesday.