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 gbock@estesvalleylibrary.org. 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 www.estes.org/community-conversations to learn about the series. Find out more about July’s program and sign up at estesvalleylibrary.org. 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 estesvalleylibrary.org/makerspace. 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 estesvalleylibrary.org/secondfloor 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 estesvalleylibrary.org/print 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 estesvalleylibrary.org/secondfloor. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Library’s second floor starting this Tuesday.

A Birthday Mystery and Milestone: Library Building Turns 30

by Kurtis Kelly, Communications Specialist

Can you believe it? Our hometown Library Building turns 30 years old this month! Whether you were here in 1991, or planning to visit for the very first time, stop in to celebrate on Wednesday and Thursday, June 23 and 24.

We’ll have birthday hats galore. You can sign a giant greeting card. And share any special remembrances.

You might also be able to help us solve a bit of a puzzle. Read on …

Our Library Building has been an Estes treasure since it opened all those years ago. Visitors regularly express their appreciation for the downtown library experience, and “Parkitecture” design. We fondly remember architect Roger Thorp, who designed a building that adapted to many changes over time, including a second-level expansion in 2002. Roger passed away in 2019, yet his original vision is going strong.

Another part of the experience: all the original artwork that gives meaning and context to the library spaces. Step into the lobby and you’re greeted by a large whimsical mural, inspired by children’s books, created in 1991 by local artist Gary Keimig (1941-2018).

On the second floor: original Lyman Byxbe pieces, and a statuette of “La Poesia” given to the Library by Eleanor James Hondius in the 1930s. We thank local artist Greig Steiner, who recently helped us document and appraise the Library’s myriad artwork.

More original artwork came later in the building’s 30-year journey. Michael Young painted the children’s room storybook-themed mural in 2009. He also gave our stairwell its colorful book titles which have charmed visitors since 2012.

Among the library art, we also cherish the stained-glass panels above the entryway. Look upward on your next visit and marvel at the design, inspired by our valley’s mountain views.

The stained glass installation was commissioned for the Library’s 1991 opening. Yet in the passage of time, we are without details about the artist.

If you might remember the designer of the stained glass pieces, give us a call. Pinning down these details would be the icing on a “Happy 30” birthday cake.

Cheers to a library facility that has adapted admirably with the times. Thank you to our residents and donors, who have made it possible for library services to grow and transform over three amazing decades. 

Stop in next Wednesday or Thursday to share, celebrate, and reminisce. And to dream of where library services will be in 2051. After all, it’s only a mere 30 years away.

Celebrate summer, read for pleasure

The 2021 Summer Reading Program invites you to relax, de-stress, and read for fun,
while earning great prizes.

For all ages!

(Pssst … listening to books and family read-alouds count too!)

Busy Days? Parents, We’ve Got You Covered!

by Melanie Kozlowski, Early Literacy Librarian, Estes Valley Library

Early Literacy Librarian Melanie Kozlowski

Are you the parent of a young child? Know someone who is? Your days are busy—sometimes downright hectic. We’ve got you covered, with early-learning activities to keep those kiddo happy—and fit your schedule. Your Library Card is a time-saver and stress-reducer!

Here are easy ways you can bring home all the magic:

Reserve a Storybook Explorer kit — all ingredients included!

Just like preparing a delicious meal — it’s so easy when the ingredients are already assembled. A Storybook Kit is just like that: a book to keep, complete with games and activities. Mix with child and parent, and voila — a little one’s brain is soaring with cognitive development and joy.

Books are a great way to relax and de-stress. Books can calm as we snuggle up with our child and read together. Picture books inspire curiosity and creativity. Your involvement motivates and helps a child attach words to the ideas and questions swirling inside their minds. Reserve new “grab-and-go” kits every month, available in English and Spanish.

Take home a Discovery Pack — let the learning flourish.

Sure, we check out books—and a whole lot more! Have you heard about our Discovery Packs? They’re bags filled with hands-on activities—to stimulate learning-based playtime and literacy skills. We’ve saved you time by picking out the best from toy and learning companies. 

Imagine: puppets to act out stories, memory games for wordplay, sensory activities for counting skills and color recognition. Hours of kid-friendly stimulation—the kind that keeps them learning and growing. 

Take home a stack of books—they’re already sorted for ages and reading levels.

The Children’s Room is designed so you can go right to age-appropriate books. That starts with “board books”, designed for reading aloud to an infant—durable for babies to touch and grab. Then there are “early readers”, with lots of pictures and very simple words.

For new readers, we have all those rows of picture books, intentionally placed at eye-level for kids to browse—and enjoy the thrill of choosing their own books. 

How about a “how-to” manual for being a good parent?

Someone recently recalled becoming a parent for the first time, suddenly realizing: there’s no Instruction Manual included. Who has time to do all the research? Solution: browse the Parenting Section in the Children’s Room—we’ve got titles filled with ideas and innovations from trusted experts.

Drive through the “Be Ready Fair”—everything you need in one big bundle!

Stop by the Elementary School parking lot on Thursday, May 6 between 5 and 6:30 p.m. for a treasure-trove of free early-learning goodies: books, backpacks, hands-on activities, snacks, and more. Kids will enjoy seeing cheerful costumed characters, and bright shiny fire trucks too.

April’s Month of the Young Child is only a prelude to great things happening year-round for young readers. Let’s all celebrate early childhood learning all year long. Parents, we’ve got you covered!

Ayudemos a cada niño a “Estar Listo”

Un mensaje especial de Melanie Kozlowski, Bibliotecaria para Lectura Juvenil, y Erin Miller, Directora de Pre-Kinder–2do. grado en la Escuela Primaria …

Melanie Kozlowski and Erin Miller

¿Cuánto de nuestro estructura cerebral se forma antes de la edad 5 años? ¿Suponerlas… 25%, 50%, 75%?

La respuesta increíble: 90%. Los bebés, los infantes, y los niños pequeños no puedan formar las frases, pero sus cerebros absorben rápidamente las palabras, los cuentos, las canciones y el juego positivo que les damos a ellos. Los sentimientos, los comportamientos, el idioma, el aprendizaje: todo eso está formandose.

El aprendizaje temprano es crucial. Eso conduce a las nota mejores en la escuela, a las tasas más altas de graduación, y aún a las tasas delictivas reducidas.

En la biblioteca, la escuela y en EVICS (la organización para la inversión en el éxito juvenil del Valle de Estes) estamos preocupados con una tendencia reciente: solamente 36% de los niños del Valle de Estes llegan a su primer día de Kinder al cumplir las puntos de referencia para la presteza escolar. Eso es porque nuestras tres organizaciones trabajan para conectar a las familias con los recursos esenciales del aprendizaje temprano.

Estamos destacando dos oportunidades especiales para hacer esas conexiones. Abril es el Mes del Niño Joven, y la primera semana de mayo conjunta todo.

La primera es Kindergarten Round-Up, el lunes 3 de mayo, para los niños que empiezan la escuela este otoño. ¡Es la plataforma de lanzamiento de la Clase 2034! Programe una cita en estesschools.org/epes.

Durante esa misma semana es La Feria de Auto-Servicio “Be Ready” en Estes Park (más información aquí en inglés y español). Preparen a los niños para la escuela y el aprendizaje por toda la vida–el jueves 6 de mayo de 5 a 6:30 p.m. Es para todas las familias con niños de 0 a 8 años.

Todo lo que las familias necesiten está envuelto junto. Entren en la playa de estacionamiento de la Escuela Primaria para un auto-servicio lleno de tesoros del aprendizaje temprano: los libros, las mochilas, las actividades, refrigerios y más. Los niños se divertirán de mirar los personajes alegres disfrazados, y los camiones de bomberos relucientes y brillantes también.

Todos llevarán a casa un Kit de Cuentos de la Biblioteca del Valle de Estes, repleto de ideas creativas, en inglés y en español igualmente, que incluyen:

  1. Registrar a tu niño que entra Kinder para recibir 100 libros gratis por el correo.
  2. Reservar los Kits de Actividad de Lectura mensuales para llevar: un libro, actividades y juegos, todo en una bolsa única. Añade a mamá o papá, y tú estás en camino a la diversión y al aprendizaje significativo de la lectura.
  3. Apuntarse al Programa de Lectura de Verano de 2021–y ganen los premios encantadores y aptos para los niños empleado escuchando los libros.
  4. Asistencia a los programas gratis, como las Horas de Cuentos en la biblioteca, y los programas de la Música para los Niños Jóvenes. Los programas virtuales están en el canal de YouTube de la Biblioteca, con la regresa de los programas en persona este verano.
  5. Satisfaz los intereses y la curiosidad de tus niños con tu Tarjeta Bibliotecaria. Busca en el catálogo y saca montones de libros. Miles de posibilidades están al tu alcance. ¡Las docenas de los libros de cuentos ilustrados y de títulos para los niños jóvenes están siempre en exhibición!

¡Eso es combustible de cohetes para que las mentes jóvenes se elevan por el espacio! No hay ninguna registro para la “La Feria Auto-Servicio Be Ready”; está abierta a todos.

La biblioteca, la escuela y EVICS están contentos a compartir estas metas de “Be Ready”, una colaboración tan importante como siempre.

¿No tienes un niño joven en casa? Comparte estas noticias con una familia local que conoces. Tu aliento amistoso bien puede abrir las puertas al placer para toda la vida de alguien del aprendizaje y de la lectura.

Estes Grows Readers

by Melanie Kozlowski, Early Literacy Librarian

Did you know that one thousand trillion synapses are formed in a baby’s brain during the first 8 months of life? Synapses are pathways between nerve cells. When we read aloud to a young child—including babies—we are giving them the brain power of a lifetime.

With so much at stake during those early years of life, it’s a great time to ask, “What can each of us in the Estes Valley do to ensure kids have regular opportunities of being read aloud to?”

Let’s start with the basics:

Parents — you got this! Simple activities like reading aloud and visiting your library will prepare your child for school and life.

Reading aloud to your child for 15 minutes a day feeds the brain with lifetime benefits. And regular visits to the library and choosing books to take home helps develop a love of books and reading. Help spread the message of the importance of early literacy. 

In the Estes Valley, we want our kids to meet their highest potential.

However, in recent years, only 36% of Estes Valley children arrived at school sustaining or exceeding benchmarks of school readiness. Yet, with simple activities, that number can be dialed up so that ALL our kids arrive at school ready to learn. Let’s grow readers!

A child who engages in early literacy activities at home is a strong candidate for later success in learning to read. Check out our “Estes Grows Readers” page for a great list of resources and information to get started.

Back as 1971, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognized “the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life”. They add, “It’s a time to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.”

Together, let’s grow the next generation of readers—and give them the fullest opportunities for success they deserve.

More connected than ever: meet our school partners

by Jamie Murphy, Technical Services Librarian

Jamie Murphy

Springtime in the Estes Valley is brilliant. As rivers thaw and days grow longer, what piques your curiosity? How will you conquer your next goal, inspire joy for yourself and those around you? As we look ahead toward connection and regrowth — a new normal — the Estes Valley Library is grateful for the opportunity to serve you in new ways.

Speaking of connectedness: five local libraries have joined together to create the new Village Catalog. The result: you can now search the combined One Million Items of our public library and all 4 school libraries: Elementary, Middle, High School, and Eagle Rock School. Each location is ready and eager to share–connected with courier delivery. It’s a win-win for local residents AND local students.

There’s never been a better time to prepare for college or a new career, research that mountain sport you’ve been dreaming about, or discover new authors, new movies, new ideas. It wouldn’t have happened without our enthusiastic local partners

To find out what it means for local students, we spoke with Anne Dewey, Instructional Technology Coordinator at Estes Park School District R3:

Tell us about the school libraries and the role they serve.

The school district has libraries in each of the three schools, serving our 1000+ students and staff. In our district, libraries are more relevant than ever, providing not only materials, but a space for working and learning from books, online, and each other. Our libraries are active centers for each of our schools, which really mirrors the experience at the public library.

What are the benefits you envision with the new Village Catalog?

Being a library card holder is such an important part of being a member of a community; we are proud to be part of a community that welcomes patrons of all ages. Becoming part of the Village Catalog expands the materials selection for our students exponentially, since the school library budgets are limited.

Of particular note are the digital holdings and access to full-text news articles. This was a missing piece for our high school students in particular who were trying to do research, but struggled to find relevant, timely, and reliable information for their areas of study.

What are other ways the schools collaborate with the public library?

Our school district has valued the partnership of the public library for many years. We have collaborated on many projects, including author visits, book studies, and college planning programs. We are excited to fortify our partnership through the addition of these services.

Thank you to Anne and to our partnerships with both Estes Park and Eagle Rock Schools.

Curious about the Estes Village Catalog? Need help narrowing down your search results? Wondering how to request a new book? Maybe you have a favorite author–and want to find similar writing styles? We’re here  to help. A million items is a lot to sort through, but the possibilities are as bountiful as springtime.