Year-End Top 10 Lists

It's that time of year when all the websites and blogs are publishing top 10, 10 best, 10 worst, etc. lists, so I thought our library blog can get in on the act! Here goes:

Top 10 most frequently checked out items in our library:

  1. Elk Hunting Colorado (DVD). Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2006.

  2. Fly Fishing Colorado (DVD). Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2008.

  3. Down to the Bone: Quick and Easy Method for Deboning Elk in the Field (DVD). Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2006.

  4. Western Voices: 125 Years of Colorado Writing. Colorado Historical Society, 2004.

  5. Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, 4th ed. University Press of Colorado, 2005.

  6. Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology. Colorado Geological Survey, 2003.

  7. Gold Panning and Placering in Colorado. Colorado Geological Survey, 1992.

  8. Laws Governing the Practice of Barbering/Cosmetology in the State of Colorado. Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies, 1987.

  9. Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, 3rd ed. University Press of Colorado, 1994.

  10. Hell's Belles: Prostitution, Vice, and Crime in Early Denver. University Press of Colorado, 2002.

Top 10 most frequently downloaded documents in our digital repository:

  1. Colorado Behavior Resource Manual, Colorado Department of Education, 2006.

  2. Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP), Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, 2008.

  3. Drainage Design Manual, Colorado Department of Transportation, 2004.

  4. State Sex Offender Treatment Programs, Colorado Department of Corrections, 2000.

  5. Colorado Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) Approved Evaluation Instrumentation for Substance Abuse Using Adolescents and Adults, Colorado Department of Human Services, 2007.

  6. Best Management Practices for Colorado Corn, Colorado State University, 2003.

  7. Strictly Enforcing Colorado Seat Belt Laws to Save Lives, Colorado Department of Transportation, 2003.

  8. Colorado Motor Vehicle Industry License Law Manual, Colorado Department of Revenue, 2004.

  9. CDOT Local Agency Manual, Colorado Department of Transportation, 2002.

  10. When is it Legal to Leave Children Alone? Colorado Department of Human Services, 2003.

Happy New Year from the Colorado State Publications Library!


Union Station

Denver's Union Station has been in the news lately as a plan for the old train station's redevelopment as a hotel and multi-modal transit hub has been in the works. Union Station was originally built in 1881 but was destroyed by fire in 1894. It was rebuilt soon after with a large stone clocktower. In 1914 the clocktower was removed and the center section of the Station was replaced with the Beaux Arts structure seen today. For information on government's role in the project, see this Issue Brief from the Colorado Legislative Council.


Snow and Ice

Last night heavy snow began piling up in Colorado. If you're out driving, be careful - especially those not used to driving on icy, snowy roads. Before heading out, take a look at Slick Tips, the Colorado Dept. of Transportation's handy winter driving guide, and check road conditions on cotrip.org.

Planning some fun in the snow? If you're into snowmobiling, Colorado State Parks has issued several brochures on the subject, including Colorado Snowmobiling Facts and Snowmobile Colorado!: Snowmobile Safety and You. Make sure you're aware of what to do in case of an avalanche. In our library you will find Avalanche Wise: Your Guide to Avalanche Safety in Colorado. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center also offers safety courses.

If you're interested in the science of snow, our library has many interesting publications on the subject, such as Colorado State University's The Snow Booklet: A Guide to the Science, Climatology, and Measurement of Snow in the United States. Our library includes many research studies from both CSU's Atmospheric Science Department and CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, as well as from the Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources' Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Also, we have an interesting CSU publication from 1901, Forests and Snow.


Christmas Bird Count

Every year for 112 years, American bird enthusiasts have gathered between December 14 and January 5 for the Annual Christmas Bird Count (see the Colorado Division of Wildlife's press release). The Bird Count is an annual census of bird populations that helps scientists understand bird population changes.

If you're interested in Colorado's birds, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has published a number of guidebooks that are available from our library. You can read about the Christmas Bird Count on the CDOW's website, and you can also find out more about birding at the CDOW's Colorado Birding Trail website. Some of the publications you can find in our library include the Colorado Wildlife Viewing Guide; A Birding Primer; and the Colorado Birding Trail guides for southeastern and southwestern Colorado. You can also check out a DOW video called Wonders on the Wing: Colorado's Migratory Songbirds. If you like watching birds but don't want to go far from home, check out How to Attract Birds to Your Backyard and Attracting and Feeding Birds in Winter.


Citizen's Guide to Government

If you have an issue of concern with a Colorado state government agency, and you're not sure where to start, contact the Citizen's Advocate Office. For a list of the type of things they can handle, vist their FAQ.

Each state agency has someone designated as a citizen's advocate to help the public with difficulties or complaints. A new directory of these advocates, the Citizen's Guide to Colorado State Government has just been released.


Colorado, As Experienced by Diverse Groups

Colorado, like the United States as a whole, is a place of many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups, all of which have have influenced the history of our state. Here is a sampling of some of the publications in our collection that tell the story of Colorado's diverse groups, and how they all contributed to the state we know today.

The Anasazi of Mesa Verde and the Four Corners
Tell Me, Grandmother: Traditions, Stories, and Cultures of Arapaho Peoples
The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico

Italy in Colorado

A Chinaman's Chance
Colorado's Japanese Americans

La Gente: Hispano History and Life in Colorado

Colorado Catholicism and the Archdiocese of Denver, 1857-1989
Pioneers, Peddlers & Tsadikim: The Story of Jews in Colorado

Long Vistas: Women and Families on Colorado Homesteads


Colorado Business Resource Guide

Whether you're a new or experienced businessperson, Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade has a resource that you'll want to keep handy: the Colorado Business Resource Guide. This helpful guide, written specific to Colorado, includes a checklist for starting a business, as well as information on taxes; marketing; financing; liabilities & insurance; trademarks, copyrights, and patents; business plans; and more.


Fracking and Oil in Colorado

There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about oil development in Colorado and concern about a technique called hydraulic fracturing or fracking. This technique uses a specially blended liquid which is pumped into a well under extreme pressure causing cracks in rock formations underground. These cracks in the rock then allow oil and natural gas to flow, increasing resource production. There is growing concern that hydraulic fracturing can lead to groundwater contamination. The process has been receiving a lot of attention due to increased drilling activity in the Denver Basin over the last few years. The latest issue of "Rock Talk" from the Colorado Geological Survey gives a nice overview: "Colorado's New Oil Boom --the Niobrara." The COGCC also has put together a great site on hydraulic fracturing information for public review.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has been monitoring the effects of oil and gas development on groundwater for many years. Many studies have shown that although some wells in the vicinity of active oil and gas rigs contain methane and other chemicals, the origin of the chemicals was from a completely different source than from the nearby oil wells. The reports are available online from the COGCC library. Reports focusing on the Denver Julesburg Basin as well as other areas of Colorado are included.

The Legislative Council Staff have published an Issue Brief on hydraulic fracturing that gives background information, and details current laws and regulations surrounding the issue.


Music History

Since ancient times, a love of music has always been something we humans shared. Over the centuries and even decades, music and peoples' tastes in music have evolved dramatically, but whether it's ancient tribal tunes, classical symphonies, or rock-n-roll, music has always been and continues to be an important part of the cultural life of people across the world. Here in our library, you can find several interesting sources that will teach you about the history of music in Colorado and the United States, including:

  • Orpheus in the Wilderness: A History of Music in Denver, 1860-1925, by Henry Miles. Published by the Colorado Historical Society, this engaging book offers offers more than a history of early Denver's music scene - it's an incredible resource for discovering the facets of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century "pop culture."

  • The American Music Research Center Journal is a periodical published by the University of Colorado Boulder's School of Music since 1991. In 2006, they issued a special publication titled 'In the Good Old Summertime': An Illustrated History of American Popular Sheet Music from the American Music Research Center; and the following year published Yankee Doodle Melodies: An Illustrated History of American Patriotic and Presidential Sheet Music from the American Music Research Center. These special publications as well as all the issues of the Journal contain interesting research on music in American history and culture.

  • Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Cultures of the Colorado Borderlands contains a chapter on "Music of Colorado and New Mexico's Rio Grande."

  • Colorado Heritage Magazine and its' predecessor, Colorado History Magazine, offer many interesting articles on music history in Colorado. Some of the Heritage articles that explore Colorado music history include "Cowboy Songs: From the Open Range to the Radio," 1981; "Katharine Lee Bates and 'America the Beautiful,'" Summer 1989; "Singing Colorado's Praises," Spring 1992; "The Denver Symphony Orchestra," Autumn 1992; "Astronauts to Zephyr: Colorado's Music of the 1960s," Winter 1997; "Opera in Denver," Spring 1999; and "A Folk Music Mecca," Winter 2006. Henry Miles, author of Orpheus in the Wilderness, also wrote a series of articles for Colorado Heritage that later became incorporated into the book.


Colorado in the Civil War

Lately, Civil War history has come into the spotlight as it began 150 years ago this year, and many anniversary events are taking place. Today, December 6, is the 146th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended slavery in 1865.

While many think of the Civil War as being fought mostly in the East, Colorado did have a role. The Colorado Volunteers fought in the Battle of Glorieta Pass (which actually took place in what is now New Mexico) in what is called the "Gettysburg of the West" against Confederate Texans. (Less gloriously, the Colorado Volunteers also fought in the "Indian Wars" and were responsible for the Sand Creek Massacre, which destroyed around 200 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians).

Did you know, there are more books written about the Civil War than any other event in American History? Two interesting books in our library collection, both published by the Colorado Historical Society, shed light on the Colorado Volunteers' service in the Civil War: Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War: The New Mexico Campaign in 1862; and This Soldier Life: The Diaries of Romine H. Ostrander, 1863-1865, in Colorado Territory.


Colorado 2-1-1

Do you have health questions and don't know where to turn? Do you need information about financial assistance and other human services? Are you elderly, disabled, a struggling youth, or a victim of poverty or abuse, and need someone to talk to about your situation? Are you homeless and looking for shelter? Do you need counseling but don't know where to go? Or are you searching for volunteer opportunities? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can call 2-1-1 in Colorado to receive health and human service information and referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

*Remember: 2-1-1 is not for emergencies. If you have an emergency, you should still call 911!*

Colorado 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that was set up by the Federal Communications Commission. You can find more information on the 2-1-1 service specific to Colorado at their website, www.211colorado.org. In 2010, the Colorado Legislature sent a Joint Memorial to Congress in support of the service. That same year, the Legislature passed a bill to assist the service by creating a tax checkoff for Colorado taxpayers to donate to fund the program. You can find more ways to help by visiting their website.


Redistricting Part Deux

Back in September new legislative redistricting maps for the Colorado House and Senate were approved by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission. Many legislators objected to the new maps. They were challenged, and the Colorado Supreme Court ruled to reject the maps. Today a new set of maps have been approved. Redistricting is always a process fraught with emotion because redrawing the district lines can throw two current incumbents into a race for the same seat, or change the political dynamic of a district. An article detailing the latest drama can be found in today's Denver Post. The latest proposals and information about the reapportionment process can be found at www.colorado.gov/redistricting.


New Guidebook on Arts Education

The Colorado Department of Education has just published a guidebook for arts education in Colorado. The new guidebook is in response to HB10-1273 from the Colorado Legislature. The guidebook addresses the need for arts education and the implementation of arts instruction in schools. Program evaluation, leadership and planning, student engagement, funding, and more are all addressed. This is a very helpful guide for all educators interested in bringing the arts back into schools.


New Population Estimates and Economic Forecasts for 2010

New 2010 population estimates and economic forecasts have just been released from the Colorado State Demography Office. Population and housing unit figures, and county populations by single year of age and sex have been updated. The updated forecasts show Colorado's population growing by 1.6% per year over the next five years, increasing to 1.8% per year before the end of the decade to grow to close to 6 million persons by the year 2020.

The economic base analysis and job estimates for 2010 have also been updated and released. According to the State Demographers, Colorado saw a slight dip in total jobs, losing 45,411 (-1.6 percent) jobs between 2009 and 2010. The largest contraction occurred in the Denver Metro Area, with Denver, Jefferson, and Arapahoe Counties accounting for nearly half (20,128) of jobs lost statewide.

There are also interesting thematic maps based on figures from the 2005-2009 American Community survey.

Visit www.colorado.gov/demography for the latest data and information.


Wildlife and Holiday Decorations

As many people start to think about hanging their holiday decorations this time of year, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has issued some tips on how to decorate with wildlife in mind. These tips, which you can find here, offer handy information particularly on how to avoid having deer get tangled in strands of lights. The reindeer with his antlers wrapped in Christmas lights is a popular caricature for the holidays, but in real life, it's very dangerous, so make sure to follow these tips to avoid getting deer trapped in your holiday lights. For other tips on how to keep wildlife safe on your property, see Fencing with Wildlife in Mind from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.


Enterprise Zones

The Denver Post recently ran a 4-part series on Enterprise Zones in Colorado. Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) defines enterprise zones (EZs) as "provid[ing] tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate and expand in designated economically distressed areas of the state." If you would like more in-depth information, our library has several publications concerning the EZ program, including: General Information About Colorado Enterprise Zones from the Colorado Dept. of Revenue; Colorado's Enterprise Zone Program from the Colorado Legislative Council; and the Colorado Enterprise Zones Annual Report, from the OEDIT, which administers the program. The State Auditor's Office has audited the program several times, the last time being in 2007.


Medicare 101

Attention Seniors: The Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies is going to be holding a public webinar on January 25, 2012, called "Medicare 101." (Click here to sign up - space is limited). This online presentation will give you helpful tips and information, whether for those just starting Medicare, or those who are already receiving Medicare but have questions. Please note, that if need more information and would like to speak to someone, call the Department's Medicare consumer information line, 1-888-696-7213.

If you can't participate in the webinar, our library has many publications that can assist you. Some of the helpful publications on Medicare that we have available in our library include Your Medicare Matters, Protect It!; Medicare Drug Insurance and You: Colorado Options 2012; The Big Picture: Medicare and Related Health Insurance; Managing Your Medicare Bills; and Help for Medicare Beneficiaries with Lower Incomes.


Colorado Geology

This weekend I visited Roxborough State Park for the first time. My hike along the trail brought views of spectacular rock formations and an interesting variety of flora and fauna. I learned to identify the Lyons, Fountain, and Dakota Formations. My visit sparked an interest in the geology of Colorado, so this morning I found the following items in our State Publications Library collection:

  • Geology of the Interstate 70 Road Cut, Jefferson County Colorado (HED4/2.2/P94/7)

  • Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology (NR12/20.2/M56)

  • Dinosaurs in our Backyard (NR12/20.2/D61/2005)

  • Geology of Denver, Colorado, U.S.A (NR7.2/D41/1982)

  • Guide to the Petroleum Geology and Laramide Orogeny, Denver Basin and Front Range, Colorado (NR12/20.3/51)

These and many other titles from the Colorado Geological Survey are available upon request.


Chickens in the City

Did you know that Denver residents are allowed to keep a limited number of chickens on their property? The popularity of raising chickens comes from the "sustainable food" movement, whereby you can stop buying eggs at the grocery store and have your own organic eggs "delivered" right to your backyard. You are also allowed to raise up to two goats to use for milk and cheese production. Remember, you need to obtain a license to keep these animals.

So you have chickens - now what? If you weren't raised on a farm, you might have no idea where to begin. Our library can help. The following fact sheets from Colorado State University explain in simple beginners' language all about feeding, housing, habits, and other information yo need to know before raising chickens:


Veterans Day - November 11th

On Friday, many state offices will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Since 1919, November 11th has been a day to honor those who have fought for our country in times of war. The date was originally chosen to honor the armistice between the Allied nations and Germany at the end of World War I that went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November (Armistice Day). In June 1954, legislation was passed changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, to honor American veterans of all wars.

If you'd like more information on the history of veteran's day and how it is commemorated, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has put together a nice set of Veteran's Day resources, including a teacher's guide.

On a related note, if you are looking for information on services available to Colorado veterans, visit these state agency websites:

The Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs is a central source of information on veterans benefits, rights and issues. Their "Veteran Resource Links" page is a great collection of internet resourcesfor veterans.

The Veterans' Services program at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has a mission "to provide Veterans and transitioning service members with the resources and services to succeed in the 21st Century workforce by meeting labor-market demands with qualified Veterans." This is the place to go for information on employment services, education and training, and benefits for veterans.


Supreme Court Justices

This past week saw both the appointment of a new Colorado Supreme Court Justice, Brian Boatright, and the death of a former Justice, Luis Rovira, who served from 1979 to 1995. If you're interested in finding out more about the Justices of Colorado's Supreme Court, see this page from the Colorado Supreme Court Library. Here you will find a listing of all Supreme Court Justices since 1859, along with biographical information and searchable by name and by year. You can also read about what the Justices do at the Colorado Supreme Court homepage.


Birth, Death, and Marriage Records

At our library we receive many questions about how to obtain copies of birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce records. These certificates and records are kept by the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Vital Records Section. On their website you can find out about the different procedures involved for obtaining certificates. You can order copies of certificates by phone at 1-866-300-8540 or visit them in person 8:30-4:30, Monday through Friday, at 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South in Denver.

If you're tracing your family history, the Vital Records Section has put together a helpful Genealogy page. Some historic records will need to be obtained from either the Colorado State Archives or county vital records offices; the Section can help you determine where to locate your family's historic records and certificates.



November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Almost 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, while another 79 million have what is called "prediabetes." In our library we have a number of publications that can help you learn more about this disease, including The Burden of Diabetes in Colorado; Planning for the Future: Colorado Diabetes Prevention and Control Strategic Plan; Diet and Diabetes; Colorado Diabetes Resource Guide; Understanding Diabetes; and Colorado's Action Plan to Reduce the Burden of Diabetes.


Homeless and Runaway Youth

November is Colorado Homeless and Runaway Youth awareness month.

According to the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, the overall number of homeless students in K-12 increased 50%, from 12,302 to 18,408 students in the past two years. In the past year, the number of unaccompanied homeless youth (homeless youth without a parent or guardian) in Colorado public schools increased 48% from 896 to 1,325 youth.

What can we do to help?

The Office of Homeless Youth Services has put together a website that can point you in the right direction.

An extensive list of resources for homeless youth across Colorado has been compiled by the Colorado Department of Human Services.

The "Help for Homeless Youth" section on the Colorado Virtual Library's Tools for Tough Times Guide also has a list of non-profits and state agencies that provide services and assistance to homeless youth.


Colorado Military Records

There are several places within Colorado state government to find military records. Historic military records are housed at the Colorado State Archives. These include the records of military personnel from Colorado who served as Colorado Volunteers or Colorado National Guard members. At the archives you can find rosters, muster rolls, service records, administrative files, special and general orders, record books, and much more. You can also search their online indexes for Colorado Volunteers registration (1861-65), Colorado Civil War casualties, Colorado Volunteers in the Spanish American War, Colorado Veterans' grave registration index, Colorado Vietnam War casulaties, and more. (For historical background on the Colorado Volunteers, see this article from the Archives.)

More recent Colorado National Guard records can be obtained through the Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs. See their website for instructions on obtaining records.


Creative Capitol

Colorado has an interesting arts program called "Creative Capitol," where artworks reflecting Colorado life, environment, and heritage are displayed in the State Capitol Building. According to the program's website, "Staff and visitors are welcomed into the Lt. Governor's office to view the rotating exhibitions and to the Governor's office to view the permanent collection. This new program of Colorado Creative Industries celebrates Colorado's rich creative economy and shares this abundant resource with the citizens of Colorado." The current exhibit, which runs through December 8, 2011, features two separate exhibits on the American West. In the Lt. Governor's Office you can find Painting the West, featuring historic landscape paintings of the unsettled West by such famous artists as George Catlin and Karl Bodmer. In the Capitol's basement rotunda, you can find Tribal Pathways, an exhibit on the traditions of Colorado's American Indians. Online, you can also visit a site listing all of the past exhibitions, going back to 2008. These exhibits add new and interesting things to see along with the Capitol's already large collection of Colorado art.


New Version of the Colorado Blueprint

A new version of Governor Hickenlooper's "Bottom-Up" economic development plant was released this morning. The new version,"Colorado Blueprint v1.0: A bottom-up approach to economic development", fleshes out the details and tightens timelines for the 24 tactics in the document. The blueprint focuses on the following six objectives: Build a Business-Friendly Environment; Retain, Grow and Recruit Companies; Increase Access to Capital; Create and Market a Stronger Colorado Brand; Educate and Train the Workforce of the Future; Cultivate Innovation and Technology.

According to the press release from the governor's office, specific changes include:

  • "Increased engagement of the business and economic development communities to develop a comprehensive statewide industry cluster strategy in the next three months, rather than the next nine months

  • Increased focus on local and regional infrastructure development tha aligns with regional economic development priorities

  • A structure for engaging industry partners in promoting the Colorado brand through the International Trade and Tourism Ambassador Program."

If you'd like to compare the old with the new, the first version of the Colorado Blueprint can be accessed through our digital repository.


I-70 Twin Tunnels

Today the Colorado Transportation Commission approved $60 million to widen the eastbound tunnel of the I-70 "twin tunnels" in Clear Creek County. The project will add a third lane to the eastbound tunnel to ease congestion. For more information on what this upcoming construction means for you, visit the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT)'s project website. Here you will find documents and analysis, a timeline, environmental impact statements and records of decision, news releases, and updates on the project. CDOT has just tweeted that "we have at least [a] year of environmental study before construction. Will try to make it as painless as possible!" Keep checking the CDOT website for construction delays on highways throughout Colorado.


The Denver Viaducts

Have you been in Denver long enough to remember the LoDo viaducts? When you walk around "LoDo" you'll see quite a few buildings with doorways to nowhere on the second floor. Now you know why. The viaducts were built in order to carry vehicle traffic over the Platte River and the railway lines used to supply the warehouse buildings. Most were removed in the early 1990s, though we still have a few other viaducts around town, including on parts of Colfax and 6th Avenue. The LoDo viaducts were famous, though, because they came so close to the old buildings.

You can read more about one of the Denver viaducts in a 1984 publication from the Colorado Dept. of Highways, The Larimer Viaduct Replacement, which provides an environmental assessment of the project. We also have another Dept. of Highways publication investigating the failure of one of the Larimer Viaduct's ramp pier tables: Preliminary Report of Failure Investigation, Walnut Viaduct-Ramp J. To see some great pictures of the viaducts, visit the Denver Public Library.


History of Income Tax and Proposition 103

Last week I received my mail-in ballot for this November's election. The statewide ballot initiative, proposition 103, that proposes a temporary tax increase for public education has generated a lot of conversation. I was browsing through the list of titles that have recently been added to the State Publications Library collection and found an interesting and pertinent document by the Legislative Council Staff: History of Colorado Income Tax Rates. It gives a brief synopsis of how taxes have changed in the state since 1937 when income tax was first enacted in Colorado. An analysis of Proposition 103 can be found in the 2011 Ballot Information Booklet, also called the Blue Book. The full text of the initiative can be found on the Secretary of State's website.


Consumer Resource Guide

Colorado consumers should know that the state's Attorney General's Office has on their website a very helpful Consumer Resource Guide. This online guide can answer your legal questions on a variety of topics, including: automobiles; business and professional licensing; civil rights & employment; common scams; credit & lending; elder issues; general consumer issues & complaints; government agencies & services; health issues; identity theft, and more. Consumers may also want to take a look at the AG's new Consumer Fraud Awarness newsletter. This month's edition covers topics such as AARP ElderWatch, counterfeit products sold over the internet; free trial offer scams; charitable fraud; telemarketing fraud; cashier's check scams; and telephone bill "cramming." Each issue contains helpful tips to keep consumers from becoming victims. These and other resources from the Attorney General's Office are a smart way to help you protect yourself.


Colorado Virtual Library

The brand-new Colorado Virtual Library (CVL) has just been launched! This exciting State Library project is a great new website with lots of information on various Colorado topics. One of the highlights of the site is the Colorado Histories section, which includes digitized Colorado historic newspapers and a fun new section with biographies of famous Coloradans. New biographies will continually be added so check back often. Each famous Coloradan has a short bio, links to more resources, and a photo. These bios are great for any age, but are especially useful for 4th graders studying Colorado history, providing a helpful starting point for their research on significant persons in our state. Many of the people whose biographies are featured on the site also have full-length biographies within the publications of our collection; particularly in Colorado Heritage magazine; some, like Josephine Roche and Horace Tabor, have full, book-length bios in our collection. So if you're researching one of the featured persons on the CVL site, be sure to check our catalog for information, or let us know who you're researching so we can look for articles on that person. We're always happy to help in your research, whatever the topic.



Did you know that ancient Egyptians valued onions so much that officials took office with their right hand on an onion? And that in the Middle Ages they were so valuable that they were given as wedding gifts? And that the onion is actually part of the lily family? These and many more interesting facts about onions can be found in the Colorado State University Extension publication Colorado Onion Production and Integrated Pest Management. Available from our library, this is an essential guide for any Colorado onion grower. It outlines the different varieties of onions that grow in Colorado, procedures for fertilizing, harvesting, and post-harvest, and weed and insect pests. If you grow onions, be sure to check this guide. We also have many other publications on all kinds of Colorado crops; search our web catalog for much more agricultural information.


Fire Prevention and Safety

This week is National Fire Prevention week. Observed since 1922, this year's theme is "Protect your Family from Fire." Learn how to keep your home safe by visiting the National Fire Protection Association's site for kids and families. Highlights include tips on making a fire escape plan, and a fire safety checklist.

These titles from the State Publications Library collection may also be of interest:
Forest Home Fire Safety
Fire-resistant landscaping
Living with fire: protecting communities and restoring forests

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. More than 250 people were killed, over 17,000 structures were destroyed, and more than 2,000 acres burned in the tragedy. The Chicago Historical Society has put together an online exhibit called "The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory" that is worth a visit.


Dinosaur National Monument

Today is the 96th birthday of Dinosaur National Monument, designated in 1915. The area is named, of course, for the dinosaurs that once roamed the area. The Monument is known for camping and rafting, in addition to its fossil finds. Just in time for their birthday, today the Monument is celebrating the grand re-opening of their exhibit hall after a 5-year renovation. The exhibits feature over 1500 dinosaur bones, including those of a newly-discovered herbivore, Abydosaurus mcintoshi. Visitors to Dinosaur National Monument will also want to be sure to travel along the area's designated Colorado byway, Dinosaur Diamond. (See Colorado: The Official Guide to Scenic and Historic Byways, available from our library).

If you're interested in the history of the buildings of the Monument, check out the Colorado Historical Society's publication Dinosaur National Monument: Multiple Property Listing, available from our library. For general information on dinosaurs in Colorado, check out Dinosaur Remains in Colorado and Dinosaurs in our Backyard (CD-Rom), both also available from our library.


Cookie Recipes

Did you know that October has been designated as Cookie Month? Then, in December, comes holiday cookies... Well, cookie baking can be very easy if you use a publication available in our library, Cookie Recipes from a Basic Mix for High Altitudes, published by the Colorado State University Extension. Using this little cookbook, you can mix up a basic cookie dough and use that same dough to make a wide variety of cookies, including brownies, chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon cookies, crispy bars, lemon drops, molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies... (Uh oh, I'm getting hungry, I better stop!). The basic mix is great for holidays when you want to have a variety of cookie types but don't have a lot of time for baking. You can also search our web catalog to find more high altitude recipes and baking tips in publications available from our collection.


North I-25 Environmental Impact Study

The Colorado Department of Transportation has recently released an Environmental Impact Study regarding improvements for I-25 north of Denver. CDOT is allowing public comment on the project through October 3. For a quick overview of the project, which includes express bus stations, commuter rail lines, tolled express lanes, and changes in signal timing, ramp metering and signage, see the CDOT fact sheet here. Also, search our web catalog for more information on I-25, and Environmental Impact Statements for other transportation projects.


Emergency Preparedness

Tomorrow, September 23, several places around the metro Denver area will be conducting large-scale emergency preparedness drills. While these drills will focus on preparing for terrorism-related incidents, Colorado residents should be prepared for all kinds of emergencies, both man-made and natural (e.g. tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, epidemics). The Colorado Division of Emergency Management has put together an informative blog with everything you need to know to prepare for a Colorado emergency. The site gives information on preparedness, training, mitigation/recovery, and much more. The state also sponsors Ready Colorado, an emergency preparedness agency. Their website can help you make a disaster plan, and find classes and materials that can help you learn more.

Be sure to check out some of the state documents, available from our library, that can help you with Colorado-specific disaster planning, including: State of Colorado Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and Emergency Preparedness in Colorado. We also have many publications that deal with specific disasters, too many to list here, that cover everything from bomb scares to bird flu. Our library has quite a bit of information for farmers and ranchers regarding what to do with their livestock when disaster strikes; helping children, pets, and the elderly during and after disasters; emergency treatment of water supplies; and how to use emergency equipment such as masks and respirators. Search our web catalog for our many resources on disaster planning and response. Many of these documents can be accessed online.


Legislative Redistricting

Today the new redistricting maps for the Colorado House and Senate were approved by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission. This happens every 10 years, following each census. There are some significant changes to the House and Senate districts. To view the maps, see the Denver Post article. For the final reports from the several previous decades' commissions, see: 2002; 1992; and 1982. A final report for the current Commission should be available next year.


Always Learning

It's that time of year - back to school! But learning doesn't just take place at school. Kids need to learn at home, too. So how do you help your child learn all that he or she can, not just in school, but outside school, too? We have a number of resources in our library that can help parents engage their children in learning outside of school, and resources to help teachers connect with parents. So if you're a parent or a teacher looking to help connect a child's learning between school and home, you may be interested in:

  • School-Home Links. This CD-ROM, available from our library, is "a school-home reading program aligned with Colorado model content standards for reading and writing. Provides 100 reading activities in both English and Spanish for Kindergarten through 3rd grade to encourage greater family and community involvement in helping children improve reading skills and achievement."

  • Family Involvmenet in Schools. A 2008 study conducted by the Colorado Department of Education and the National Center for School Engagement.

  • Strengthening Parent Involvement: A Toolkit. A guide for school officials to help implement the parent involvement requirements of No Child Left Behind.

  • Parent Involvement Activities and Projects, A Resource Book for Reading Teachers. Although this is an older publication, it still has some handy ideas for teachers to help parents become involved in a child's reading.

  • Staying on Track as Your Child Grows and Learns. A brochure for parents describing child development by grade level.

  • Pizzas, Pennies and Pumpkin Seeds: Mathematical Activities for Parents and Children. How to use everyday objects to help your child learn math.

  • Reading Tips for Parents. A brochure for parents that promotes reading to your children.

For more publications of interest, search our web catalog.


Foodborne Illness

Recently an outbreak of Listeriosis has caused a number of people to get sick in Colorado and surrounding states. Listeria and other foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella, E. coli and hepatitis A, can cause serious illness and are transmitted in a variety of ways, including unsafe handling and ingesting undercooked foods. So how can you avoid these illnesses, and what should you do if you do get sick? You can find answers to both questions from the Colorado Dept. of Health & Environment (CDPHE)'s webpage. There you can find out what temperature to cook your food, what to do with the food in your refrigerator if your power goes out, and how to report if you've become sick after eating at a restaurant. For data on foodborne illness outbreaks over the past decade, see this summary from the CDPHE. Also, we have in our collection a video, Preventing Foodborne Illness, and a fact sheet from Colorado State University that can also help answer some of your questions.


Groundwater Monitoring

Farmers and other agriculturalists in Colorado may be interested in three new publications in our collection dealing with groundwater monitoring in Colorado. Each of the three publications is a report from the Colorado Department of Agriculture on groundwater monitoring in different regions of the state, including: San Luis Valley; Weld County; and the Western Slope. Other state publications you may be interested in include: Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers; Protecting Your Private Well; Agricultural Chemicals and Groundwater Protection in Colorado; When to Test your Well; Protocol for a State-wide Ground Water Quality Monitoring Program and Establishment of a Ground Water Quality Data Clearing House; Groundwater Law Sourcebook of the Western United States; Groundwater Atlas of Colorado; Ground Water in Colorado: A Primer; and much, much more. Search our web catalog using the keyword "groundwater" to find many more publications on this topic.


Denver: An Archaeological History

Ever wonder what was here before it was Denver? Find out in the book Denver: An Archaeological History (University Press of Colorado, 2008), available from our library. The publisher describes the book as follows: "For at least 10,000 years, [what is now] Greater Denver has been a collection of diverse lifeways and survival strategies, a crossroads of interaction, and a locus of cultural coexistence. Setting the scene with detailed descriptions of the natural environment, summaries of prehistoric sites, and archaeologists' knowledge of Denver's early inhabitants, [the book] bring[s] the region's history to life. From prehistory to the present, this is a compelling narrative of Denver's cultural heritage." Check out our web catalog for other materials on archaeology and Denver history.


Do you remember?

Did you go to a Colorado college? Want to have some fun with your kids? Show them what things were like when you went to college. The Colorado State Publications Library has catalogs from some of the major colleges in the state. Some go back 30 years or more! Find a catalog from your alma mater and show your kids what life was like during the era of the Swatch watch, Rubik's cube and ripped jeans. They can see what it cost to attend classes and what life was like before (gasp) cell phones, I-pods and laptops. Begin your reminiscing at the Colorado State Publications Library today.


The Colorado Gold Rush.

Did you know it's believed that more people came to the Colorado Gold Rush than to the California Gold Rush? It's true. The Colorado Gold Rush was the boom in the prospecting and mining of gold in present-day Coloradoin the United States that began in 1859 (when the land was still in the Kansas Territory) and lasted through the early 1860's. It is still considered to be the largest gold rush in American history.Many people still believe, "There's gold in dem thar hills!" If you're one of them you should check out Gold Panning and Placering in Colorado - How and Where by Ben H. Parker Jr. This book was written for the Colorado Geological society and is available from the Colorado State Publications Library.


Civil Rights

On today's date in 1957 the U.S. Senate passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 after an attempt to kill the act by a famous filibuster by Strom Thurmond, which lasted 24 hours and 18 minutes, the longest conducted by a single Senator. The bill put into place important protections for voters rights.

Over fifty years later, defending civil rights is still a big issue in the United States. The Colorado Civil Rights Division works to protect individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, and at places of public accommodation. They have brochures on fair employment practices, a guide on avoiding questions which may be discriminatory when conducting an interview, information on housing discrimination, along with a consumer tip page on predatory lending.


Female Suffrage

Did you know that tomorrow, August 26, is Women's Equality Day? This observance, celebrated on August 26 of each year, was first dedicated by Congress in 1971 . The day is specifically meant to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 which gave women the right to vote nationally. Colorado was the second state (after Wyoming) to give women the right to vote. In 1893, the question of allowing female suffrage was placed on the ballot and passed with 55% in favor (all voters deciding on women's fate being male, of course). Colorado was the first state to allow the people to vote on the question of women's suffrage. The question that appeared on the ballot first had to pass the State Legislature as a referred measure; you can see a digitized copy of the original Legislative bill here. You can read more about the Colorado womens' suffrage movement in the books The Gospel of Progressivism and Honest John Shafroth, available from our library. (John Shafroth was a U.S. Congressman and Colorado Governor who fought for women's suffrage).


Colorado Economic Development Blueprint

Last month, Governor Hickenlooper and his staff introduced "The Colorado Blueprint: A Bottom-Up Approach to Economic Development," outlining the state's priorities for growing Colorado's economy. The plan provides outlined goals to 1) Build a business-friendly environment; 2) Recruit, grow and retain businesses; 3) Increase access to capital; 4) Create and market a stronger Colorado brand; 5) Educate and train the workforce of the future; and 6) Cultivate innovation and technology. The document continues on to discuss how each of these goals can be applied to different counties and regions around the state.

Earthquakes in Colorado

Last night southwestern Colorado was shaken by a magnitude 5.3 earthquake centered 9 miles southwest of Trinidad. Large earthquakes are not frequently experienced here in the Rocky Mountains, but low magnitude quakes are fairly common. The Colorado Geological Survey maintains a database called the Colorado Earthquake Mapserver which contains information on all of the cataloged earthquakes in Colorado, and also shows the faultlines that run through the state. The CGS also has an earthquake website with basic information on Colorado quakes, including case histories, maps and facts about earthquake damage ratings. Facts about last night's earthquake can be found on the U.S. Geological Survey's website. They also have an interesting history of Colorado earthquakes that is worth checking out.


In Their Own Words

At the State Publications Library you can find a number of very interesting accounts of life in historic Colorado. Although we don't have any manuscripts, we do have available a number of diaries, journals, letters, and memoirs that have been published by the state. For instance, you can read interesting accounts of life as a frontier soldier in This Solider Life: The Diaries of Romine H. Ostrander, 1863-1865, in Colorado Territory, and in The Tall Chief: The Unfinished Autobiography of Edward Wynkoop, 1856-1866. One of our most frequently checked out items is Confessions of a Maverick: An Autobiography, by Farrington R. Carpenter, who writes about his life ranching in Routt County. My Dear Friend Chas. is a collection of the correspondence of Boulder resident Charles Wolcott, while Just Outside Manila is a collection of letters from members of the First Colorado Regiment in the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars. Early travel memoirs include A Tenderfoot in Colorado and Colorado: A Summer Trip. Elwood P. Bonney left a journal of his reminisces of the great photographer W.H. Jackson in William Henry Jackson: An Intimate Portrait, while Elizabeth Young wrote of growing up in early Denver in On Colfax Avenue: A Victorian Childhood. One of the classics of Denver autobiography is The Beast, in which Judge Ben Lindsey exposes the corruption of Denver's turn-of-the-20th-century political machine. Cheyenne Dog Soliders: A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat gives us the history of the Cheyenne through their drawings, rather than their words, while Tell Me, Grandmother, passes down the oral traditions of the Arapaho people. Other documents in their own words include Frederick Chapin's Colorado, presenting some of Chapin's writings on Colorado mountaineering; A Voice from Colorado's Past for the Present: Selected Writings of George Norlin; Riding West: An Outfitter's Life, the story of Jim Greer as told to Charles Miller; and Wayne Aspinall's A Family Message to My Family. You can also find some personal writings in Western Voices: 125 Years of Colorado Writing and in Colorado Heritage and Colorado History magazines.

Each of these documents tells the unique story of a Colorado life and the times they lived in. For more Colorado history visit our library or search our web catalog.


Fremont Expedition

John C. Fremont was a Civil War General, governor of both Arizona and California, U.S. Senator, and a canidate for U.S. President. He is famous, or perhaps infamous, for many things, such as his unsuccessful attempt to abolish slavery without the consent of Washington, which resulted in his being relieved of his post as a General. There is also another infamous incident in the life of Fremont, and that one is connected to Colorado.

Before his military and political career took off, Fremont was known for exploring the western United States, earning him the nickname "The Pathfinder." In 1848, Fremont and his men embarked upon what has come to be known as Fremont's Fourth Expedition, exploring a possible route for a railroad connecting St. Louis and San Francsico. Fremont chose to explore a route along the Arkansas River, and upon arrival at Bent's Fort, he was advised not to go any further, for snows were already running deep that year. However, wanting to show that the rail route he had chosen was passable year-round, he and his party trudged onward. They headed south toward the Sangre de Cristo mountains, where the winter snows made the mountains impassable. The party started to run out of food, and many of their mules died. In the next two months, 10 out of the original 35 members of the expedition perished. Although it was never proven, rumors circulated that some members may have cannibalized the dead, although these stories may have been started by his opponents in his presidential run eight years later.

Needless to say, the expedition was a failure. You can read the full details of this story in a book from the Colorado Historical Society, available in our library collection, entitled Trail to Disaster.


Indians of Colorado

Colorado has a long history of American Indian civilization going back many centuries. The Mesa Verde cliff dwellings were constructed by proto-Puebloan peoples formerly called the Anasazi. (The word Anasazi translates to "ancient enemies," which is no longer considered politically correct). In our library you can find numerous sources on Mesa Verde and the Puebloan Indians, including The Anasazi of Mesa Verde and the Four Corners, and The Western San Juan Mountains: Their Geology, Ecology and Human History.

In the mountains of Colorado lived the Utes, the only tribe to still have reservations in Colorado. You can find out more about the Utes through publications available from our library such as Ute Indian Museum: A Capsule History and Guide; The Last War Trail: Utes and the Settlement of Colorado; The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico; Colorado Ute Legacy (VHS); and Southern Ute Lands 1848-1899: The Creation of a Reservation.

Colorado was also home to several plains tribes, including the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and others, who hunted buffalo on the eastern plains of Colorado. Some resources in our library on these tribes include Cheyenne Dog Soldiers: A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat; Cheyenne Texts: An Introduction to Cheyenne Literature; Treaties Between the Tribes of the Great Plains and the United States of America, Cheyenne and Arapaho, 1825-1900; and Tell Me, Grandmother: Traditions, Stories and Cultures of Arapaho People.

Finally, for an overall history of Colorado's Native Americans, see Indians of Colorado, by LeRoy Hafen, 1957.

American Indians are still very much with us today - for resources on contemporary Native American life, see such publications as the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs Resource Directory; Native Communities and Climate Change; A Guide to Colorado Legal Resources for Native Americans; Twenty-Five Year Report of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (2002); Report of the Native Americans Sacred Lands Forum; and Indian Water Rights in the West: A Study. There are many more publications on Colorado's American Indians as well, so be sure and search our web catalog.


Highway History

The development of highways in Colorado changed the state's landscape forever. The Colorado highways have an interesting history. Our library has many historical materials relating to the building of the highways from what is now called the Colorado Department of Transportation, but originally was called the Colorado Department of Highways. Additionally, for an excellent background on the Colorado highway system, see Highways to the Sky: A Context and History of Colorado's Highway System. Other interesting publications on this topic that we have in our collection include: 100 Years of State Transportation History, by CDOT; and 50th Anniversary of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, also from CDOT. Search our web catalog for the many titles we have relating to Colorado's highway and transportation systems, past, present and future.


Colorado Sports

Sports and recreation are a huge part of life for many Coloradans. One of the books in our collection, Colorado: A Sports History, shows that it has been this way for a very long time. This book gives the history of all kinds of sports and recreational activities in our state. Other publications you can find in our collection go into detail on specific sports, such as They Came to Play: A Photographic History of Colorado Baseball. Additionally, you can find a large number of Department of Natural Resources publications on outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing, biking, and boating. And of course we can't forget skiing, perhaps Colorado's most famous recreational activity. There are a number of publications in our library that deal with skiing, including several ski tourism studies. You can even find in our collection a book on sports nutrition, Food for Sports. So whether you're interested in summer sports or winter sports, our library can help you find out more about sporting in our state.


Colorado Amphibians and Reptiles

Colorado has many interesting species of wildlife, but aside from the larger animals which so often become symbols of our state, Colorado also has an interesting population of reptiles and amphibians, including frogs, toads, snakes, lizards, salamanders, and turtles. For an overview of the species, visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife's online Herpetofaunal Atlas. You can also find a number of resorces in our library collections discussing the reptiles and amphibians specific to Colorado; some of the titles in our collection include Ambibians and Reptiles in Colorado, University Press of Colorado, 1999; Quick Key to Amphibians and Reptiles of Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2008; Hip on Herps: Colorado's Reptiles and Amphibians, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2004; Colorado's Amphibians and Reptiles: Species Status, Regulations, Information as of January 2001, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2001; Directions for Preservation of Amphibians and Reptiles, University of Colorado, 1985; and an interesting historical publication, Guide to the Amphibia of Colorado, University of Colorado, 1943. Using these publications you can find out many interesting facts about Colorado's reptiles and amphibians, such as the difference between a lizard and a salamander, which turtles can bite and harm humans, or what this strange animal is!
Answer: No, it's not a snake - look carefully and you'll see the little legs! It's called a Many-Lined Skink, and it is a lizard found on the rural Eastern plains.


It's Colorado Day

Today is Colorado Day, marking the anniversary of Colorado's statehood, granted in 1876 by President Ulysses S. Grant. To celebrate, there is free admission today in all Colorado state parks. For more information on state parks in Colorado, visit www.parks.state.co.us, and check out this great article from coloradoan.com.


Big Thompson Flood

This coming Sunday marks the 35th anniversary of one of Colorado's greatest natural disasters, the Big Thompson Flood. On the evening of July 31, 1976, heavy rains caused flooding to erupt in the Big Thompson Canyon, eventually resulting in the deaths of 139 people and causing $35.5 million in damage. If you're interested in finding out more about this terrible event, we have a number of publications in our library that can help you, including:

  • Estimation of Big Thompson Flood Rainfall Using Infrared Satellite Imagery

  • What We Have Learned Since the Big Thompson Flood

  • Flood-plain Information Report, Big Thompson River

  • What People Did During the Big Thompson Flood

  • Big Thompson Flood Disaster: Final Report to the Governor

  • The Big Thompson River Flood of July 31-August 1, 1976, Larimer County, Colorado

  • Geologic Hazards, Geomorphic Features, and Land Use Implications in the Area of the 1976 Big Thompson Flood


I-70 Mountain Corridor Record of Decision

In a recent announcement from the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT), "On June 16, 2011, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) signed the Record of Decision approving the Preferred Alternative for the I-70 Mountain Corridor Programatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The FHWA approval marks the end of nearly 20 years of study and discussions about improvements for the I-70 Mountain Corridor." They continue, "The recent decision approves a broad (Tier 1) program of transit, highway, safety, and other improvements on the 144-mile route between Glenwood Springs and the western edge of the Denver metropolitan area. Implementing the approved improvements will increase capacity, improve accessibility and mobility, and decrease congestion along the Corridor. The decision provides a framework for implementation of specific projects in the Corridor as funding allows."

You can view a copy of the Record of Decision for Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, produced by CDOT, in our library.


Foster Care

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) tells us, "Foster parents are a finite resource. They are part of the team that helps make a real and lasting difference in the lives of Colorado's families and children. It's everyone's responsibility to support and retain our foster families." Many Colorado children are in need of a loving home. CDHS offers a helpful website with links to all the information you need on foster care, whether you're a foster parent now or are interested in becoming one. You can also visit our web catalog and search terms such as foster care or foster parents to find resources and publications.


Do You Have What it Takes to be a State Trooper?

If you've ever wondered how much training it takes to become a law enforcement officer, look no further than the Colorado State Patrol. On their website, you can follow along with their Academy Cadet Class 2011-1 as they learn the skills needed to become a State Trooper. See how they start off with physical training on Day One - and continue with physical training for the first 8 weeks. It's not until Week 9 that they learn to use their firearms, and by week 12, you can watch how they're using them in mock building searches; under week 12 you can also follow along as they learn to drive the patrol cars. This Cadet Scrapbook is a fun way to see what's really involved in training for law enforcement, both for those considering a career in the field, or citizens who are just interested in a look behind the scenes. If you find that you are interested in becoming a State Trooper, you can visit the State Patrol's recruitment page to find out more.


Things to Do Statewide

Whether you're visiting Colorado or live here and want to explore, there are a number of publications in our collection that can help you plan your travels around Colorado. A few of the helpful resources available in our library include:

  • Colorado Byways: A Guide Through Scenic and Historic Landscapes

  • Colorado Museums and Historic Sites

  • Exploring Colorado State Parks

  • Colorado Local History: A Directory

  • A Journey Through Time: The Regional Museums of the Colorado Historical Society

  • Guide to Colorado Historic Places

  • Colorado's Historic Architecture & Engineering Web Guide

  • Colorado Trails and Transportation Resource Guide

  • Colorado Bicycling Map

  • Colorado Mini-Tours

  • Colorado Birding Trail

  • Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology

...and much, much more. Search our web catalog for whatever you might be interested in seeing here in Colorado. Also, be sure and check www.colorado.com, the state's official tourism website, for attractions statewide.


Things to Do in Southeast Colorado

Southeast Colorado is well known for its agricultural production. It is also an area rich with history, explored by Spanish conquistadores in the 1540s, traveled by settlers via the Santa Fe Trail, and home to Kit Carson, George Bent and other legendary figures. Though much of the region is farmland, some of the towns and cities in the area include Eads, Fowler, Granada, Holly, La Junta, Lamar, Las Animas, Manzanola, Ordway, Pueblo, Rocky Ford, Springfield, Trinidad, and Walsenburg.

There are many things to do in the area, particularly if you're interested in history. One of the most popular attractions in the region is Bent's Old Fort, near La Junta. This re-creation of the historic Santa Fe Trail fort is a fun place to teach kids about history. There are also some very interesting museums and sites in Pueblo (such as the El Pueblo Museum and the Steelworks Museum) and Trinidad (including the Baca House, Bloom House, and Pioneer Museum.) You can also visit the sites of two of Colorado's more shameful moments in history: Amache, a Japanese internment camp during WWII, and the Sand Creek Massacre site.

For those interested in outdoor pursuits, there are four State Parks in the region: Lake Pueblo, Lathrop, Trinidad Lake, and John Martin Reservoir. Each of these four parks centers on a large lake, great for fishing, boating, and other water sports.

For more ideas on what to do when you're vising Southeast Colorado, see the Attractions webpage on Colorado.com, the state's official tourism website. While you're in the area, be sure to travel along one of the region's byways, the Highway of Legends and the Santa Fe Trail, both rich with history.

For more information on the area, we have a number of publications in our library that might interest you, including:

Also be sure to search our web catalog for more publications on the area. If you're interested in geological information, search by county name. You are also welcome to contact us for additional help finding information on any place in Colorado.


Things to Do in Northeast Colorado

Colorado's Eastern Plains are an area of highly productive farms and a small population. For visitors, however, the area does have its attractions, including history and prairie scenery. Although much of the area is farmland, some of the towns and cities in the northeast/north central part of the state, as designated by the above map from Colorado.com, include Akron, Brush, Burlington, Cheyenne Wells, Elbert, Elizabeth, Fort Morgan, Holyoke, Julesburg, Kiowa, Limon, Sterling, Stratton, Wray, and Yuma.

For visitors to the area, there are many options for things to do. If you're interested in history, visit one of the area's many small museums, or travel along one of the overland routes where pioneers traveled West to California and Oregon. You can even ride a historic carousel in Kit Carson County. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are two State Parks in the region, North Sterling and Bonny Lake. Each park's website also includes a list of nearby attractions. You can also consult Colorado.com, Colorado's official tourism website, which has a list of attractions for the region. For the best way to experience the region in your vehicle, be sure to travel along one of Northeast Colorado's two byways.

If you're interested in more information on the region, our library can help. We have a number of resources in our collection exploring various topics related to this region of the state, including:

Be sure to search our web catalog for more information. If you're looking for resources on geology, search by county name. We're also always happy to help with research.


Things to Do in Colorado's Northern Front Range

The north-central part of the state, termed the Front Range by Colorado's official tourism website, Colorado.com, is an area of both mountains and plains. Landscapes vary from the mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park to the plains of the Pawnee grasslands, and includes some of Colorado's best farmland. The region also houses three major universities (Colorado State University in Fort Collins; University of Northern Colorado in Greeley; and the University of Colorado at Boulder.)

Colorado's Northern Front Range stretches from Boulder and Broomfield on the south, north to the Colorado-Wyoming border, west through Rocky Mountain National Park and east past Greeley. Some of the cities and towns in the region include Berthoud, Black Hawk, Boulder, Central City, Erie, Estes Park, Evans, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Loveland, Lyons, Nederland, Niwot, Red Feather Lakes, Strasburg, Superior, Windsor, and others.

Probably the biggest tourist attraction in this part of the state is Rocky Mountain National Park and the other mountainous areas northwest of Denver. In other parts of the region, Boulder is a city that is both urban and outdoors-oriented. Black Hawk and Central City offer legalized gaming. Loveland is known for its outdoor art, while Lyons is known for its chief industry, Lyons sandstone. Throughout the area, there are many places to visit for persons of all tastes and interests.

For those interested in the outdoors, there are several State Parks in addition to the National Park. State Parks in the region include Lory, Boyd Lake, St. Vrain, and Jackson Lake. Each park's website also includes a link to other interesting things to do nearby. You can also find a great list of attractions on Colorado.com. Additionally, for some of the region's best scenery, be sure to check out some of the area's byways.

If you're interested in learning more about the area, we have a number of publications here in our library. Some of these include:

  • Birds of the Rocky Mountains, with Particular Reference to National Parks in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region

  • This Blue Hollow: Estes Park, the Early Years, 1859-1915

  • Riches and Regrets: Betting on Gambling in Two Colorado Mountain Towns

  • Rocky Mountain National Park: A History

  • Rocky Times in Rocky Mountain National Park: An Unnatural History

  • America's Switzerland: Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Metal Mining and Tourist Era Resources of Boulder County

  • Weld County, Colorado Historic Agricultural Context

  • Historic Farms and Ranches of Weld County

  • Your Guide to Colorado Trails: North Front Range

  • Significant Plant, Animal and Wetland Resources of Larimer County

For more publications, search our web catalog. For geological information, search by county name. Other searches can be by city name, county name, or other geographical keywords.


Things to Do in the Denver Metro Area

The Denver Metropolitan Area is the state's most populous region, so even though geographically it only covers a small part of the state, this region is packed with interesting things to see and do.

The map above is from www.Colorado.com, the state's official tourist website. They define the region as including the metro area north to Boulder, south through Douglas County, west to approximately Evergreen, and east through the western parts of Arapahoe County.

If you're visiting this part of the state, there are things to do for every taste. If you're into cultural activities, there's the Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver Zoo, Denver Botanic Gardens and many other museums and cultural centers in Denver alone. In other parts of the metro area you can also find small museums and places of interest. Spring and summertime visitors are also likely to find some kind of festival going on in downtown. There are many historic buildings to visit as well for those interested in history and architecture.

If you're looking for something to do outdoors, you may not think of Metro Denver as the place - but actually, there are many places right in the metro area to experience the outdoors. Boulder offers the Flatirons while Evergreen has Mount Evans and Echo Lake. You'll also find several State Parks in the region: Golden Gate Canyon and Eldorado Canyon near Boulder; Barr Lake, on the northern edge of the region, south of Brighton; Cherry Creek State Park in Denver; and Chatfield, Roxborough, and Castlewood Canyon south of Denver. The City of Denver also has a mountain parks system.

Whether you're visiting from out of town or live in the metro area and are looking for a weekend activity, be sure and visit Colorado.com's website of attractions for the area. If you're heading to the outskirts of the region, be sure and travel along some of the area's scenic byways.

If you're interested in finding out more, you can find many publications in our library collection that tell more about this part of the state, including:

  • Denver's Historic Markers, Memorials, Statues, and Parks

  • Denver Mountain Parks

  • Denver: An Archaeological History

  • Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts

  • Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis

  • Denver Metro Trails Guide

  • Urban Trails in Colorado: Denver Metro

You can also search our web catalog for more publications. For geological maps and information, search by county name.


Things to Do in South Central Colorado

South Central Colorado offers a wide variety of things to see and do. The area includes everything from some of the state's most majestic mountain scenery, to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, to the fertile agricultural lands of the historic San Luis Valley. Some of the cities and towns in the region include Alamosa, Antonito, Buena Vista, CaƱon City, Colorado Springs, Cotopaxi, Creede, Cripple Creek, Fairplay, Leadville, Manitou Springs, Palmer Lake, Saguache, Salida, San Luis, Victor, Westcliffe, Woodland Park, and more. South Central Colorado is also home to Colorado's largest army base, Fort Carson, as well as the United States Air Force Academy.

In South Central Colorado you can visit Pikes Peak; cross the Royal Gorge via the world's highest suspension bridge or go underground at Cave of the Winds; ride the famous Cumbres and Toltec Railroad; visit historic mining towns; experience the outdoors - and much, much more. The area includes several beautiful State Parks. Spinney Mountain and Eleven Mile are great places to go fishing, Mueller offers 55 miles of trails, Cheyenne Mountain and San Luis offer great wildlife viewing, and Arkansas Headwaters is one of the state's premier spots for whitewater rafting. For other things to see and do in the South Central region, be sure to visit the regional attractions page on the state's official tourism website, colorado.com. This page offers an amazing list of attractions with something for everyone - in fact, you can filter the list by what kinds of things you'd like to see and do. And while you're visiting the region, be sure to travel along the region's six amazing byways for some unforgettable scenery.

If you're interested in more about the area, be sure and check out some of our library's collection of publications covering many topics of interest regarding the South Central region. A sampling of these include:

Also be sure to search our web catalog for more publications. We have a large collection of Geological Survey maps and documents pertaining to this area as well.

Popular Posts