Mosquitos are coming for you!

If you are planning spend time outside this holiday weekend, make sure to take some bug spray with you.

Cases of West Nile Virus are on the rise this year. According to an article in yesterday's Denver Post, 1,590 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 66 deaths so far this year.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's West Nile Virus website is packed with information. Click on "Resources for the Public" to find fact sheets and also information on mosquito control. Maps and data on current Colorado cases can be found in the "Data and Statistics" section.

The Department of Agriculture has information for concerned livestock owners, and an online guide for Colorado horse owners can be found in our digital repository. Additional publications can be found by searching "west nile" in our online library catalog.


Sustainable Building Best Practices

Architects, builders, and homeowners taking on construction projects, whether new-build or renovations, should check out the University of Colorado Real Estate Center's Sustainable Building Best Practices for the Rocky Mountain WestHere you can find out about sustainable practices like solar, renewable energy, geothermal energy, adaptive reuse ("the greenest building is the one already built"), mechanical/electrical/plumbing/HVAC, building orientation, stormwater, structural materials, fixtures and finishes, and much more, all specifically written for structures in Colorado and the West.  Make your next project a model of efficiency and sustainability with these best practices.

Service Outage: CoSPL Online Catalog

There will be a service outage for the Colorado State Publications Library online catalog (Pandora) this afternoon (August 28th) from 4:00 – 8:00pm. Our server will be undergoing maintenance. This outage will not affect access to digital state publications, but our bibliographic database of print and digital publications will be offline.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Rock

Not to be confused with the State Gemstone (Aquamarine) and the State Mineral (Rhodochrosite), the State Rock is Colorado Yule Marble.  Quarried in Marble, Colorado in Gunnison County, Colorado Yule Marble has been used in many important buildings around the state including the Colorado State Capitol; it has also been used in the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C.  Colorado Yule Marble was designated the State Rock in 2004 on petition from a girl scout troop from Lakewood.  For more information on Colorado Yule Marble, see Engineering Geologic Factors of the Marble Area, Gunnison County, Colorado, available from our library.


Top 10 Job Openings

If you're wondering about the number of job openings in your field, or are looking for a job and wanting to know what jobs have the most openings, the Colorado Dept. of Labor and Employment has put together statistics that give the top 10 jobs with the most openings.  See their webpage Top 10 Job Openings for the listing of these 10 jobs and the percentage of all open positions that fall into that category.  For instance you can find out that this summer, nearly 1 in 5 job openings was for administrative/office support.  How does your job stack up?  


Colorado State Fair

The Colorado State Fair is coming this weekend!  The annual fair, held in Pueblo, brings together Colorado's agricultural past, present and future in one big event.  See the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture's Colorado State Fair webpage for a complete schedule, list of attractions, instructions for competition entries, and ticket info.  You can also find some State Fair history here at our library.  We have each year's financial accountings of the State Fair, plus, if you're into history, you can find an analysis of the State Fair written in 1977!  This year's State Fair will be held August 24-September 3.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Mineral

Colorado's State Mineral is the deep red Rhodochrosite.  The Colorado State Archives tells us that "On April 17, 2002, Colorado Governor Bill Owens signed a bill passed by the General Assembly designating the Rhodochrosite as the new state mineral. While there was some debate as to whether the state mineral should be gold or silver or another mined mineral historically associated  with Colorado, it was decided that the deep red to rose pink manganeze carbonate (MnCO3) mineral, Rhodochrosite, is associated internationally with the state more than any other mineral. It is found in some gold and silver ore-bearing veins. The specimen at left is the world's largest Rhodochrosite crystal, called the Alma King, which is on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It was found in the Sweet Home Mine near Alma (Park County), Colorado."  You can find out more about Rhodochrosite on the Colorado Geological Survey's State Mineral webpage.  Also, check out CGS's Messages in Stone:  Colorado's Colorful Geology, available from our library.

Photo courtesy Colorado State Archives


State Wildlife Areas

Interested in seeing some of Colorado's great wildlife on your next outdoor adventure?  Check out the Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources' State Wildlife Areas (SWAs).  According to the Division of Parks and Wildlife,

 "In the diverse array of recreational public lands in Colorado, state wildlife areas occupy the niche of providing wildlife-related recreation.  Different lands have different purposes. State wildlife areas are paid for by revenue from sportsmen and under state law, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is required to manage the areas for the benefit of wildlife."  

These areas have a special purpose for the conservation and study of Colorado's wildlife.  If you're interested in some of the research being done to study the habits and habitats of these areas' critters, see South Platte Waterfowl & Small Game Research SWAs, available from our library.


Early Literacy

One of the best ways to ensure your child's success in reading is to encourage them to read early on.  Parents who read to their children from the time they are babies and help their children explore reading for themselves before they ever get to school are a key component in early literacy skills that will stay with the child throughout their lives.  Then, once they get to school, children's reading ability is shaped greatly by what they learn in the primary grades.  "Colorado’s economic prosperity and cultural vitality are directly dependent on our ability to ensure that every child receives a top-notch education.  That’s why a broad coalition of parents, educators, early childhood advocates, business and community leaders, are spearheading the Early Literacy Initiative to make sure that every child in Colorado is a successful reader by the end of third grade," writes Lt. Governor Joe Garcia. You can read the report of the Colorado Reads Early Literacy Initiative on the Lt. Governor's website.  While there, you can also connect to information on the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission.  Set up by Governor Ritter in 2010, this Commission looks at early childhood education as a whole.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Tree

The Colorado General Assembly officially designated the Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) as Colorado's State Tree on March 7, 1939.  This coniferous tree found in the higher elevations of Colorado is of a bluish color.  It was first documented on Pikes Peak in 1862.  You can read more about Colorado Blue Spruce on the Colorado State Forest Service's Colorado's Major Tree Species website.

Image courtesy Colorado State University, Colorado State Forest Service


Colorado Geology for Tourists

Are you taking a road trip through Colorado this summer?  Looking for something to do with out-of-town guests?  Or just interested in our state's natural history?  Then check out the Tourist Guide to Colorado Geology from our library.  Published by the Colorado Geological Survey, the Tourist Guide is an easy-to-read guide to discovering some of our state's most interesting natural wonders.  The guide is full of very accessible maps including
  • Generalized geologic map of Colorado
  • Topography and physiography of Colorado
  • Colorado's mineral and energy resources
  • Distribution of rocks and deposits in Colorado
  • Points of geologic interest
  • Earthquakes and young faults of Colorado
  • Colorado State Parks
  • Pikes Peak Ocean-to-Ocean Highway (1915)
  • Colorado's geologic time scale
  • Official Colorado geologic symbols
  • Geologic structure
If you can't make it to see the sights in person, you can always take an armchair tour of Colorado's geology with the book Messages in Stone:  Colorado's Colorful Geology, also available for checkout from our library.  Finally, visit our web catalog for even more resources, including online publications.

Image courtesy Colorado Geological Survey


Boating Safety

Are you enjoying boating Colorado's waters this summer?  If so, be sure you know what to do in case of an accident or emergency.  In our library you can find the Colorado Boating Safety series of brochures from Colorado State Parks.  These 18 brochures cover 1) boat registration and numbers, 2) required equipment, 3) personal flotation devices; 4) fire prevention, 5) fire extinguishers, 6) navigation lights and sound signals, 7) navigation rules, 8) navigation aids and buoys, 9) boat capacity, 10) cold water survival, 11) accidents, 12) trailers, 13) theft prevention, 14) sailing, 15) waterskiing, 16) personal watercraft, 17) hunting & fishing, and 18) lightning & downbursts.  Before you head out on the water, make sure you're prepared and stay safe.    You can find more boating information on the Colorado State Parks website.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Tartan

In Scotland, different patterned tartans, or plaids, are used to symbolize different clans, or families.  Well, did you know that Colorado has its very own tartan design?  The General Assembly adopted the state tartan in 1997.  The dominant color is cerulean blue, accented with forest green, black, lavendar, gold, white, and red, all chosen to symbolize something about Colorado.  The Colorado statutes declare Colorado Tartan Day officially as July 1, but Colorado legislators wear the state tartan-patterned ties and scarves on April 6, which is National Tartan Day, since the Legislature does not meet in July. 

Image courtesy Colorado State Archives


Capitol Dome Restoration

If you've been downtown recently you've probably noticed that the Colorado State Capitol Building's dome is wrapped with scaffolding under a large white cover.  It's all part of restoration work that is going on to help restore and stabilize the dome of Colorado's most important building.  Funding for the project is coming from the State Historical Fund and the Share in the Care Campaign, a private entity working with the state to raise money for the restoration.  They are required to report quarterly to the Legislature's Capitol Development Committee and Capitol Building Advisory Committee.  For information on why the dome restoration is so urgent, see the State Historical Fund's Historic Structure Assessment for the dome.  The assessment was done in 2006, so every year that passes would find more advanced deterioration of the building, but happily, now something is being done to make sure our iconic golden dome will continue to stand proudly for many years to come (and also not risk masonry falling on passerbys' heads!)

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