By Nancy Hahn
Students are back in school and many of the great activities offered all through the summer for school-aged children have ended for the school year, but there are many other ongoing activities and programs to take their place.
Edgewater Library (5843 W. 25th Ave.), Wheat Ridge Library (5475 W. 32nd Ave.) and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Library (1498 N. Irving St.) are very different libraries and each support their patrons, provide services, and do much more than simply provide books to be checked out.
If you are a student back in school and struggling with homework, help may be waiting for you if you have a Jefferson County Public Library card. You can reach a tutor online at the Jeffco libraries website between 2 and 11 p.m. for English, writing, math, science, social studies, language studies and adult education topics. You can, also, schedule a one-on-one session with a JCPL librarian at Book a Librarian for research or computer help.
Certainly, libraries are places to find the perfect book, music CD or movie. Book Clubs, also, meet to discuss books.
The Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales holds a R.A.D.A (Read. Awareness. Dialogue. Action.) Book Club for teens and adults. The club is designed as a safe place to discuss current issues.
Book club bags containing 10 copies of the book, great information and discussion questions are available at Edgewater, Wheat Ridge and other Jefferson County libraries. There is even a BYO(Book) Group that meets at West Fax Brewing Company in Lamar Station Plaza once a month. Each meeting readers bring a specific type of book to discuss. On Oct. 10, members will bring a book translated from another language. November is for nonfiction graphic novels.
There are available computers and other technology for patrons to use at all the libraries. With students back in school, community members use computers for many different purposes. On any given day, patrons at Edgewater and Wheat Ridge libraries may receive help writing a resume, performing online job searches or getting started with online genealogy. Classes can be taken on the computers, too. Faxing is also available for free at Wheat Ridge and Edgewater libraries. The Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Library has drop-in technology help for adults and teens. The patrons learn about using email, social networks and the Internet.
The Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Library offers a great variety of services for its patrons. The library has many immigrant and refugee patrons. Every few days the library opens a large community space for immigrants from anywhere in the world to gather, meet new friends and learn about resources. Help is provided in English, applying for citizenship, with job searches, and there is even some fun making crafts.
Little ones may have mom or dad to themselves now that older siblings are in school. Wheat Ridge, Edgewater and other Jefferson County libraries offer Stories-to-Go to provide some fun to take home. A Stories-to-Go book bag contains books, activities and make-it fun for little ones, all about a common theme. Pirates, construction and bears are just a few of the themes. Check online to see all the possibilities!
If your family is looking for something to do together, all three libraries offer Culture Passes. Many museums, other area activities, and even all Colorado State Parks accept Culture Passes. The State Parks Pass even comes with a backpack holding maps, brochures and binoculars! You do need to contact the library ahead of time, reserve, and then pick up your pass.
If you have a family member suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, many family activities can become much more difficult. Wheat Ridge Library has a program for both caretakers and for Alzheimer’s sufferers. Memory Café is a monthly event held from 1 to 2:30 in the afternoon for people living with memory loss and their families. The meetings are held in Wheat Ridge Library’s Ye Old Firehouse Meeting Hall. This ongoing series, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, provides a quick, fun activity or presentation. There is also a time to drink a cup of coffee, relax, socialize and talk to someone else who understands. There will be a meeting Wednesday, Sept. 19, then Oct. 17.
Edgewater Library is as small as a library can be, but a very active part of its community. Edgewater's Teen Advisory Board meets every month in the library to plan teen library events and services. The seventh- to 12th-grade members of the board discuss plans and what they want in a library. Sustainable Edgewater meets on the third Tuesday of every month. The group discusses energy solutions with the thought that sustainability is possible. Discussions address many environmentally based topics, led by Xerxes Steirer, Research Assistant Professor at the Colorado School of Mines.
This fall, Edgewater Library will move into the new Edgewater Civic Center in Walker Branch Park. The new library will be 10,000 square feet, and is sure to continue to be very valuable part of the community, as all these libraries are.