Colorado Gives Day 2016 Logo

What is Colorado Gives Day?

Colorado Gives Day 2016 LogoColorado Gives Day is the largest one-day giving movements in the country. Since its inception in 2010, Colorado Gives Day has raised $111.5 million for Colorado nonprofits, making it among the most successful giving days in the nation. Last year alone, donors gave more than 123,000 individual donations to 1,884 nonprofits totaling$28.4 million, breaking all previous records.

Colorado Gives Day is presented by Community First Foundation (CFF), a local nonprofit dedicated to fueling positive change in Jefferson County, the Denver metropolitan area and beyond, and FirstBank, Colorado’s second largest bank and one of the most philanthropic companies in the state.

To participate in Colorado Gives Day 2016, nonprofit organizations must meet CFF’s eligibility requirements and create, or update, a profile on

Every Donation is Boosted on Colorado Gives Day

This amazing success of Colorado Gives Day is largely due to the Incentive Fund. Community First Foundation and FirstBank each contributed $500,000 to create a $1 Million Incentive Fund. It increases the value of every donation proportionally, which means that everyone’s donation dollars get a little boost from CFF and FirstBank.

The Advantage of Donating Online

Not only will your donation dollars go a little further on Colorado Gives Day—December 6—but it also makes donating easy.

  • You can schedule a donation in advance, which means you can schedule your donation for Colorado Gives Day and not have to mark the calendar
  • You can schedule recurring monthly donations, so you can support your cause year-round and spread out your donation
  • You can help your nonprofit win a prize. If donating isn’t in your budget, you can still help your nonprofit by using social media. Simply post #COGivesDay and your favorite nonprofit profiled on ColoradoGives on FirstBank’s Facebook page. FirstBank will randomly draw five names and the nonprofit they posted will win the cash prize.

Supporting the Jefferson County Library Foundation on Colorado Gives Day The Jefferson County Library Foundation is part of Colorado Gives Day. To find our page on, simply click here, or go to and type in “Jefferson County Library Foundation” in the “Search for a Nonprofit or Fundraising Page” field and click on “Go.”

Gearing Up for this year’s Rare & Novel Benefit

If you are a fan of mysteries, intrigue and guessing games, then this year’s Rare & Novel Event is for you! As you can assume from the title — Holmes for the Holidays – A Rare & Novel Event – we have chosen literary icon Sherlock Homes as the centerpiece for our 15th annual gala evening.

The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Baldoria on the Water in Lakewood. We anticipate more than 150 guests will be in attendance and each one will enjoy a scrumptious buffet dinner, a silent auction and a brief awards ceremony honoring key Foundation and Library supporters.


Deputy JJ Smith and Thorn reading a classic.

As the highlight of the evening, our guests will be entertained by a fast-paced
theatrical mystery (courtesy of Colorado ACTS community theatre) where Holmes and Dr. Watson will solve an intriguing crime right before our eyes. Not only will the clues unfold during the live production, our guests will also enjoy the added sleuthing skills
of Thorn, a furry and four-legged detective who will help these detectives decipher a series of unusual clues (courtesy of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit).

sheriffs_logoI hope you will join us for this year’s fundraising adventure! Proceeds from our benefit will go toward supporting popular library programs that serve thousands of Jefferson County residents each year. These include the annual Summer Reading program, American Sign Language Story Times, and a new program for infants and new parents called Babies First Books.

Event tickets are available online ($70 person /$130 couples). Sponsorships are also available. Non-attending supporters can purchase ad space in our print program, starting at just $125.

Questions? Call us at (303)-403-5075.

Lakewood Library Donation Room Closes

Effective immediately, large donations of used books and other materials will no longer be accepted at the east door of the Lakewood Library building at 20th and Miller. Please bring boxed donations directly to our warehouse, at 10790 W 50th Avenue, Suite 200, in Wheat Ridge, CO, Monday-Friday, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  If you have more than six boxes, please make an appointment for the drop-off by calling 303-403-5075. Directions to our warehouse are available here.

We’re trying to manage operations as efficiently as we can. By receiving donations directly at our warehouse, we can reduce the cost of transporting the materials and increase our support of Library programs.

As you know, we rely heavily on your quality donations of used books and materials. We appreciate your understanding of this closure and hope we will see you soon at our warehouse.

Please share this information with your friends and families and, don’t forget – our Fall Whale of a Used Book Sale will be held Oct. 21-23 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. For more information, or to volunteer, visit our event page.

Tickets Available Now for Annual Rare & Novel Event

std_holmesIt is hard to believe that the holiday season is approaching, and with it, our annual Rare and Novel event. For the 15th annual benefit, we are celebrating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character: Sherlock Holmes.

This festive fundraiser will be complete with formal dinner, silent auction, and themed entertainment featuring Colorado ACTS and a special appearance by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit.

Tickets are available online now: $70 for individual tickets and $130 for couples.

We are eager to share more details with you. Over the coming weeks, we’ll introduce you to our entertainment, tease you with menu options, and prepare you to bid on unique and gift-worthy silent auction items. Stay tuned!

Want to help make this event a success?
There are many ways to support this event from donating silent auction items to volunteering, attending, or even sponsoring a table. Contact us to find out how you can help.

Summer Reading a Success!

Did you hear the news? Jefferson County residents like you read a marathon of 27,564,728 minutes this summer as part of Jefferson County Public Library Summer Reading. What an achievement! Congratulations to JCPL, to everyone who participated in Go Read! Go!, and to the five winning schools in the new school reading contest!


  • 34,793 people registered for Summer Reading
  • 13,627 finished the program by meeting the minimum reading goal (39%)
  • 27,564,728 minutes were read


  • 22,245 of the total 34,793 readers affiliated with a school (64%)
  • These readers account for 14,426,380 minutes read (52.3%)
  • 13,627 readers met the minimum reading goal (61.2%)

ELIGIBLE READERS AFFILIATED WITH SCHOOL CONTEST: For the school contest, only preschool through grade 12 students were eligible to have their minutes count for their school.

  • 17,448 Jefferson County Public School preschool – grade 12 students registered for Summer Reading (50.1%)
  • 9,594 finished the program by reading and logging a minimum of 8 hours (54.9%)
  • 14,442,452 minutes were read for a school (52.3%)
  • School Contest Winners:
    • Preschool: Warder Preschool
    • Elementary: Pleasant View Elementary
    • Middle: Oberon Middle
    • High: Jefferson Jr/Sr High
    • Charter/Option: Addenbrooke Classical Academy

Find more details on Summer Reading results here.

What Could Be Better than Books Galore?

We had a rousing good time at our recent spring Whale of a Used Book Sale, and I want to thank all of our loyal customers for once again making this year’s event a Whale of a Success! But now that it’s over, some of our customers may be tapping their fingers until the next Whale of a Used Book Sale. But wait no more!

New this summer, the Jefferson County Library Foundation is hosting another used book sale at the Jefferson County Courthouse! This sale — Books Galore! — will take place on Thursday and Friday, August 4 and 5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you yearn for a Whale Sale, this smaller sale is bound to satisfy many of your book cravings, at least until our fall Whale of a Used Book Sale comes along.

Some of your favorite authors and books will be well represented inside the rotunda of the Courthouse, and we invite you to stop by and browse through the many new titles we have received since our last big sale. We’ll also have a table full of children’s books, too!

If you find that you have too many books at home, and need to make some room, please remember that our Foundation welcomes your book donations. You can either donate to us via your local Jefferson County Public Library, or (for larger donations), please bring your contributions to our offices located at 10790 W. 50th Avenue, #200, in Wheat Ridge. We are also looking for gifts of CDs, DVDs, LP vinyl records, antique maps and vintage books. As always, your gifts are tax deductible.

Thank you for supporting our local Libraries and the Jefferson County Library Foundation!

Remembering the Gridiron Champions

On April 24th, 2016, we presented the first event in our Speakeasy Series – a one-hour Q & A featuring linebacker Shaquil Barrett and tight end Virgil Green, moderated by former 9News anchor Neal Browne.

The Speaskeasy Series was designed to be a unique, personal experience, rather than a traditional lecture. Fans and friends in attendance laughed and cheered as our Gridiron Champions shared their thoughts on team dynamics, the quarterback situation, and winning the Big Game.

As we reminisce about this special fundraiser, we are pleased to share with you some of our favorite moments. Be sure to join us for the next event in the series, to be announced!

A big thank you to Warren Tech for filming the event and for editing these clips for us!

Whale of a Sale was Smooth Sailing…

Once again our small Foundation has pulled off a BIG event — the semi-annual Whale of a Used Book Sale!

Busy book-buyers fill the aisles at our 2016 Spring Whale Sale!

Busy book-buyers fill the aisles at our Spring Whale Sale!

This spring’s sale, held June 2-5 at the Jeffco Fairgrounds, was no exception. More than 3,500 book-buyers and book-lovers attended this year’s event, and they helped themselves to nearly 80,000 used books, CDs, DVDs, antique maps, LP records and more. New this year, we added in a Friends Preview night on June 2, we hosted an on-site book drive on Friday and Saturday, and we opened early on Friday morning for our Early Bird shoppers.

At the Whale Sale, everyone shopped until the (Chick-Fil-A) cows came home!

At the Whale Sale, everyone shopped until the (Chick-Fil-A) cows came home!

The best news of all is that we raised more than $65,000 at the event! These funds will be funneled back into our Jefferson County Public Libraries in support of programs and activities that include Summer Reading, American Sign Language Storytimes, Early Literacy programs, Jeffco Stories, the Culture Pass program, LibLab kits, and so much more.

We extend a heartfelt Thank You to everyone who joined us for the event, and most of all we want to thank our tremendous and dedicated corps of volunteers. We simply couldn’t produce such a fantastic event without their hours and hours of work in setting up the sale, the day-to-day customer service for our patrons, and the hard work taking down the displays, tables and boxing up left over books post-event.

Two of our happy and helpful Whale Sale volunteers.

Two of our happy and helpful Whale Sale volunteers.


Please join us for our next Whale Sale coming up October 20-23 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. If you’d like to volunteer, please let us know! We are always looking to add to our team.

From Titanic Tea to Speakeasy — a busy start to spring!

For those of you who joined us for our two newest fundraisers — the Titanic Tea Party held on April 15, and the launch of our Speakeasy Series on April 24 — you know that April was a very busy month for our Jeffco Library Foundation! Along with those most recent events came an excitement for the latest in our fundraising endeavors, and great anticipation for more to come.

Guests wear turn-of-the-century style hats while enjoying their tea at the Jefferson County Library Foundation's Titanic Tea Party.

Guests wear turn-of-the-century style hats while enjoying their tea at the Titanic Tea Party held in early April.

Take the Titanic Tea Party for example. This was a first-time effort by our team to bring together history lovers, history readers and those with a passion for reminiscing about that legendary ship, the Titanic, and an iconic figure from early Denver society, Margaret “Molly” Brown. The tea party took place that Friday afternoon at the Molly Brown Summer House in Lakewood, and our audience of nearly 130 guests slipped right into the mood by donning turn-of-the-century hats (generously donated by 3 local theater troupes) while enjoying finger sandwiches and petit fours. Our entertainment came in the form of Molly Brown herself, portrayed in first person by Janet Kalstrom from the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver.

Linebacker Shaquil Barrett and Tight End Virgil Green discuss their professional careers with Neal Browne at the first event in the Jefferson County Library Foundation's Speakeasy Series

Linebacker Shaquil Barrett and Tight End Virgil Green discuss their professional careers with Neal Browne at the first event in the Jefferson County Library Foundation’s Speakeasy Series.

Just a few days after that stroll down memory lane, the Foundation jumped to a more contemporary theme by hosting our first Speakeasy Series event at Lakewood’s Ironworks Brewery & Pub with two sports figures from Denver’s pro football team — Tight End Virgil Green and Linebacker Shaquil Barrett. Fans and families packed the room and were decked out in traditional blue and orange as they submitted their football-related questions. The answers were dealt back in an easy, conversational format guided by our emcee, Neal Browne, formerly of 9News. Check out the video of the event coming soon to this website!

If you missed out on either of these occasions, mark your calendars now for next year’s Titanic Tea Party on April 14, and stay tuned for more in our Speakeasy Series coming later this year!

What Would You Ask Virgil Green & Shaquil Barrett?

We headed out to Ironworks to ask some loyal Denver Broncos fans what they would ask Shaquil Barrett and Virgil Green at Speakeasy: Gridiron Champions, on April 24th. This is what they said:

Join us April 24th, at Ironworks Brewery & Pub, for one forgettable afternoon with two amazing Denver Broncos.

Shaquil will be available for autographs. Virgil will smile for a selfie. Tickets are on sale now.

Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are FREE!

Speakeasy: Gridiron Champions

Speakeasy: Gridiron Champions Tickets on Sale Now

Speakeasy: Gridiron ChampionsGuess who’s coming to our first Speakeasy? We’ll give you a few hints: We’ve subtitled this Speakeasy “Gridiron Champions”; Our guests wear orange and blue often and just added a new ring to their list of personal effects. If you guessed Broncos—you’re right! Tight end Virgil Green and linebacker Shaquil Barrett will join us Sunday, April 24, from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., at Ironworks Brewery & Pub, in Lakewood.

Speakeasy: Gridiron Champions isn’t your typical speaking event. No lecture halls. No theaters. Just easy conversation, emceed by former 9News anchor, Neal Browne.

“We really want Speakeasy to feel like a unique, personal experience, rather than a lecture,” said Executive Director Jo Schantz. “We think it will be an exciting, interactive take on the traditional speaking series.”

Where else will you be able to find out why they call Virgil Green the “Incredible Hulk” or learn that Shaquil Barrett likes to put sugar on his lasagna? There’s a lot more to these guys than meets the eye, and that’s why attendees will be able to post their questions in advance, after purchasing their tickets for Speakeasy: Gridiron Champions.

Shaquil will be signing autographs and Virgil will smile for selfies for 30 minutes after the event.

Tickets are on sale now! Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are FREE!


A drawing of the titanic setting off to sea

Titanic Tea – April 15th at the Molly Brown Summer House

A drawing of the titanic setting off to seaJoin the Friends of the Jefferson County Public Library for what promises to be an unforgettable afternoon with Colorado’s legendary Molly Brown, at the historic Molly Brown Summer House, in Lakewood, on April 15th.

You’ll be amazed by the first-person characterization of Molly Brown, given by Janet Kalstrom. You’ll delight over our collection of vintage hats—complete with bows and feathers—from Colorado ACTS, the Red Rocks Community College Theatre & Arts Department and the Arvada Center for Arts & Humanities, as you enjoy perfect petite fours and a cuppa (tea, that is). And let’s not forget the presentation of Molly Brown-era fashion clothing, which will be given by Days Gone Bye.

Mark your calendars for April 15th. Tours of the Molly Brown Summer House will be given before and after our Titanic Tea party, which will start promptly at 4 p.m.

How to Purchase Tickets

Buy tickets online by visiting our Square Store.

You can also mail your payment to Jefferson County Library Foundation. Please include your ticket preference with your payment. You can purchase tickets for the Titanic Tea for $35. Unfortunately, all tours of the Molly Brown Summer House for the day of the Titanic Tea Party have been sold out. However, you can make arrangements to tour the house at another time at the tea party.

Make checks out to Jefferson County Library Foundation

10790 W 50th Avenue, Suite 200

Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

For more information, email or call 303-403-5078.


Welcome Don DuBe to JCLF

sea of booksJCLF is pleased to welcome Don DuBe to its staff. Don will be our new Warehouse Coordinator, a position that oversees our book inventory, ensuring that each book finds its proper place—whether it will be at the Whale Sale, the Friends Gift Shop at Belmar, the Holiday Sale or the Internet. With more than 40 years of experience working with book distributers, wholesalers and retailers, we’re sure Don is up for the task.

Anyone who has volunteered at the Foundation warehouse can tell you—at times, it feels like you’re drowning in a sea of books, a sea that we have to organize box and transfer to the Fairgrounds for our signature Whale Sale. We’re thrilled that Don will be working closely with our volunteers at the warehouse, functioning as the lynchpin of communication and, hopefully, taming our wild sea of books.

As you may have guessed, Don is a book person. “I usually read three books at a time,” Don said. “I keep one in my truck, one at my bedside and one in the library—and they’re all different genres, so I get some variety.” Though he may read books across the spectrum, he’s a Sci-Fi fan at heart.

Don is married with three children and three grandchildren.


Friends Annual Meeting a Great Success

Author Elizabeth Fenn takes time to sign a few books after the Friends Annual Meeting

Author Elizabeth Fenn takes time to sign a few books after the Friends Annual Meeting

More than 50 guests joined us for breakfast Friday, January 29th, at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center to celebrate the accomplishments of our most valued supporters—the Friends of Jefferson County Public Library. Not only were Friends treated to breakfast, they were also treated to a 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winning author as well!

Elizabeth Fenn is the Walter and Lucienne Driskill Professor of Western American History at the University of Colorado Boulder and author of Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2015. The author’s talk was much like her book, both academic and approachable, enriching our understanding of the Mandan People, their culture and history.

Hosting an event with a great author was a terrific way to honor our Friends those who have contributed so much to the Foundation and JCPL last year. In 2015, Friends of JCPL:

  • Volunteered a grand total of 8,750 hours, a contribution that’s valued at $201,862.50*
  • Helped raise $136,276 between the Spring and Fall Whale of a Used Book Sales
  • Ran the Friends Gift & Book Shop at Belmar Library, which raised more than $38,000
  • Sorted, scanned, priced and boxes more than 300,000 books, which stocked our used book sales
  • Hosted the annual Rare & Novel Night benefit, which raised more than $21,000

What more can be said then: Thank you, Friends!

Friends Council members Kay Rowland, Linda Abbott and Deborah Deal-Blackwell at the Friends Annual Meeting

Friends Council members Kay Rowland, Linda Abbott and Deborah Deal-Blackwell at the Friends Annual Meeting

*The Independent Sector, a leadership forum for charities, foundations and corporate giving programs, values each volunteer hour in Colorado at $23.07.


Elizabeth Fenn

Join Us at the Friends Annual Meeting

Elizabeth FennThe Friends of Jefferson County Library’s Annual Meeting is a chance for the Foundation and Friends to catch up on the activities and accomplishments of the previous year. We will meet at 8 am at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center (4005 Kipling Street) on January 29th and enjoy a catered breakfast as we review 2015 and look forward to 2016.

This year’s meeting includes a special appearance by Elizabeth Fenn, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner in History for her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People.

This event is free to Friends Members – you can also bring a friend for only $10. Reserve your spot by calling the Foundation Office at 303-403-5078 or email

As we head into the new year…

joschantz-280It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a part of the Jefferson County Library Foundation for nearly a year now. What a fantastic organization, and one that proudly serves as a cornerstone of fundraising and support for our Jefferson County Public Library.

As we continue on in 2016, I believe you will see some exciting changes coming our way. We will be tweaking our Whale Sales, adding some new sales, and hosting a series of book drives in order to replenish our shelves. We’ll also be canvassing for more volunteers and offering many new trainings for our volunteer ranks. For our Friends and supporters, you’ll see a whole new line-up of social and fundraising events throughout the year.

You may have noticed already that our Board of Directors continues to grow, and each added member brings a wealth of talent, experience and knowledge to our governing Board.

Overall, I continue to be grateful to so many of our Foundation donors for their outstanding support. I appreciate all you do to help make our organization a success, and I applaud you for upholding the Jefferson County Library Foundation’s mission and ongoing efforts. Thank you!

Jo Schantz, MNM, CFRE

Executive Director