Colorado Digital Learning Day

Governor Hickenlooper has declared today, Friday, February, 16, as Colorado Digital Learning Day.  This day highlights the important role of technology in today's learning landscape.  The proclamation states in part that "Digital Learning Day will encourage teachers, students, schools, parents, policymakers, and the public to participate in activities that promote discussion about innovative learning practices."
To find out more, see the Colorado Virtual Library's blog post about Digital Literacy & Learning Resources.  Our library also has many helpful resources on digital learning and educational technology; search our online catalog for titles such as
The Colorado State Library Professional Collection also has numerous resources on this topic, available for check-out.  


School Safety Resources

Sadly, there has been another school shooting, and our thoughts are with Florida during this difficult time.  The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and other state agencies have many resources on school safety available to students, schools, and parents, such as


Time Machine Tuesday: The Sweeter Side of Colorado History

This Valentine's Day you may find yourself the recipient of candies or cupcakes, or might be planning a special dessert to go with a romantic dinner.  Today is also "Fat Tuesday." Desserts and sweets have long been a part of American culture.  But how has our sweet tooth changed over the last century?  The following publications from the Colorado State University (formerly Colorado Agricultural College) Extension offer a look at desserts through the years.  Which of these do we still make today, and which have fallen out of favor? (hint: do you even know what a junket is?  I had to look it up.  It's a custard made from curdled milk).


Junior League of Denver 100th Anniversary

If you've lived in Colorado for any length of time, chances are you own a copy of the Colorado Cache Cookbook or one of the other cookbooks issued by the Junior League of Denver.  But what exactly is the League?  The JLD is a women's volunteer and charitable organization that was founded in Denver in 1918.  (The first Junior League was in New York, founded in 1901).  During the JLD's earliest days the organization's charitable endeavors included a children's tuberculosis hospital; the provision of food and clothing for the needy; a traveling children's theater; and volunteer efforts related to WWI.  Over the years, they added many more charitable contributions to this list, along with fundraising through their many social events and, of course, their famous cookbooks.

Check out the Colorado Historical Society's book Junior League of Denver: Leaders in Community Service from our library to learn the history of the JLD and their many projects over the last century.

The Junior League Follies, shown here in 1926, was a major fundraiser for the JLD in the 1920s.  The Follies was a musical revue performed by members and their families. Photo courtesy Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.


National School Counseling Week

"School counselors serve a vital role in maximizing student success," says the American School Counselor Association, whether they're helping a student find a good college or making sure the school is a safe learning environment.  Colorado has a grant program called School Counselor Corps that awards funds to schools and districts to "increase the availability of effective school-based counseling."  The program's annual report and impact summary offer information and statistics on the Counselor Corps program in Colorado.

Our library also has some historical resources that can provide perspective on how the role of school counselors in our state has changed over time:
  • Assessment of Guidance and Counseling Services in the Public Schools of Colorado, Colorado State University, 1975
  • Colorado Elementary Counseling and Guidance Handbook, Colorado Department of Education, 1970
  • Colorado Guidance and Counseling Handbook for School Counselors, Colorado Department of Education, 1978
  • Crossing the Cultural Bridge in Counseling, Colorado Department of Education, 1980
  • Legal Aspects of Guidance and Counseling in Colorado, Colorado Department of Education, 1976


Understanding Colorado School Finance

As one of the largest portions of our state budget, school finance is something that the Legislature keeps close tabs on.  There have already been a number of school finance bills introduced in the first month of the 2018 session. 

Because of the number of laws that govern school finance in Colorado, such as the Public School Finance Act of 1994, marijuana revenue, and the State Education Fund, understanding how it works can be very complex.  So the State has issued a number of resources that can be helpful for navigating the complex web of school finance laws.  For starters, the Colorado Department of Education publishes an annual brochure entitled Understanding Colorado School Finance and Categorical Program FundingAlso, each February, the Colorado Legislative Council (the nonpartisan research office for the legislature) publishes their Report on the State Education Fund.  The new edition was just released; previous editions can be accessed from our library.

Here are some other helpful resources for understanding Colorado school finance:
Data on Colorado public school finance can be found in the Department of Education's annual data spreadsheets and on their Office of School Finance website.

We have many, many more resources available as well, including historical information.  Search our library's online catalog for more resources.


Time Machine Tuesday: Creative Spaces

As housing prices go up and more and more people want to live in the city, the space available to artists has become scarce.  In the mid-twentieth century, however, things were a little bit different.  After WWII, the flight to the suburbs left many inner-city apartments, warehouses, hotels, and other structures cheaply available, and artists, musicians, and writers were able to move in to these spaces.

Brinton Terrace in 1919.  Photo courtesy Denver Public Library.
One such place was Denver's Brinton Terrace.  Located just off of 17th and Lincoln behind Trinity Methodist Church, Brinton Terrace was an upscale Victorian rowhouse structure constructed in 1882.  Designed by well-known Denver architects Varian & Sterner, the building originally contained six spacious, three-story apartments. 

In 1947, Edgar McMechen wrote an article in Colorado Magazine profiling Brinton Terrace, which many people called "Denver's Greenwich Village."  Significantly, McMechen notes that Brinton Terrace actually became an art center early in the century.  In 1906, artist Margaret Van Waganen rented space in the building, and she encouraged her friends to come and join her.  Soon the terrace was home to the architecture studio of Biscoe & Hewitt, as well as the Boutwell brothers' art gallery and studio.  This space also hosted the Denver Arts & Crafts Club, reflecting the popular style of the time.  Several other artists followed, and then in 1909 a piano school was opened in the building, attracting a number of musicians to the site.  One of the best-known musicians to reside in the building was the well-known British organist Dr. John Gower.  Gower's wife had an interest in poetry and started a poets' club, thereby adding a literary element to the scene.

At the time McMechen wrote his article, several photography studios were also located in Brinton Terrace.  Famed female conductor Antonia Brico resided in the building; as did Allen Tupper True, whose murals adorn the Colorado State Capitol and Brown Palace Hotel.  Finally, in 1939, the Rocky Mountain Radio Council opened a recording studio at Brinton.

McMechen concluded that Brinton Terrace had, for half a century, been one of the most significant centers of Denver's cultural scene.  "The association of creative minds, operating freely in that congenial atmosphere, has produced results...of undoubted significance in the development of cultural ideals."  You can read more about Brinton Terrace and its many notables in the 2015 book The Denver Artists' Guild, available for checkout from our library.

Unfortunately, Brinton Terrace's story does not have a happy ending.  Just a decade after McMechen wrote his article, the terrace was demolished to make way for a parking lot.  Now, in 2018, as artists' spaces are encouraged as a driver of economic development, we can only imagine what Brinton Terrace would contribute to today's creative culture.

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