12/31/2015

Colorado Water Law and Water Rights

Navigating through the complex water laws of our state can be a challenge.  However, our library can help.  Our collection contains a number of publications that can help Coloradans understand water law and water rights in our state:
This is just a sampling of the hundreds of documents in our collection relating to water law and water rights in our state.  Search our library's web catalog for additional publications and resources.

12/30/2015

GIS Maps and Data

The Colorado Demography Office offers a number of resources regarding population data.  Some of these have been explored previously in this blog.  Today, however, I wanted to highlight their GIS maps and data, located on their State of Colorado: GIS Directory website.  This site gathers many of the Colorado state agencies' GIS maps together in one place.  You can either view data by agency in the pull-down menu, or type a keyword search in the search box.  For example, if you type "population" in the search feature, you will get a list of GIS resources that includes both State of Colorado sites and external links that have been added by Demography Office staff.  Check out this helpful resource if you are searching for GIS data on a wide variety of topics including not only demographics, but natural resources, corrections, health, transportation, and more.  You can find more resources, such as thematic PDF maps, interactive maps, census data, and GIS shapefiles, at the Demography Office's GIS Maps and Data website.


12/28/2015

Colorado Education Statistics

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has many resources for finding statistics on Colorado K-12 education.  For current statistics, see CDE's Colorado Education Statistics website.  Here you can find statistics on school and district staff, pupil membership, graduation rates, dropouts and attendance, race and ethnicity, and more.  For older information, search our library's web catalog -- we have many resources going back several decades.

12/27/2015

Revenue Forecast

On December 21 the Governor's Office and the Colorado Legislative Council both issued their respective quarterly revenue forecasts.  The Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting released its Colorado Economic Outlook projected that the state's economy will "continue to steadily grow, though not at the robust level experienced in 2014," according to the Office's press release. Meanwhile, the Colorado Legislative Council (the bipartisan research agency of the State Legislature) released their own quarterly forecast with similar projections.  However, the Governor's Office predicts a General Fund increase of 2.1% for FY2015-16, while the Legislative Council predicts that "revenue is expected to be sufficient to allow General Fund operating appropriations to increase 4.1 percent."  Time will tell which agency's prediction is correct -- in the meantime you can review past forecasts from our library:  click here for past issues from the Governor's Office, and click here for past issues from Legislative Council.

12/19/2015

Livestock Brands

Ranching has been a significant part of Colorado's history, and the branding process began long before Colorado was a state.  Colorado's territorial government first established agencies for brand inspection back in 1865.  Today, these responsibilities lie with the Brand Inspection Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  They inspect livestock, take in reports of missing or stolen livestock, deal with fencing and open range issues, and maintain a list of all of the state's brands, both current and historical.  These lists are issued every five years in the Colorado Brand Book, which is available to view in our library back to the 1972 book.  We also have the monthly new brands lists that are issued by the agency, as well as their monthly report of missing or stolen livestock.  You can learn more about the history of livestock branding in Colorado by viewing this video from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.


12/14/2015

Investor Alerts

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) wants to make sure that investors make wise choices when choosing to invest in what they call the "next big thing" -- three products currently making news but are not tested by time.  These include marijuana, binary options, and digital currency.  DORA's Division of Securities have issued a new publication, The Next Big Thing:  Are You an Informed Investor?  Check out this fact sheet for important things to be aware of if you plan to invest in any of these three products.


 

12/08/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Capitol Buildings

For those interested in Denver's architecture, one of the treasures of our library collection is a 1940s publication entitled Colorado Capitol BuildingsThis booklet, prepared by the Colorado Writers' and Art Programs of the Works Progress Administration, is undated but contains a dedication to the armed forces by Governor Ralph Carr, who served between 1939 and 1943.  The booklet presents a "historical sketch of the Colorado Capitol and associated group of buildings."  When the Capitol was first completed, it was considered large enough to hold all state offices indefinitely.  However, after only a few decades of growth it was apparent that additional space would be needed for State offices and functions.

The first to leave the Capitol was the State Museum, for which a new Neoclassical structure was built between 1912 and 1915 at the corner of 14th and Sherman.  The museum had previously been housed in the basement of the Capitol.  The new structure was designed by Frank Edbrooke, the same architect who finished work on the Capitol.  (It had been begun by Elijah Myers).  Today this building is the Legislative Services Building and houses the Joint Budget Committee and the State Auditor's Office.

The second building, at Colfax and Sherman, replaced a large home that had belonged to William Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News.  The new building, completed in 1921, was the first building constructed to house state offices; it was therefore named the State Office Building.  Over the years, a number of state agencies have been housed in this building; today it is home to the Colorado Department of Education and, as a part of that Department, the State Publications Library.
Also Neoclassical in style, the building features an impressive atrium of checkered marble, brass fixtures, and a colorful stained glass skylight.  The building underwent a significant renovation in the 1980s; plans for the renovation can be viewed in our library.

By the 1930s, Neoclassical government buildings were declining in popularity, so the next building constructed to house state offices, the Capitol Annex, is of modern design, simplified but with suggestions of Art Deco.  The smooth exterior is composed of Colorado Yule marble.  This building is located at 14th and Sherman across the street from the old State Museum building. 

Each of these three buildings are described in the 1951 booklet, along with photographs.  Of course, a number of other buildings have been constructed since that time for state government use.  The State Museum (now History Colorado) is on its second building since moving out of the 1912 structure; several office buildings were constructed along Sherman Street both north and south of the Capitol; and other offices are located around city and the metro area, outside of what is now known as the Capitol Complex. 

The little booklet is a gem in that it not only gives a history of the Capitol and its first three annexes, but it also tells the story of some of the earlier buildings used to house state government before the construction of the present Capitol, and how it came to be there.  A promotional publication, it also includes a page on Colorado tourism as well as a listing of the state symbols and emblems.  Colorado Capitol Buildings is available both digitally and in print from our library.  For additional information about the Capitol and surrounding structures, search our web catalog using search terms "capitol building" or "capitol complex." 


12/07/2015

Animal Health in Colorado

One of the divisions of the Colorado Department of Agriculture is their Animal Health Division, which is "responsible for animal health and disease control activities in Colorado."  Their website includes many resources including updates on diseases and conditions such as vasicular stomatitis and avian influenza.  Other resources include tips on controlling predators; information on the Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory; emergency preparedness and response; the Pet Animal Care & Facilities Act; and more.  The website also contains a handy tool for determining the rules for importing animals to Colorado.  Under the Animal Import Requirements section of the homepage, you can match a location with a species to determine the exact rules for importing that species into our state.  You can also select by species to determine the rules for moving animals within the state.

12/03/2015

Colorado Judicial Learning Center

The State of Colorado's judicial branch offers a fun, unique way for all ages to learn about the state's judicial processes -- the Judicial Learning Center.  Developed in partnership with the Colorado Supreme Court Library, "the Learning Center is a 4,000-square-foot museum-style space that is full of interactive, fun, and informative exhibits," according to their website.  The Learning Center's website also contains a number of helpful educational resources, including curricula information for schools, lesson plans, and more.  Some of the Learning Center's interactive exhibits include an animated wall demonstrating the development and application of the Constitution; video interviews of judges; demonstrations of the legal process and court hierarchies; games where the visitor can be the lawyer or the judge; and a touch-screen map of Colorado where visitors can select counties, districts, water divisions, or tribal lands. The Judicial Learning Center is a hands-on, experiential way to teach kids, visitors, new Coloradans, and anyone else about the Colorado court system.

The Learning Center is located in the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center and is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. 

The Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center is located a 2 E. 14th Avenue (on 14th between Broadway and Lincoln) in downtown Denver.  Photo courtesy Colorado Judicial Branch.

12/01/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: 1882 Colorado Earthquake

Earthquakes in Colorado?  Yes, earthquakes are certainly possible in Colorado, and on November 7, 1882, Colorado was hit by an earthquake thought to be centered in the northern Front Range.  A century later, in 1986, the Colorado Geological Survey published a report, An Interpretation of the November 7, 1882 Colorado Earthquake by Robert M. Kirkham and William P. Rogers.  The report stated that "this earthquake was probably the largest to occur in Colorado during the period of historic record.  A similar-sized event today could have significant impact on modern structures, possibly causing serious property damage and perhaps injury or death."  The report analyzes the historic writings of the time, including newspaper articles, to get an idea of the intensity of the earthquake.  It speculates on how the event was covered in the press -- or not.  Finally, the report draws conclusions about the earthquake's causes.

You can find more resources on Colorado earthquakes by searching our library's web catalog

11/30/2015

Colorado Climate Plan

The State of Colorado has just issued a new Colorado Climate Plan which is now available online from our library.  The plan is a "statewide strategy of policy recommendations and actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to increase Colorado's level of preparedness," according to the Governor's press release.  The report builds on another study, also available from our library, entitled Climate Change in Colorado, a Colorado Water Conservation Board report from 2008.  The new 2015 plan includes information relating to water, public health, energy, transportation, agriculture, and more.  The plan was mandated by HB13-1293.

Our library offers numerous other resources on climate change in Colorado.  To find resources, search the term "climate change" in our web catalog.


11/23/2015

Local Food for the Holidays

The Colorado Department of Agriculture encourages Coloradans to buy local this holiday entertaining season.  Their website includes resources such as a winter farmer's market list, a Colorado Food and Agriculture Gift Guide, and Colorado Market Maker, an online database for locating Colorado food products.

Farmer's markets aren't just for summer.  The Colorado Winter Farmer's Market List is a directory, divided by county, that lets consumers know where they can buy farm fresh products all year long.  Items for sale at these locations include not only food products, but great gift items like homemade soaps and lotions, wine, and arts and crafts.

The Colorado Food and Agriculture Gift Guide is a similar list but includes additional products such as mail-order gift baskets.  It is divided by type of gift rather than by location.

Colorado Market Maker, www.comarketmaker.com, is a database where you can find restaurants using locally produced food products; food banks; food retailers; production plants; tourism resources; wineries; and more.  You can also search for farmers and ranchers if you are looking to buy specific products.  This resource is primarily aimed at producers to find places to market their products, but consumers can also use the site to get ideas of where to buy these products.

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/19/2015

People and Wildlife

There are many laws and rules about how people can interact with wildlife.  Many are protected species; for example, you cannot kill birds on your property.  Coloradans are also prohibited from taking in wildlife as pets (the exception is if you are involved in a rescue organization).  "In general, it is illegal to own wildlife in Colorado. You just cannot remove a wild animal from the woods and take it home.  As a public resource, wildlife belongs to the state of Colorado, to all citizens," writes Colorado Parks and Wildlife on their webpage Exotic Pets and Prohibited WildlifeThis page is a helpful resource that discusses the reasons why wildlife cannot be taken in as pets and also lists what kinds of animals are legal as pets in Colorado.

Another issue regarding people and wildlife is the issue of development and habitat.  Our library collection contains a number of publications from Colorado Parks and Wildlife regarding humans and wildlife.  See the following for information:
Finally, CPW's webpage Living with Wildlife offers a wealth of resources including information on specific species; avoiding vehicle collisions with wildlife; helping animals during winter; the hazards of junk food to wildlife; and how development affects wildlife habitat.

11/17/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Film and Television in Colorado, 1980

One of the seemingly perennial issues at the Legislature and in tourism circles recently is how to attract more film and television production to Colorado.  This issue is nothing new, however.  Back in 1980, the Colorado Motion Picture and Television Advisory Commission submitted a report to Governor Lamm which outlined the challenges of bringing more filming - and accompanying revenue - to Colorado.  "Due to the downturn in filming, the commission has been the target of some people's frustrations," writes the Chair.  Further, the report explores the the era's trend away from filming on location, which Colorado provides excellent scenery for, in favor of lower-cost studio productions in Los Angeles; or filming on location in countries such as Canada and Australia which provided broader incentives.  Finally, the report outlines the commission's recommendations and their goals for the future, reporting to the Governor their plans for the extra appropriation of funds he had advocated for. 

Since Colorado is still working to attract filming to our state thirty-five years later, this document is still a relevant look at a significant part of Colorado's tourist economy as well as a helpful resource for anyone researching the history of film in Colorado.

For further resources on Colorado film and television, see the following more recent publications available from our library:

11/16/2015

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

November is National COPD Month. COPD (or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a long-term respiratory disease related to emphysema and bronchitis.  Symptoms include persistent coughing, mucus, tightness of the chest, and shortness of breath.  It is frequently caused by smoking, air pollution, and other external sources.  You can find out what Colorado state agencies are doing to address COPD in the following publications, available from our library:

11/12/2015

Burning Restrictions: What You Need to Know

It's that time of year when snuggling up to a cozy fire is a welcoming prospect.  But if you are using a traditional wood-burning fireplace or wood stove, you need to be aware of woodburning restrictions put in place to protect Colorado's air quality.  (Gas fireplaces can be used any time).

Between November and March, Colorado will occasionally declare "action days" which have restrictions on wood burning.  These restrictions are determined based on the forecast.  You can find out about action days by visiting the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)'s air quality page.  For further information, see this news release from CDPHE.  Also be sure to check our library's web catalog for more resources.

11/09/2015

Colorado Farm Products Act

Under the Colorado Farm Products Act, dealers of farm products are required to be licensed with the state Department of Agriculture.  The law is designed to protect sellers and make sure they get paid; sellers are allowed to file complaints which are investigated by the Department.  The law is also designed to protect the producers and dealers themselves through this investigation process.  You can read more about the program in this fact sheet from the Department.  See also their FAQs.  For further information on the Act see the 2008 Sunset Review, available from our library.

11/05/2015

Don't Move Firewood

The Colorado Department of Agriculture released a bulletin this week reminding Coloradans not to move firewood out of Boulder County, where the Emerald Ash Borer has been detected.  Moving firewood can spread other pests, too.  In our library you can find several resources on the risks of moving firewood:
See also a news release from the Colorado State Forest Service, Transporting Firewood Can Spread Tree Killing Insects.  
For more on the Emerald Ash Borer, see websites from the Colorado State Forest Service, Boulder County, and the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture, as well as the following publications:

11/03/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: The San Juan District, 1925

In the 1920s the Colorado State Board of Immigration published a series of booklets on Colorado's regions, with the goal of attracting tourists and settlers to the various areas of the state.  In 1925 they focused on the San Juan region of Colorado, including the counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray, San Juan, and San Miguel.  In Colorado:  The San Juan District, the Board promotes the resources, industries, and attractions of the area as a whole, as well as for each county.  The booklet uses pictures to illustrate the beauty and productivity of the area, featuring photos of the Animas river valley; agriculture in the Montezuma Valley and the San Juan Basin; lakes, rivers, and mountains; and even ancient cliff dwellings.  This is an interesting look back at a region that has grown considerably in population and tourism, but also features some of the state's finest natural and historical treasures. 


11/02/2015

Oil and Gas Health Information and Response Program

If you're concerned about the health impacts of oil and gas drilling, fracking, etc., the State of Colorado has a new resource for you.  The Colorado Oil and Gas Health Information and Response Program is a program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment by which you can report health concerns regarding oil and gas, as well as find data, read FAQs, and more.  The program website contains a "Health Concern Form" that is fully confidential.   The site also contains a "Clearinghouse of Information" with resources on air and water quality, oil and gas production, and regulations.  Finally, the site contains FAQs for people who live near oil and gas development sites or otherwise have concerns about health risks from oil and gas production. 


10/29/2015

Student Assessment Results

Last spring, 2,200 4th graders and 2,300 8th graders took the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, and yesterday the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) released the results.  According to the Department's press release, "Colorado has more students who are proficient or above in math than most other states.  In reading, the percent of Colorado students who scored at proficient or above was about the same as students in other states."  This test is sometimes referred to as the "Nation's Report Card."  You can view the results, as well as more information about the test and its 2016 administration, by clicking here.

This spring students also took the CMAS (Colorado Measures of Academic Success).  You can find those results here.  For further information including individual school performance data, see CDE's SchoolView website.  This site provides data not only on assessments but also on programs, accountability, and more.  A key feature of the site is the Colorado Growth Model, which measures the growth and progress of individual schools and districts.




10/27/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Rocks and Minerals

Back in 1913, mining played an important role in Colorado's economy and employed thousands of workers.  Hundreds more were made wealthy by owning and investing in Colorado's mines.  Therefore it is no surprise that in that year the Colorado Geological Survey published a book entitled Common Rocks and Minerals:  Their Occurrence and UsesAs suggested in its title, this book explores the numerous types of rocks and minerals available in Colorado and, tangentially, how money could be made from them.  It provides information on all types of rocks and minerals, from gemstones to metallic minerals to stones useful in the building trade.  "Many valuable minerals lie unused for want of knowledge of what they are and how they may be used.  It is hoped that [this book] will stimulate an interest in, and a search for, valuable geological products," the book explains, demonstrating the importance of minerals to the state's economy and the continued opportunities available to exploit those resources in the early part of the twentieth century.

Underground inside the Yule marble quarry in Pitkin County.  Photo courtesy Colorado Geological Survey.

10/26/2015

Help Writing a Resume

If you're looking for a job, one of the most important things you can do is to create a successful resume.  This will list not only your skills and job history, but will also demonstrate your writing and organizational ability.  The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment offers a helpful Resume Guidance webpage that can help you produce a resume that will open up more doors for you.  Information on this webpage includes how to choose the type of resume that is best for the job you seek; how to use references; what to do when the job posting asks you about salary; mistakes to avoid; and much more.  The site can also connect you with job search engines and other resources helpful during the job-hunt. 

10/23/2015

National School Bus Safety Week

Today ends National School Bus Safety Week.  Here in Colorado, we have numerous laws to protect children who ride school buses.  In addition, school bus drivers are rigorously trained on safety standards.  Our library collection includes several helpful resources on school bus safety, including
For historical information we also have a number of documents on this topic from the 1970s and '80s, which provide an interesting comparison.  Search our library's web catalog using search terms "school bus" or "school transportation" to find these resources. 

10/20/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Women and Children's Labor Laws

In 1970 the Colorado State Legislature appointed a committee to study labor laws for women and children.  This continued the Progressive Era reforms of several decades before by bringing these laws up-to-date with changing attitudes about discrimination of women in the workplace and employment opportunities for youth:  "...The Committee attempted to remove overly protective restrictions from the statutes which hamper youth employment opportunities.  At the same time, the Committee retained present Colorado educational requirements and the emphasis on safety training."  Further, "the Committee recommends a repeal of certain provisions of the statutes which tend to discriminate against the employment of women."  These provisions included a law that prohibited women from working in mines as well as special accommodations such as providing special seating for female employees.  The child labor laws discussed by the committee included relaxing laws on how many hours an employee under age 18 could work, which limited the employment of some 17-year-old high school graduates.  The committee also addresses laws regarding the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds.  The committee's final report is available digitally from our library.  For more resources on this topic, search our library's web catalog.


10/19/2015

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week

October 18-24 has been designated to bring awareness of the growing problem of alcohol on college campuses, much of which is consumed by young people under the legal drinking age.  The State Publications Library collects all state government documents, including those from state-funded colleges and universities, so we have a number of documents in our collection that address this issue, including studies and policies from the universities as well as consumer information from the state's health and human services agencies.  Listed below are some of the resources you can find in our library that address college and/or underage drinking:

10/15/2015

Colorado Water Resources Archive

Water and the issues surrounding it -- water rights, drought and climate, flooding, availability, etc. -- is an important topic in our state where this diminishing resource must be found for millions of residents.  Colorado State University Libraries and the Colorado Water Institute have put together a Water Resources Archive that includes thousands of resources, both current and historical, regarding water in our state.  The site includes numerous digital objects including studies, reports, and theses and dissertations, but also includes some valuable historical content such as online exhibits, photographs, and, most recently, a collection of oral histories about the 2013 northern Colorado floods
This digital archive is a great place to start if you are researching water issues in Colorado -- but also be sure to check out the State Publications Library's resources, which also offers numerous reports and studies on water through our digital repository.  Our library also offers a large collection of print documents -- search our online catalog for these as well as links to online serials and other documents.


10/13/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Keeping Kids Healthy in 1944

In 1944 the Colorado Department of Education and the State Division of Public Health teamed up to issue a handbook for teachers with tips on understanding, promoting, and addressing health issues in schools.  Entitled Conserving the Health of Colorado's Children, the booklet was put together by a joint commission which included members from the two state agencies as well as several local school districts, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Colorado Education Association, and other interested organizations.  The publication was issued as "the result of requests for assistance and information that have come from many teachers throughout the state." 

The booklet begins by listing the "factors conducive to good health," points that we can still relate to today which emphasize both physical and mental health: 

1.  Proper diet
2.  Fresh air and sunshine
3.  Play and exercise
4.  Sleep and rest
5.  Suitable clothing
6.  Healthful surroundings
7.  Protection against communicable diseases
8.  Periodic medical and dental examinations
9.  Normal mental attitudes

The booklet continues on to offer teachers advice on what to do with a sick child, including recognizing the signs of illness in children; how to ascertain when a sick child should be isolated from other children; suggestions on proper nutrition; activities to help kids learn about health and healthy habits; eye, ear, and dental health; mental health (the book's top suggestion:  "create a happy school environment"); personality development; accident prevention; and how to control the school's environment to ensure the best possible health of students (proper lighting, temperature, and ventilation; fire safety; playground safety; adequate desks and furniture).  The booklet also includes a long section on proper first aid that teachers can refer to when needed.  Finally, there is discussion of certain diseases and conditions, how to test for them, and how to manage and control them if a child becomes infected.  As this was during the era of polio, that condition is discussed at length.  Other diseases are included that are no longer much of a threat today, such as tuberculosis; but some of the diseases discussed in the booklet are seeing a resurgence, such as whooping cough.  Also less of an issue today, and discussed at length in the booklet, is proper sanitary measures particularly for schools that lacked indoor plumbing.  Aside from these few things, much of the information in the booklet is common sense and still relevant today -- and the publication as a whole provides an interesting look at school life in the 1940s. 

10/12/2015

School Lunch and Nutrition

This week, October 12-16, is National School Lunch Week, which has been celebrated each year since declared by President Kennedy in 1962.  NSLW is about recognizing the importance of healthy school lunches and their effect on student learning.  Here in Colorado, the state's Department of Education (CDE) includes an Office of School Nutrition.  Their website includes information on Colorado's recognition of NSLW as well as information on programs such as Colorado Proud School Meal Day, Smart Snacks and Competitive Foods, school wellness, and more.  In our library collection you can find numerous resources on school lunch and nutrition, including:
Finally, for an interesting historical perspective, check out the 1931 publication Health and Nutrition of the School ChildFor more resources, search our library's web catalog.

10/08/2015

October 10 is Electronic Records Day!

This coming Saturday, October 10, is Electronic Records Day, where we recognize the importance of preserving our digital heritage and making our history more accessible online.  Aside from recognizing the benefits of preservation and access, Electronic Records Day also promotes the preservation of the electronic records themselves, which can deteriorate or become unreadable over time as computer programs change and develop.  Just because a document has been placed online doesn't mean it is permanent -- be sure to keep your records accessible by updating them as computer programs advance.  Don't lose your personal or community history by neglecting to preserve your electronic documents!

You can search through thousands of Colorado state government documents at our library's digital repository.  Other helpful repositories containing digital documents, particularly those from state colleges and universities, include the Digital Collections of Colorado repository, a consortium of Colorado public universities hosted by Colorado State University; the University of Colorado's CU Scholar; and the University of Northern Colorado's Digital UNC.  There are many others, so search your local library or university library's website for digital documents.  Be sure to also check the Internet Archive for electronic documents
from libraries across the United States.

10/06/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Drought in Colorado, 1990

Back in 1990 Colorado State University's Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (today known as the Colorado Water Institute) published a basic guidebook on drought in Colorado:

Water is very important to Colorado.  Because of its fickle climate, the state is subject to drought.  This brochure was prepared to explain why this subject is important, where Colorado's water comes from, how it is managed, and what Colorado is doing to best deal with drought.  --abstract

Despite the passage of a quarter century most of the information in this booklet is still highly relevant as Colorado's climate swings from extreme to extreme -- this year saw one of our rainiest springs change into one of our dryest late-summers.  Other resources on drought available from our library include:

Search terms such as "drought," "climate," or "water" in our library's web catalog for numerous other resources from various state agencies including CSU, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado Division of Water Resources, and many others. 

10/05/2015

Family and School Partnership in Education Month

http://www.cde.state.co.us/sacpie/fspe_month_2015_proclamation-_engGovernor Hickenlooper has declared October in Colorado to be Family and School Partnership in Education Month.  During this month, Colorado will be recognizing the importance of learning both in home and at school, and how home and school can work together to give a child their best future, no matter their cultural or socioeconomic background.  For resources and information on family-school partnerships see the Colorado Department of Education's State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education (SACPIE) website, or search our library's web catalog for resources.


10/01/2015

Student October Count

Today is the official "pupil count date" for Colorado K-12 public school students.  Annually on October 1 school districts report attendance numbers for purposes of school funding.  School funding is based on student population.  The Colorado Department of Education has issued a Student October Count Audit Resource Guide that can answer parents' and school administrators' questions about the process.  For further information about this year's count, see this page from the Colorado Department of Education.  Data back to 2000 can be accessed here through our library.  Additionally, our library has pupil membership reports in print going back to the 1960s.  Check our library's web catalog and contact us for more information.

9/29/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Property Tax

Unlike income tax, Colorado has had a property tax since the state was founded -- provisions for a property tax were made in the original state constitution.  In 1877 and 1899 the Legislature tweaked the property tax laws to equalize values.  Then in 1902, a major property tax law was passed, resulting from the significant economic depression of the 1890s.  A special session of the legislature was held in 1902 to address the issue and it established the law requiring all properties to be assessed annually.  Then, in 1910, during an era of reform, a Tax Commission was established.  You can find the annual reports of the Tax Commission in our library. 

Laws were continually tweaked over the years, but the next major property tax law overhaul came in 1964.  A dozen years later, Colorado State University held a tax law symposium, "Property Tax:  Why, Where, and What Next?"  The "primer" for the 1976 program, available in digital form from our library, discusses the history of property tax in Colorado and major legislation, along with a discussion of the property tax in our state.  This is an interesting snapshot of tax laws as they stood nearly 40 years ago and provides an interesting comparison with today's property tax laws, many of which are rooted in the laws passed during the early years of statehood, one hundred years prior to the report.     

9/28/2015

Colorado Literacy Week

Lt. Governor Garcia has declared this week as Colorado Literacy Week.  "The goal of this program is to encourage families to make books part of their summer activities to help keep children at grade level when school begins each fall," according to a media release.  Throughout his term, Lt. Gov. Garcia has championed early literacy.  To find out more about the Lt. Governor's early literacy initiatives, see the publication Colorado Reads, available from our library.  See the Colorado Reads program website for more information about the initiative.  Visit our library's online catalog to search for more resources about early literacy in Colorado.

9/24/2015

Pollution Prevention Week

This is national Pollution Prevention Week (September 20-26).  There are many things that all of us can do to help our air, land, and water stay clean.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has a number of resources on its website regarding pollution prevention, including on the webpages of the Air Pollution Control Division and the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board.  To learn more about how you can do your part, search the keyword "pollution" in our library's web catalog.  Resources such as Developing a Successful Pollution Prevention Program for Your Small Business and Pollution Prevention in the Home:  A Home Audit Kit can help you learn about what you can do to make changes in your own environment.


9/21/2015

Colorado's Centennial Farms

History Colorado's Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) oversees a unique program celebrating Colorado's agricultural heritage.  The Centennial Farms program recognizes farms and ranches that have been operating for a century or more and whose owners have preserved the farms' stories and structures.  New farms are inducted each year, and History Colorado recently announced the 2015 honorees.  For photos and stories from the 2015 honorees, see OAHP's recent blog post.  Search our library's online catalog for more resources on Colorado's farm and ranching heritage.

9/17/2015

Protect Yourself from Credit Card Scams

Any time you use an ATM or pay for gas at the pump using a credit or debit card, you are at risk.  Criminals install "skimmers," or card readers, that get your information off the card's magnetic strip.   Today the Colorado Division of Banking released some tips on how to avoid having your credit/debit information stolen through "skimming":


1. Check for Tampering 
At any ATM, check for signs of tampering or remote installations that don’t appear part of the machine (such as a small camera or wires that appear to be out of place). Look on the card reader and near the speakers. The keyboard should not have a film or cover on it or be more than one piece. There shouldn’t be any loose parts if you give a pull on something that protrudes, like the card reader. Even if these are in check, if something just doesn't feel right about an ATM, don't use it. 
2. Wiggle and Cover
A good practice to get into is to wiggle your card a bit as you swipe it or push it into the reader. Skimmers reportedly have a harder time collecting the data because of the wiggle motion. You can also give a wiggle to the card reader mechanism, keypad and other parts to make sure nothing is loose. Additionally, always use a cover – your hand, your phone, a piece of paper – as you type in your PIN.
3. Use Indoor ATMs
High traffic areas with ATMs inside banks and grocery stores are typically safer than outdoor terminals. Also, the risks for skimming are higher on the weekends because criminals will install the skimmers on Saturdays or Sundays and then remove them before banks open on Monday. Be aware that today’s criminals are sophisticated and no ATM is completely safe.
4. Always Report It
Reporting suspicious activity or theft to your card issuer or bank as soon as possible is paramount to not being held liable to the amount you might lose if you fall victim to an ATM skimming attack. Most financial institutions have a zero liability policy that protect their customers, but there is still a process that needs to be followed. The sooner you report fraudulent activity the better!


You can find more about protecting yourself by checking out the Colorado Attorney General's tips on preventing identity theft and, if you find that your personal information has been stolen, be sure to consult their Identity Theft Repair Kit, available online or in print from our library.


9/15/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Average Annual Precipitation, 1951-1980

In 1984 the Colorado Climate Center, part of Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science, conducted a study of the average precipitation trends for Colorado for the years 1951 through 1980.  They found that statewide average precipitation for the period dropped from previous studies. Their report includes maps, graphs, and calculations on factors such as snowpack.  The report also examined changes in precipitation levels in certain areas of the state over time.  For example, Longmont and Greeley became wetter over the study period, while the San Luis Valley became drier.  The information presented in this report can be compared with current and recent years' precipitation levels available from the Colorado Climate Center.


9/14/2015

Assisted Living

Did you know that September 13-19 is National Assisted Living Week?  The State of Colorado has a number of resources that can help you find information on assisted living facilities in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has a database of facilities in Colorado, with information on the facilities' licensure.  Also, be sure to check out CDPHE's Assisted Living Residence Consumer Resources page for more information.

The Colorado Department of Human Services can also offer assistance on the topic through their Office of Aging and Adult Services.

For additional resources, see our library's Quick Guide for Seniors and Caregivers, offering links to resources as well as search tips for finding inf
ormation in our library.

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