Nestled by a lake in the foothills west of Denver, Evergreen is a charming mountain community. Just 35 minutes from the city, the wooden boardwalk, unique stores, abundant public art, numerous hiking trails and shaded creek side paths make it a popular day trip. Cyclists and bikers come up rugged Bear Creek Canyon and golfers share space with elk on the public course.
I’ve already written about the Columbine and Golden branches of the Jeffco system, however, since I frequently hike or bring visitors to Evergreen but have never gone in the library, one rainy summer Sunday we ventured in.
The entrance was filled with Deer Creek Challenge cyclists taking shelter from the onslaught.
Luckily, hot coffee was available and the hand dryers in the bathrooms warmed them up a bit. The photographs in the lobby entertained them as they dried off. The exhibit changes monthly and anyone can sign up for a slot, though there’s a year and a half waiting list (the area is rife with creative talent, including mystery author, Diane Mott Davidson, who sets her culinary mysteries here).
Inside, dark cherry-ish wood furniture and hanging half globe lights meld with slate tiles and subdued carpets for a traditional library look, but with a patently Evergreen touch.
This tranquil reading sanctuary with a view onto a green hillside has an aura of the outdoors. A distinctive domed ceiling covered with wood slats catches the eye when settling in for a cozy read by this lovely hearth.
The Children’s Area is also stunning. Matching toddler furniture and rocking chairs in the Storytime area face another verdant vista below the high tapering roof. A marvelous doll house regularly redecorated for each new holiday and season intrigues the young ones while their parents search for book/CD combination packs to help them learn to read.
Early Learning is a theme here and there’s a plethora of helpful brochures (scroll down to “Children’s”) on books for kids – reading tips for parents, great read aloud books… by grade, subject… put out by the system. They even have book reviews written by children.
Fish mobiles and kites decorate the ceiling while quilts and fantastical pictures/paper creatures adorn the walls.
Sock and stuffed animals, toys and games are everywhere. The five computers include one with a bigger screen loaded with computer games. And conveniently the area includes a children’s bathroom.
At the desk, a fish tank and a tray of shells with magnifying glass provide distraction as does the drawing paper covering the desk – a great idea to keep tots busy and encourage their talents. Staffer Carol obviously knows how to captivate youngsters and was quite informative and helpful.
Like the other Jeffco branches, the library has wi fi, self check, self holds pickup, museum passes and a year round tax forms display (and a typewriter for those pesky multipart 1099 forms). Actually, I was impressed by several of the displays. A sleek curved black wire rack holds “Out of Eyeshot” books. As you enter, shelves holding new books abut ones with staff recommends. Bookmarks identifying who suggested the item and what it’s about protrude from each title.
And oh joy, a community after my own heart – there’s a Colorado Trails display.
The branch also has (super detailed) Delorme topographical maps of each state so provides lots of information on trails across the country for this active town. Close by, huge maps of Evergreen and the Rte. 285 corridor resemble abstract pencil sketches while a relief map of Colorado feels like the peaks of ocean waves.
The teen corner has bean bag chairs, a couch, teen Playaways, manga, graphic novels and a teen book display and looks out onto some really neat rocks (it’s a CO thing, I think we’re all amateur geologists at heart).
The library has 17 adult computers (with headphones) plus three in the computer lab area that can be used if there isn’t a class. A change machine makes the self print station easy to use and there’s also a station to reserve a computer.
There are two study rooms, and a meeting room that seats 40 people. A read and return book exchange sits next to the book sale shelves. Issues of Canyon Courier, the local paper, from 1953 to present, are available on microfilm. With lots of storytimes, a Kung Fu movie night, computer classes and a book group, the learning and entertainment options here are endless.
Situated within walking distance of several schools, the library shares its pretty (appropriately) evergreen shaded lot with the county offices. Benches out front let you commune with nature as you take in the two beautiful statues and xeriscape plantings tended by the Evergreen Garden Club.
What a fitting asset for this magnificent place!