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Fort Lupton library looks ahead to slate of 2014 programs

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By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON — A library’s work with its surrounding community has changed over the years, and for the Fort Lupton Public and School Library, 2014 will bring a chance for new outreach according to Linda Chandler, childrens/adult outreach librarian.

“The focus of libraries, particularly now, is not to expect people to come inside your walls,” Chandler said. “We’ve had to go outside of our walls to reach our community.”

Chandler wants to get the word out that story time will begin again at the city library Jan 22. Storytime runs from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. each Wednesday and Friday.

“Storytime is for preschool ages,” Chandler said. “Starting in February, the chief of police, Chief Poncelow, will be coming in and reading to the kids on the second Wednesday of the month.”

In 2014, Chandler will also take storytime on the road to the Aristocrat Ranchettes neighborhood on the north end of Fort Lupton.

“Out in Aristocrat, we’re starting an outreach program out there,” Chandler said. “They have a community building where the water department is, so I’m doing storytime out there.”

The new library program at the Aristocrat community building, at 15841 Dale Ave., is part of the “Make TODAY Count!” program coordinated by the North Colorado Health Alliance to “motivate county residents to adopt increasingly healthy behaviors and to build an increasingly healthy community.”

The three-year campaign, which launched in June 2013, will increase healthy eating, active living, and individual and community well-being–stemming the tide of the complex physical, mental and behavioral health epidemic which threatens the vitality of our community.

According to its website, the North Colorado Alliance aims “to improve patient experience, while insisting on quality care at a reduced and sustainable cost. Many of our community partners are direct providers of high-quality and cost-effective access to integrated safety net services for the un- and underinsured in Weld and Larimer counties. Our goal is a healthy population with 100 percent access to quality care at a sustainable cost.”

Chandler said the North Colorado Alliance reached out to the library to get the program in Aristocrat started.

“So we’re starting with story time, I’m doing Lego’s,” Chandler said, referring to the 35 pounds of Legos she brings for special block-building activities. “And then after the first of the year, we’ll be taking out computers and offering computer classes in Aristocrat.”

The library program in Aristorcrat will take place on Fridays from 11:15 a.m. to noon starting Jan. 17.

Chandler said Janet Green, a representative with the North Colorado Alliance, reached out to the library to create the program. To identify the needs for services in the area, the two women met with city staff.

From those conversations, Chandler said a need for library services was recognized for two groups in particular: seniors and children.

“I’m going to be doing a painting program out there as well,” Chandler said. “And then our board has been highly supportive and put money from the trust funds into getting three laptop computers, tables, chairs, a storage closet – so we can begin offering classes out there. So that’s one piece, and it’s pretty exciting, I think, once the word gets out.”

Chandler said the library will also bring its summer reading program out to Aristocrat as well.

“I think it will be a great thing for the community, and a great thing for the library,” Chandler said. “This has been one of our long-range goals – something highly-supported by our library board. Any way we can get out there and provide some services is what we’re all about.”

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.