OK, here we go again: John reminiscing about his childhood. Back in the dark ages, I had to walk to school in the snow and rain with only a book bag and my lunch packed. OK, that’s not really the case. My mom had a car to drive me there when the weather was bad, and they had a cafeteria where you could just buy your lunch. It wasn’t that long ago.

But, a lot of things have changed around here since then, and most of them are great improvements.

One of them is our Golden Public Library. It was built around the time I was about to go into junior high school and was a huge improvement over the old location which was right next door in the building with the police department and city offices. It shared a space with the Golden Pioneer Museum, which also moved and is now the Golden History Museum. They both had grouchy ladies with glasses working there, and weren’t exactly kid friendly. Kind of scary and musty is a better description. 

But now, our library has evolved into a pretty awesome place if you take a few minutes and dive into everything they have to offer. The staff there are terrific, really friendly and helpful and they have more than just books to check out. You can stream and download music and movies, audio books, learn languages and even take online courses with dozens of subjects available.

But one of the coolest features is that there are loads of events you can attend right there at the library. Some of them are workshops to learn things, others are special sales of things like plants and used books, and a lot of them are just for fun and creativity. They have things for all ages, toddlers through seniors so you can always find something interesting to attend.

Here’s a few examples of things coming up:

Saturday, March 19 has an Adopt a Houseplant event from noon to 5 p.m. where you can “Nurture your green thumb with a community houseplant swap! Connect with other plant people, bring your houseplants or garden cuttings in good condition to swap for something new-to-you or stop in empty-handed to adopt your new favorite houseplant or succulent. Containers, potting soil and plant care information will be available.”

Friday, March 25 has a Teen After Hours program called “Creepy Sculptures” where you can “channel your inner Dr. Frankenstein and get into the spooky spirit by reviving broken items and old toys into your own creepy sculpture. Halloween costumes are optional, but having fun while creating something monstrous is not! This after hours event is for the 12-18 crowd.” The event happens from 6-8 p.m.

How about a Dungeons and Dragons Character Creation workshop? If you ever wanted to get into playing this game but need a little help figuring out how to put together your alter ego, then this might be the place to start. The have a beginners level on Monday, March 21 and an advanced level on Monday, April 4. They both happen from 5-6:30 p.m.

Those are just a few events that caught my eye. The library has over 50 more on the calendar that might capture your fancy. To find out more, visit the Jeffco Public Libraries website at jeffcolibrary.org. You do have to go through a bit of navigation once you get there. First, click on “Events,” then select an age group under “Audience.” Don’t worry, you can add more ages in a minute. Once that pops up you can narrow or expand you search by selecting event types, ages, locations and languages. Then a list of events tailored to your interests pops up with info on all of them. You can explore hundreds more at other locations too.

Our public library really is a jewel if you just take a few minutes to see all that it has to offer. Do yourself a favor and check it out. With everything else getting more expensive, this truly is a breath of fresh air.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com