Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Extension

In 1914 the Federal government passed the Smith-Lever Act, which established a system of Cooperative Extensions at American land grant universities, including the Colorado Agricultural College (today’s Colorado State University). Extensions were set up to provide rural and agricultural communities with classes, clubs, demonstrations, and publications to help them learn about farm, garden, and home economics practices. To introduce Coloradans to the program, the Colorado Agricultural College and the U.S. Department of Agriculture produced the publication The Smith-Lever Act and What It Provides for Colorado Farmers and Housekeepers, which you can read online from our library.

Ten years after the Act, the university published Agricultural Extension in Colorado: A Record in Word and Picturealso available to view online from our library. This commemorative publication describes the purpose, activities, and successes of Colorado’s Extension, and is full of great photos of farm and rural life in Colorado in the ‘teens and ‘twenties.

Colorado’s extension work had actually preceded the Smith-Lever Act. In 1912, the Colorado Agricultural College sponsored the office of the “State Leader of Farm Management Field Studies and Demonstration for Colorado.” Logan County was the first Colorado county to appoint an extension agent that year, and several others followed over the next two years. Then, in 1914, after the Federal law went into effect, Colorado’s Extension became official through an agreement between the College and the U.S. government. For more on the history of the establishment of the Extension in Colorado, including legislation, see this section from the CSU Extension’s staff handbook. The Extension has also produced a short video on their history.

Since its founding, the Extension has produced hundreds of bulletins and fact sheets on a wide variety of topics. CSU’s Extension is still going strong today, with county extension offices, classes, volunteer programs like the Colorado Master Gardener Program and Planttalk, and much more, in addition to their publications. To learn about their work and how to get involved, visit the CSU Extenison’s website. To read Extension publications from a century ago to the present, search our library’s digital repository.

Inside the Weld County Extension Office, showing the many publications offered, 1924.
Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado’s Most Endangered Places

Every February, Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI) releases their annual list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places. The program brings awareness to historic buildings, landscapes, or archaeological sites around Colorado that are in danger of demolition, neglect, modification, or development. This year’s endangered places, highlighting the history of southern Colorado, are:

  • Adobe Potato Cellars of the San Luis Valley (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties)
  • Hose Company No. 3 Fire Museum (Pueblo County)
  • Iglesia De San Antonio-Tiffany Catholic Church (La Plata County)
  • McIntire Ranch and Mansion (Conejos County)
  • R&R Market (Costilla County)

The Culebra River Villages of Costilla County, Colorado, a Colorado Historical Society publication available from our library, mentions the history of the adobe potato cellars:

An important consideration involved storage. When Anglo growers first marketed potatoes they stored surpluses above ground in circular wire-frames encased with hay or in straw-covered trenches. However, the Rio Culebra farmers preferred to store potatoes in a large, underground cellars, or soterranos. Because Hispano[s] used earth, not sod, for walls, their structures maintain an even temperature that kept potatoes from freezing. Hispano subterranean structures were so efficient and cheap to fabricate that Anglo farmers throughout the San Luis Valley adopted double-wall adobe construction for their above-ground storage facilities.

Adobe potato cellars in Rio Grande County, Colorado, circa 1939. Courtesy Library of Congress.

A second Historical Society publication offers information about Conejos County’s McIntire Ranch. An Archaeological Inventory in the Pike’s Stockade Area, Conejos County, Colorado discusses the ranch site‘s historical and archaeological resources, including what remains of the large adobe ranch house. The ranch belonged to Albert McIntire, governor of Colorado from 1895 to 1897. You can read about adobe construction in Adobe as a Building Material for the Plains and Adobe Brick for Farm Buildings, two early-twentieth-century publications from the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station.

To learn more about historic preservation and its impact on Colorado communities, see Preservation for a Changing Colorado, a 2017 publication of CPI and History Colorado. Search our library’s online catalog for more Colorado history resources.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: President Lincoln’s Birthday

Today marks Abraham Lincoln’s 210th birthday. America’s most beloved President was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin in Kentucky, although he lived most of his life in Illinois (aside from his time in Washington, D.C.). In the decades following his death, several efforts were made to make Lincoln’s birthday a national holiday, but were unsuccessful. President’s Day, however, honors Lincoln as well as George Washington, who was also born in February. Lincoln’s birthday is a state holiday in five states, but not in Colorado.

Our state has found other ways to honor Lincoln, however, including Lincoln County and even Lincoln Street in Denver. Colorado-quarried Yule Marble was used to build the Lincoln Memorial. And although Lincoln never visited here, Colorado Territory was established on February 28, 1861 — less than a week before Lincoln’s first inauguration — so it was the country’s newest territory at the time of his presidency.

In the early 1900s, the state’s Department of Public Instruction — now the Department of Education — issued books for teachers with lessons, stories, poems, and recitations in honor of Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays. Annual volumes of Birthdays of Washington & Lincoln have been digitized and made available online by our library.  The 1909 issue in particular is a special “centennial number” for Lincoln. Each volume gives fascinating insight not only on the lives of the presidents, but on the values, political atmosphere, and patriotism of the era in which the books were published. These volumes provide valuable primary source material for anyone researching American education and culture a century ago.

Finally, be sure to check out the Library of Congress’s website, where you can view the digitized Abraham Lincoln Papers.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Native American Tribal Membership

How do you become an official member of a Native American Tribe in Colorado? The Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs has put together a helpful FAQ document to answer your questions about obtaining membership in a federally recognized Tribe. “Each of the Tribes has its own right to determine the standards for becoming a member,” the document advises, so you must contact the Tribe directly to find out their requirements. Most Tribes will require proof of descendancy, so the document provides helpful guidance on researching and documenting your genealogy. You can also find more information in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Guide to Tracing Your American Indian Ancestry.

For additional information about Colorado’s Native American Tribes today, see the following publications:

Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Downtown Streets

Safety, walkability, transportation, and aesthetic design are all important components of planning a downtown commercial area, whether in a large city or a small town. Downtowns and “Main Streets” can, if well planned, boost tourism and enhance quality of life for residents. Therefore the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Transportation teamed up to produce the guidebook Colorado Downtown Streets: A Tool for Communities, Planners, and Engineers, which you can view online from our library. The agency partners provide the following summary:

Great streets are more than infrastructure: they are the fundamental building blocks of successful communities. [Colorado Downtown Streets is] designed to help local leaders, community members, and technical professionals work together to transform their streets into safe, accessible, and vibrant places.

Use this guidebook to learn how well-planned streets can promote health, increase tax revenue and property values, attract tourists, and contribute to the life of the community by giving the city or town its own identity. Design considerations, such as bike lanes, traffic flow patterns, on-street parking, landscaping, lighting, and signage, are provided along with examples from towns and cities around the state. Tips for planning, implementing and funding are also provided, as are tools for enhancing “placemaking” and revitalizing historic areas.

To supplement the guidebook, a webinar and several companion videos were created, which you can view here. The guide was published as a component of the Colorado Main Street Program, which you can learn more about on the Department of Local Affairs’ website. You can also find more resources from state agencies about city planning and transportation by searching our library’s online catalog.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The WPA in Colorado

During the height of the Great Depression, as banks failed, unemployment soared, and farm prices dropped, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established as one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal projects. The WPA focused on creating and providing jobs rather than handing out direct relief. Most of the WPA jobs were aimed at civic improvements, such as public buildings and roads. Thousands of out-of-work artists and artisans, architects, musicians, writers, historians, and others who had previously been employed in creative or intellectual fields were given temporary work. Parks, trails, bridges, public buildings, artworks, and literary projects produced by the WPA continue to be enjoyed to this day.

Colorado’s division of the WPA issued The WPA Worker: A Monthly Pictorial Journal for Workers and Citizens of Colorado Interested in the Statewide Projects of Works Progress AdministrationIssues from 1936 and 1937 have recently been digitized by our library. Each issue of this amazing periodical highlights WPA projects in all corners of the state. These included many construction projects like public buildings, roads, bridges, stadiums, and parks, but also included such varied activities as

As Coloradans suffered from the effects of the Great Depression, the WPA enhanced life in every part of the state, and often undertook long overdue projects that in many cases would not have been otherwise completed. Many of the projects continue to enhance our lives today.

For more resources on the WPA in Colorado, see the following publications available from our library:

Aguilar’s city hall was constructed by the WPA.


The playground at Lake Junior High in Denver was also a WPA project.


Old infrastructure was replaced across the state.
Colorado State Publications Blog

Starting a Charter School

This is the time of year when those interested in establishing a new charter school need to begin the application process. Charter school establishment is overseen by the Colorado Department of Education’s Charter School Institute (CSI). They require a letter of intent to be filed by March 1, and the completed application is due March 28. For application materials and a full list of important dates, see the CSI website. Also be sure to view the Colorado Department of Education’s online Charter Schools Guidebook and Colorado Charter Schools webpage for important information.

Our library has many resources that can help guide you in the process of establishing a new school, or simply to help you understand how charter schools operate in Colorado. See the following resources for information:

Colorado State Publications Blog

Auto Theft Prevention Resources

Motor vehicle theft is on the rise, according to statistics from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. There were 22,206 cases of auto theft in 2017, a 72{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} increase from 2014! Less than half of the vehicles were recovered. And vehicle break-ins are one of the most common types of property crimes in Colorado.

So what can you do to help protect your vehicle from theft or break-in? What should you do if one happens? And if you’re buying a used car, how do you make sure it’s not stolen?

The Colorado State Patrol has put together a helpful list of resources to answer these questions. The list includes links to information and tips from insurance groups, government agencies, and auto associations about how to protect yourself. Also included are links to auto prevention authorities in other states, since stolen vehicles frequently cross state lines. Resources like a VIN Decoder are also provided to help you verify if a car you wish to purchase had been stolen. You’ll also find links to neighborhood crime reports to help you find out about crime rates in your area, since one third of all vehicle thefts occur at the owner’s home.

You can also find helpful information at, a website sponsored by the Colorado Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), a division of the State Patrol. See this publication to learn about what CATPA is doing to reduce vehicle thefts in Colorado. Statistics and information is also available in their annual report.

Did you know that the highest number of vehicle thefts occur between 6 and 9 a.m.? This may be because drivers often leave their cars idling and unattended on cold mornings. There are many things you can do to help reduce the risk of having your car stolen or vandalized, so check out these handy resources to help increase your awareness.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: History of Aspen, Colorado

Today, Aspen’s riches come from the ski industry — but they used to come from silver mining. Aspen was founded in 1879, during the glory days of Colorado silver mining — the same era when mining boomtowns like Leadville and Georgetown were being established. With seemingly endless amounts of silver in the nearby Elk and Sawatch mountains, Aspen thrived until 1893, when economic disaster struck. That year, Congress repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, under which the federal government had purchased millions of ounces of silver for coinage. Without a market for the silver, Aspen and the other boomtowns nearly became ghost towns.

Despite a steady decline in population, and area mines and railroads going bankrupt, Aspen managed to survive — but it needed something to sustain it. Tourism, and the newly fashionable sport of skiing, became the answer. In 1924, the Independence Pass Highway was completed, making travel to Aspen easier. Then, in 1936, Aspen’s first ski lodge was opened, ushering in the industry that would give rebirth to the town. Ski enthusiasts and wealthy vacationers descended on Aspen. In 1946, the area’s first chairlift opened, the longest in the world at the time, according to an article in the Colorado Encyclopedia. New ski resorts opened, and Aspen continued to thrive.

It wasn’t just skiing that made Aspen famous, however. It became known as a center for arts and culture, hosting such notable events as the Aspen Music Festival, the International Design Conference, and the Aspen Institute. Today, Aspen is known as a playground for celebrities, with some of the most expensive real estate in the United States — a far cry from the Silver Crash days.

You can read more about Aspen in numerous publications from our library; many are available online. In 1958, William Wardell wrote a delightful article in the Colorado Historical Society’s Colorado Magazine, sharing his memories of childhood in Aspen before the Silver Crash. You can also read about Aspen during the mining years in Aspen: The History of a Silver Mining Town, 1879-1893, which is available for checkout.

Over the past several decades the University of Colorado’s business school has prepared numerous studies on Aspen tourism, including:

The University’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research also published several studies on Aspen environmental issues, including Quality Skiing at Aspen, Colorado (1975) and Landslides Near Aspen, Colorado (1976).

Other historical resources on Aspen available from our library include highway studies, air quality studies, a 1965 report on the Aspen general area plan, and, more recently, Climate Change and Aspen from 2006. Search our online catalog for titles. Finally, be sure to check out the Aspen Historical Society’s website for a historical timeline, digital archives, and more.


Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Colleges and Universities: Colorado Mesa University

Founded in 1925, today’s Colorado Mesa University has grown and evolved significantly since its beginnings. Located in Grand Junction, the school started out as a junior college, then began offering baccalaureate degrees in 1974 and master’s degrees in 1996. In 1988 the school’s name changed from Mesa College to Mesa State College. Then, in 2011, the Colorado State Legislature officially changed the institution’s name to Colorado Mesa University, reflecting its expansion and evolution.

Today Colorado Mesa University has an enrollment of about 11,000 students; about 15 percent of the student body comes from out of state. The university has thirteen academic departments offering a variety of courses of study. In addition to its main campus in Grand Junction, CMU also has a campus in Montrose. Also part of the CMU network is Western Colorado Community College, an open admission college from which many students transfer to CMU.

Researchers looking for information about Colorado Mesa University, including historical information on Mesa College and Mesa State, can find many resources in our library. These include budgets and financial audits going back to the 1970s; catalogs from Mesa CollegeMesa State College and Colorado Mesa University; security reports; and more. Other reports include a 2012 admissions policy study; economic impact studies, annual statistical data, and 2013 self-study.

A number of research publications from the institution are also available from our library. Several issues of the Journal of the Western Slope, Mesa State College’s history magazine exploring life in Grand Junction and the surrounding area, have been digitized. CMU also sponsors the Ruth Powell Hutchins Water Center, publishing an annual report and technical report series. The center has also produced a documentary video, Water in the Desert, that you can view online or check out from our library on DVD.

To find more publications, search our library’s online catalog.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Government Shutdown Resources

If you or a family member are affected by the recent government shutdown, the State of Colorado is stepping in to help. Furloughed workers are currently permitted to file for unemployment benefits. See Governor Polis’s press release for an overview, and visit the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment’s unemployment website for more details and to apply. Note that if federal workers do receive back pay after the shutdown ends, they are expected to reimburse the State for their unemployment benefits.

The Colorado Department of Education has added page on their website with education resources to help families during the shutdown. Here you can find links to food assistance and other benefits. You can also find information about assistance and benefits at the Colorado Department of Human Services website. See the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies website if you need information about making insurance payments during the shutdown.

Finally, Colorado 211, a human services referral agency, has a list of helpful resources on their site. Coloradans are welcome to contact 211 directly, via phone or online chat, for further assistance.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Why are Colorado’s Deer Populations Declining?

According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), the state’s current mule deer population of around 450,000 is about 25{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} below their objective. Populations have been declining over the last several decades due to human population growth resulting in habitat loss and vehicle collisions, as well as other factors like climate change, malnutrition, diseases like chronic wasting disease, and predation. A recent technical report from CPW examines the causes of deer mortality, specifically to help wildlife investigators determine the difference between predation and scavenging so that accurate causes of death can be determined and addressed. Since 2016 CPW has been studying whether predator control can help boost mule deer populations. You can read more about this strategy on CPW’s website.

CPW has also recently released The Story of Colorado’s Mule Deer, a short publication for general readers that explores the history of mule deer in Colorado and some of the factors behind the recent population decline. Additional information can be found in Mule Deer in Northwest Colorado, a fact sheet from CPW summarizing their research in that part of the state.

Colorado is not the only western state to experience declining mule deer populations. In 2004 CPW (then the Colorado Division of Wildlife) teamed with other western U.S. wildlife agencies to produce the North American Mule Deer Conservation Plan, which examines a variety of population decline factors including hunting, disease, and habitat loss. A few years prior, the Division of Wildlife also submitted a report to the Colorado legislature on declining mule deer populations. Our library collection includes numerous other resources on Colorado mule deer research; search our library’s online catalog for titles.


Photo by David Hannigan courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado State Museum

Credit: Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department

Have you lived in Colorado long enough to remember when the State Museum was located at 14th and Sherman, in what is now the Legislative Services Building?

The State Historical Society was established in 1879 and its earliest museum exhibits were located in the State Capitol. By the early 1900s, however, the Society wanted its own home. Architect Frank Edbrooke — who had completed the designs for the Capitol — was hired to design a new structure, which would be located across the street. Built of native Colorado materials including Yule marble and Cotopaxi granite, the three-story Classical Revival-style building was completed in 1915. The museum was best known for its impressive archaeological collections and early Native American artifacts. Later, in the 1930s, WPA activities resulted in a great deal of historical research as well as the creation of the dioramas that became one of the museum’s most memorable features. In fact, the amazingly detailed WPA diorama depicting 1860 Denver can still be viewed at today’s History Colorado Center.

You can learn about the old museum building in Colorado Capitol Buildings, a 1951 publication highlighting the State Capitol and its associated architecture. In addition, a 1972 museum brochure digitized by our library might bring back memories, with photos and descriptions of the exhibits.

The State Museum continued at 14th and Sherman until 1976, when it moved to a new home at 1300 Broadway. That second building was torn down in 2010 and the current building, at 12th and Broadway, opened in 2012. The old museum building became legislative offices, due to its proximity to the Capitol, and is a part of the Denver Civic Center National Historic Landmark District.

The Colorado State Museum under construction, circa 1915. Credit: Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Vital Statistics and Health Data

What is the leading cause of death in your county? The life expectancy? The number of live births?

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has several interactive tools on their website that can help you find this information and much more. Their Vital Statistics website includes a state map which you can use to retrieve birth and death data for each county, or statewide. Also on the site, you can find links to reports and data on a variety of topics such as drug overdose deaths; cesarean section deliveries; infant mortality; race/ethnicity and poverty characteristics of birth mothers; and statistics on the number of marriage licenses and divorce decrees in each county.

CDPHE also offers the Colorado Health Information Dataset (CoHID), which you can use to query more in-depth data on births and deaths. For instance, birth data can be viewed back to 1990. In addition to county data, the site also offers birth data for Denver neighborhoods. Death data is also available back to 1990 and can be sorted by location, cause of death, and characteristics such as age, gender, and race/ethnicity. CoHID also includes sections on general population data; behavioral risk factors; pregnancy and birth defects; cancer incidence; and injury hospitalizations.

Finally, for more data on a variety of Colorado health topics, see CDPHE’s CO Health and Environmental Data website. And, of course, search our library’s online catalog for health-related publications.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Dotsero Train Wreck

110 years ago today occurred one of the state’s worst train disasters. On January 15, 1909 at 9:47p.m., a westbound Denver & Rio Grande passenger train collided with an eastbound freight train just outside of Dotsero, in Eagle County. Apparently the engineer of the passenger train had been confused about the time his train was ordered to depart. Twenty people, mostly passengers, were killed instantly in the head-on collision; another five succumbed to their injuries within a week of the accident. Thirty others were also injured.

The Dotsero disaster, along with several smaller wrecks and derailments occurring that same year, caused the Colorado Railroad Commission to examine railroad safety laws and pursue legislation for increased railroad safety. You can read their report and recommendations online, courtesy of our library. This report includes some unfortunate statistics – in all of the 1909 accidents combined, thirty-five passengers lost their lives and seventy-six were injured. That’s not even counting railroad employees or individuals who were trespassing on railroad tracks. If those numbers are taken into account, a total of 113 persons were killed that year, and 116 injured.

You can read more about the state’s investigation of the Dotsero wreck in the Biennial Report of the State Railroad Commission, another publication which as been digitized by our library. The state Railroad Commission eventually became the Public Utilities Commission, which still exists today, overseeing rail and transit safety alongside other utilities such as energy and telecommunications. Annual/biennial reports of both commissions from 1907 through 1930, as well as more recent reports, can be viewed online from our library. Finally, be sure to search the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection for some fascinating digitized newspaper articles about the Dotsero disaster.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Getting Ready for the 2020 Census

Census Day – April 1, 2020 – is just a little more than a year away. Colorado has established the State Complete Count Campaign (CCC) to help bring awareness to the census and act as a resource to help ensure Colorado gets the most accurate count possible. You can find resources from the CCC as well as the US Census Bureau on the State Demography Office website.

The Demography Office has also recently issued several fact sheets that offer quick information on the census campaign, including a fact sheet for libraries and librarians. Other fact sheets offer a timeline, information on how to get involved, and “Census 101.”Additional resources can be found at the US Census Bureau website.

Keep checking these websites throughout the coming year for updated resources.

Colorado State Publications Blog

New Report on Youth Suicide Prevention

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office just released a new report, Community Conversations to Inform Youth Suicide Prevention: A Study of Youth Suicide in Four Colorado Counties, which is now available to view online from our library. The report examines the growing rates of youth suicide in El Paso, La Plata, Mesa, and Pueblo counties, which have the state’s highest rates of teen suicide. In El Paso County alone, the number of suicide deaths in the 10-18 age group doubled from 2014 to 2017, according to the report, which analyzed statistical data as well as information from focus groups, interviews, and community feedback. Statistical data analysis was conducted from “death certificate, hospitalization and emergency department data, the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, the Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System and the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey.” The latter three programs are all sponsored by the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, whose website includes data as well as resources on prevention.

You can also find more information on youth suicide in these other resources from our library:

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado a Century Ago

Our library has recently digitized a delightful publication from 1917 that looks at life in the various regions of Colorado. The Story of Colorado examines all parts of the the state, for the purpose of attracting settlers and investors. The portfolio is divided first by region, then by county within each region. Each contains statistics on the area’s agriculture and industry, accompanied by some wonderful photographs of each region’s architecture, industry, and natural beauty. Find the section on your part of the state, and learn what life was like in Colorado a century ago!

The Story of Colorado
Colorado State Publications Blog

Governor’s Inauguration

On January 8 Colorado’s new Governor, Jared Polis, and Lt. Governor, Dianne Primavera, will be sworn in. Official ceremonies will take place on the grounds of the State Capitol in the morning, with the inaugural speech at 11am. See this article from The Denver Post for more details on the inaugural events.

If you’re near the Capitol Tuesday morning, you might be wondering about the frequent cannon booms. Cannon are being set off to mark the inaugural festivities and salute the governor. According to the U.S. Military, the number of gun salutes depends on the person’s rank, title, or office. Presidents, as well as heads of foreign countries, get a 21-gun salute; a state governor “only” merits a 19-gun salute. Click here to find out the number of salutes for various political offices and military ranks. On the U.S. Army site you can also learn about the history of gun salutes. The US Dept. of Veterans Affairs also has a brief history on their website.

In our library collection we have transcripts of the inaugural speeches of many of Colorado’s past governors, back to the 1880s. Also be sure to search our library’s online catalog for more information on past governors, including state-of-the-state speeches, executive orders, commission reports, budgets, and more.


Colorado State Publications Blog

2019 Legislative Session Begins Today

The First Regular Session of the 72nd Colorado General Assembly convened today. The session will continue through May. All the information you need about the General Assembly, and how it functions, can be found at their website,

This year, almost one third of the legislators will be brand new. There are 100 members of Colorado’s General Assembly – thirty-five Senators and sixty-five Representatives. To view a directory of all current legislators, click here. To find out who your Senator or Representative is, go to the Find My Legislator map on the General Assembly’s homepage.

To find out what bills will be heard in committee and on the floor each day, see the House and Senate calendars, available on the homepage. Status sheets and journals are also available to aid you in tracking bills as they move through the legislative process. All bills, resolutions, and memorials are available to view online. Each version of the bill is retained on the website so that changes can be tracked. Before bills are heard on the House and Senate floor, they must go through committee. Find out about the different committees and their membership here.

You can watch live and repeat broadcasts of the House and Senate at or on cable channel 165. Live and archived audio of the House and Senate is also available.


Photo courtesy Colorado Tourism Office

Colorado State Publications Blog

Coloradans and Tobacco

If quitting smoking is your new year’s resolution, the State of Colorado has new resources to help you.

Colorado QuitLine is a tool that Coloradans can use to get free products and coaching. According to a news release from the Colorado Department of Health & Environment, QuitLine has recently  been updated.

New online resources are available for free through the Colorado QuitLine. Thomas Ylioja, clinical director for the Colorado QuitLine, said, “As the needs and preferences of smokers change, QuitLine services are changing to meet those demands. We’ve added new features such as e-coaching, where clients can chat with a coach online rather than over the phone, if that’s what they’d prefer. Or, they can enroll online in a few minutes and receive coaching calls over the phone. Clients also can order nicotine patches or gum online and get it delivered to their door for free.”

Another helpful tool is Tobacco Free Colorado. This site also offers free support. It also contains information on how to help a friend or loved one quit smoking.

Baby & Me Tobacco Free is a program for helping pregnant women in Colorado quit smoking. Learn more about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy at CDPHE’s Quit Smoking for Baby and You webpage.

You can find additional resources at the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)’s Quit Tobacco webpage.


So, how many Coloradans use tobacco? While cigarette use has declined in recent years, new electronic vaping products have increased in use, especially among youth, according to an inphographic from CDPHE. A 2017 CDPHE report, Adult Tobacco Use and Exposure, also examines recent smoking rates and trends.


In 2006 Colorado passed the Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking inside most public places. If you’re concerned about secondhand smoke, however, you can find out about your legal rights and how to protect yourself at CDPHE’s Secondhand Smoke page. Property owners and managers can also set no-smoking policies for multi-unit housing; for more information, see this guidebook.


Finally, here are some additional resources on smoking and tobacco, available from our library: