As a major city library system with 26 branches, Denver Public Library (DPL) has so much to offer. DPL’s most recent annual report shows a traffic flow of 4,014,705 annual library visits, and 6,124,720 annual website visits. But beyond literature and research, there’s even more. Libraries are designed to be community centers and DPL offers a host of resources to serve the local community. Families, children and older adults typically participate most in the library system.
DPL has several programs that constantly fly under the radar among young professionals. Here are five of DPL’s best-hidden gems. The best part? Everything in this roundup is free. All you need is a library card.
1. Museum and Cultural Passes
Where: Reserve Online
The Lowdown: DPL’s free museum and cultural passes should be on everyone’s summer list. With a library card, you can gain free entry to over a dozen museums and attractions, including MCA Denver, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Butterfly Pavilion. Use the library’s reservation portal to access free passes and select dates.
2. Library of Things
Where: Place a hold online, pick up at your local branch. Some items are on-site use only.
The Lowdown: Ever wondered if you could checkout something other than a book? DPL says yes. The library of things is a rental system for useful non-literature items, including laptops, wi-fi hot spots, day-use state park passes and even bicycle repair kits. Check out the full catalog here.
3. Personalized Reading Lists
The Lowdown: DPL’s personalized reading lists are like Spotify suggestions, but created by a real librarian. Fill out this survey here and a librarian will send you a very specialized reading list with detailed explanations regarding each choice.
Where: Currently open at Hampden, Sam Gary, and the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branches. Montbello and Hadley Branches will open later in the summer: TBD.
The Lowdown: Are you a creative? Game maker? Engineer? ideaLAB is perfect for you. Currently open at three branches, ideaLAB is a free, fully stacked creative space including laser cutting, electronics supplies, sound engineering boards and more. Each ideaLAB also includes 3D printers, which is perfect for making prototypes and DIY projects from your wildest imagination.
5. Small Business Resources
Where: Make an online appointment
The Lowdown: If you’re a small business owner, startup founder or freelancer, DPL has your back. BizBoost is a comprehensive library service designed to help entrepreneurs build a strong business model and marketing plan. A reference librarian will work with you to build credibility for your small business or startup at any stage in the process.
From the Archives: Denver Library Staff Published Zine
Denver’s zine scene is pretty hardcore. So it’s not surprising that library staff published their own digital zine a few times this past year. ‘Social Distanzine’ is filled with just about everything on the creators’ minds during the pandemic: Poems, short stories, visual art and more. Check it out here.