An overview of the public libraries in Denver Colorado

Anyone who lives in Denver, Colorado and wants to borrow a book, CD or movie from the library will not be short of choices. Besides the Central Library, which is easily accessible and is the largest branch in town, there are nineteen neighborhood branches scattered around the city and a new one in construction right now. So, where are these neighborhood branches? 

The first library in Denver was located in a wing of Denver High School back in 1889. In 1910, the famous philanthropist Andrew Carnegie funded a new library that had the appearance of an elegant Greek temple. This became the Central Library and was located downtown at Civic Center Park. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Carnegie funded eight more branches around the city. In 1956, the Central Library moved across the street into a new building. Some of the original temple architecture is still standing for the public to enjoy at Civic Center Park.

Also, in the downtown area sits the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library. This is a wonderful facility for learning more about history, literature, art, music, religion and politics of the African-Americans who have lived in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. 

Northeast of downtown Denver has four neighborhood libraries: Montebello Branch, Paul Robinson Branch, Valdez-Perry Branch and the recently opened Sam Gary Branch. Heading to the northwest part of Denver, the Smiley and Woodbury branches are available to the public. Staying on the west side of town, Denver provides us with the Ross-Barnum and Byers Branches. The new West Denver Branch, to be named after Latino-American writer and activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez, is projected to be opened by fall 2014 and is currently under construction. 

On the southwestern side of town, the Bear Valley and Westwood branches await. Staying in the southern region, residents have access to the Athmar Park and Ross-Broadway Branches. Traveling along to the southeast section, there are the Hampden, Ross-University Hills and Virginia Village Branches. And, rounding out the city on the east end the Ross-Cherry Creek, Park Hill and Schlessman Family branches are available.

There are even two bookmobiles that service twenty-five Denver elementary schools and eighteen senior citizen living sites. This is a helpful service for families who are unable to take their children to a physical library or just cannot leave their homes.

It doesn’t matter if you are a resident of the city, a resident of any part of Colorado or just visiting for a while, all of the Denver libraries allow borrowing options and the use of their computer labs. You can even visit one to look and admire (or scrutinize) the artwork displayed inside. A variety of classes are available as well for arts and crafts, financial help and computer lessons.  One of the more popular craft classes are the Madame DeFarge Knitting Classes. The Central Library frequently has guest authors discussing their latest book and musical artists performing on Sunday.

Don’t worry about not having a car. Almost all of the branches are easily accessible by bus or light rail. So, come on. Stop by any one of the libraries and discover a new book, a new way to be creative, research the genealogical archives or hear some beautiful music. You won’t be disappointed.