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Check It Out…at a Colorado Library Near You

Colorado Libraries | PorchLight Real Estate Group in Denver, Boulder and Beyond

Libraries Have Come a Long, Long Way

The thought of going to the library might conjure unpleasant memories of being in school—the countless hours of studying and the incessant reminders to hush when making a tiny decibel of noise. Plus, with books going digital, the library may seem like an antiquated institution.

However, libraries have come a long way over the years, and if you haven’t visited one in a while, you’re definitely missing out on what they offer today. 

First of all, libraries have evolved along with the rest of the world. Many branches in Denver and Boulder County have amazing cafes to keep you caffeinated and fed. They have computer workstations, fast WiFi, plugs for all your gadgets, comfy lounges and quiet study or meeting rooms.

Libraries also have CDs and DVDs, video games, as well as books in digital and audio formats. They can connect you to music and TV streaming services and other tech outlets. 

Of course, that’s just the start. Libraries across the U.S., including the Denver and Boulder metros, have become community spaces with classes offered, services provided, and a wide variety of valuable extras being made available to anyone who holds a completely free library card. 

Let’s take a closer look.

5 Amazing Finds at Local Libraries

1. Museum and Cultural Passes

Using grant funds, local libraries have paid for memberships at a variety of museums and cultural destinations. Digital reservations are then made available for any library cardholder to check out. While local libraries will vary in their options, places you can explore for free include:

  • Butterfly Pavilion
  • Clyfford Still Museum
  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science
  • Dinosaur Ridge
  • Museo de las Americas
  • Museum of Boulder
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
  • Wings Over the Rockies
  • WOW! Children’s Museum

To learn more about cultural passes, check out these links for the Denver and Boulder libraries.

2. State Parks Passes

Through an innovative collab between Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado Department of Education, and the state library system, patrons can check out a free, state parks pass for 7 days. If you want to go for a hike, do some fishing or birdwatching, or just have a picnic, this is your chance to skip the day fees. 

This park pass gives one vehicle and its passengers access to all the state parks you can visit in those seven days. The pass/hangtag comes tucked in a backpack full of helpful items, including a guide to Colorado’s parks, a wildlife guide, night sky guide, activity lists, binoculars, even an instructions sheet with fishing basics.

Click here for a list of libraries where you can get a pass!

3. Access to a Makerspace

While items can’t be checked out, certain library branches offer free community spaces where you can make things, as well as access the equipment you need to bring your ideas to life. 

At varying Denver and Boulder branches, you can utilize equipment such as 3D printers, sewing machines, recording studio equipment and more. You can hop on a computer and access Adobe Creative Cloud to do some design work. You can get your hands on basic tools, even a soldering iron. Digital embroidery machine, laser cutter…and so, so much more. Staff experts may even be on hand to advise you.

In Denver, look into libraries offering an ideaLAB and in Boulder, check out BLDG 61.

4. Library of Things

From a Draft Check Meter to a GoPro Camera, Corn Hole Set and even a one-week membership to the amazing Denver Tool Library, there’s a whole world of stuff that you just might be able to borrow from your local library. This is a fantastic way to get your hands on specialty items that you might only need for a short time. It can help you save money, get home projects tackled, and not have to worry about how to properly store a corn hole set.

Browse the Library of Things in Denver and Longmont, and search for even more here

5. Books, Books and More Books

While libraries now offer all of the above and more, physical books are still the best thing you can find at every single branch. Every genre is available. Find classic stories, new releases, and everything in between. Browse the shelves, run a quick computer search (no old-school Dewey Decimal System), check out staff recommendations, or request a personalized reading list based on your preferences. 

Books also provide a tactile experience, and studies have shown that you absorb more information from a printed book. Printed pages are also easier on your eyes. You’re less likely to be distracted by a text popping up or the temptation to swipe over to a different app. And unlike screens, printed books don’t interfere with a body’s melatonin levels and circadian rhythms. That means reading before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster and get better rest. 

 

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