From literary-themed tattoo events to concerts, the Denver Public Library offers far more than books (though it has those, too). Any Colorado resident can get a DPL card; here are fifteen little-known perks that come with those cards. Some are practical, some are fun, and all are free.
Whether you’re already in the trenches of starting your own small business or still dreaming up plans, the DPL stocks a comprehensive array of tools to help you succeed. Cleverly dubbed BizBoost, this library program offers free, one-on-one small-business research help and consulting (along with various reference materials, tech support and relevant classes).
One of the DPL's most underutilized perqs is free museum access. Waive the sizable entry fees to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science ($17), History Colorado Center ($14) or the MCA ($8) by booking a free pass up to thirty days in advance. Admission is valid for up to two adults plus a few guests (for a total crew of up to seven).
Draft Check Meter
Ambitious (or maybe just cost-efficient) Denver residents can do more than just “turn up the heat” as temperatures plummet: They can check out a “draft check meter” from the DPL’s inventory for up to three weeks. Using an infrared sensor, this device detects cold-air leaks across the surfaces of your home so that you can re-insulate and stay warm.
Curious about your family tree? Genealogy buffs who want to avoid spending monthly fees can use free DPL databases to access such sites as Ancestry.com’s Library Edition, American Ancestors and MyHeritage, among others.
Want to record your thrill-seeking adventures without spending $200+ on a professional-grade waterproof camera? Check out a GoPro Hero3 White Edition for up to one week from the DPL, complete with accessories and a carrying case.
Built to accommodate library devotees who can't make it to a branch, DPL’s Homebound Service matches qualifying customers with volunteers who deliver various library materials (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.) straight to their front door.
Outfitted like a high-tech
You don't need to shell out cash to brush up on your language skills. Offering free online access to Mango Languages (an intuitive language-acquisition software), DPL cardholders have the opportunity to learn languages ranging from Spanish and French to Japanese, Portuguese, German, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, Russian, English and more.
Whether your laptop crashed after you spilled that cup of chai on it or you just need to get online for a few hours, every Denver Public Library location is equipped with multiple Chromebooks, available for in-library use for up to four hours. Connect to the free wi-fi and do your thing.
Sitting on your next great idea? The DPL is an official designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center...meaning it provides access to publications and databases that can help with your preliminary patent and trademark search. Book a one-on-one appointment to learn patent basics, search strategies and more.
Personalized Reading List
Don't limit your reading selection to the bestseller list. Fill out this online form and the Denver Public Library will do its best to find your perfect literary match. After reviewing your answers (the process takes about a week), the library will send you a personalized list of recommendations.
Power Check Meter
As part of a partnership with Xcel Energy, the DPL offers power check meters, budget-saving genies that let you know which appliances are draining your electric bill. Learn when and what to unplug with this nifty little device (checkout period up to three weeks).
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Seed Exchange Library
Dig this, urban gardeners: Since 2014, the Ross-Broadway Library has hosted an ongoing seed exchange program, allowing you to both save money and diversify your green spaces. The exchange’s goal is to provide a cost-effective, communal experience within (and beyond) library doors. Pick up
State Park Passes
Thanks to a partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the DPL has added “adventure” to its list of offerings. Families and individuals can check out free weeklong passes (good for admitting a car full of people) to any of Colorado’s 42 state parks. As a bonus, these passes come with an “adventure backpack” to help you take full advantage of the experience, with binoculars, maps and guides for identifying different plants and animals.
Whether you’re hosting a backyard movie night or giving a business presentation, the DPL offers free video projector rentals to all library cardholders. Equipped with a power cord and VGA cable (plus a handy carrying case), these Dell machines are available for up to a week.
Any Colorado resident or student attending a Colorado college or university may obtain a free Denver Public Library card. Read the fine print.