The Children's Library
The Children's Collection
Computers in the Children's Library
Services for Children, Parents and
Materials and Services at the Children's Library of the Denver Public
The Children's Library has a long history of service
especially geared to the young people of Denver, the
state of Colorado and beyond. This commitment began
in 1889 with the appointment of John
Cotton Dana as Denver's first official City Librarian.
Dana was one of the first people to suggest a separate
reading room for children within a library. He formed
the first children's room in the public library, then
located in Denver's East High School. It contained materials
just for children, including books and picture files,
and featured a gold and red inscription on one wall
from Robert Louis Stevenson that read "The World
is so Full of a Number of Things, I'm sure we should
all be as Happy as Kings."
Denver Public Library has continued that tradition
of excellence in service for children in the 100
plus years since Dana resided as City Librarian. Each
of DPL's 23 branches has a dedicated juvenile space,
the largest of which is the Children's Library in the
Central Library building. The mission
of the Denver Public Library, to "connect people with information, ideas and experiences to provide enjoyment, enrich lives and strengthen our community" is reflected in its juvenile
resources and services for children.
The Children’s Library is located in the Central Library building at 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, on the corner of 14th Street and Broadway, very close to the State Capitol building. The Children’s space is situated prominently on the first level of the seven-story Central Library, covering 12,500 square feet.
The Children’s Library and the furniture in it were designed by Michael Graves, the architect that designed the 1995 Central Library addition. The furniture and shelving was custom-made for the space and designed with little people in mind. The room is large and bright with lots of areas for quiet reading, sharing stories, and playing.
It also features the Claire McMenamy Berger Memorial Children’s Pavilion, a spectacular, octagonal-shaped space for storytelling and other children’s programs.
The Children’s Library houses over 100,000 items
for children in many formats. The materials in the Library
are intended for children ages 0-12 and include a juvenile
non-fiction section on a broad variety of subjects,
a separate collection of biographies, board books for
the very young, a large picture book collection for
pre-readers, “readers” for emergent readers,
and longer “chapter” books for grade-school
aged kids. The Library houses a comprehensive reference
collection for in-house research. The collection also
features a small “parenting” section of
adult materials that includes videos and magazines.
Other formats are popular such as educational movies on
videocassette and DVD, books on tape and CD, bookpacks
(picture books accompanied by an audio of the text),
CDs of music for kids, computer software, and juvenile
Materials in Other Languages
The Children’s Library is home to the largest
collection of Spanish juvenile materials in the DPL
system. The Spanish collection features reference books,
fiction for ages 0-12, non-fiction, audio CDs of music,
and popular and educational videos. The Library also
houses books in French, Chinese, Japanese, Russian,
and Vietnamese. Many branch libraries have considerable
collections of juvenile materials in foreign languages,
including Valdez-Perry, Byers, and Woodbury.
In addition to the regular, circulating collection,
the Children’s Library has a small historical
collection featuring many original McGuffy Readers,
and other historical books of note for children.
There are 12 networked computers in the Children’s
Library, as well as two computers that play CD-ROM games
only. The networked computers offer access to the Internet,
as well as Denver Public Library’s online catalog and homework help.
The computers in the Children’s Library are for
children 12 and under only. There are two courtesy terminals
next to the reference desk reserved for use by adults
when looking for juvenile materials. The computers in the Children’s Library are self-service and offer filtered access to the Internet. It is the expectation that parents/caregivers will assist their children when necessary and monitor what they are viewing on the World Wide Web. No filtering software is totally accurate. Filters may falsely block constitutionally protected speech or they may fail to block access to illegal or objectionable material. For further information, read the Library’s Internet Use Policy.
Children, Parents and Teachers
The Children's Library has a full-time staff
of 5 librarians who staff the busy reference desk, plan
and execute programs, and maintain the collection. The
librarians in the Children’s Library are specialists
available to help the public in a variety of ways including
research, homework help, book recommendations, and general
library information. In addition to these services,
the Children’s Library offers a few more specialized
In addition to educating young customers through a
strong collection and great services, the Children’s
Library hopes to entertain and inspire them through
a variety of programs
including storytimes, crafts, read-alouds, and family