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Old 07-09-2010, 05:06 PM
 
34 posts, read 66,002 times
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Thoughts on quality of Denver public library system. Coming from Columbus, OH, I am accustomed to our great library system. Also our great zoo (my son loves animals biology with a passion), and our great science center (COSI). I know I personally will love Denver's performing arts, which I understand is 2nd only to NY.

Please share your thoughts:

1) Denver library system
2) Denver zoo
3) Denver science center

4) I read somewhere there aren't too many bookstores? Here, we have them in almost every shopping center area. Beer, but no books?? Tell me I'm wrong... (I'm kind of a book worm myself )
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:12 PM
 
20,846 posts, read 39,070,515 times
Reputation: 19080
Just you wait....until you walk into Tattered Covered Book Store in the downtown area called LoDo....you won't want to leave....

If you're not out in 3 days we send in search parties...
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:50 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,516,032 times
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I am a big fan of libraries and I have been to many of the branches in the area. The Denver Library system is very extensive. I have been here over 31 years; I am originally from New York. Denver, over that time, has expanded the Library System with the building of a new Central Library, new and remodeled branches.
The system has been an earlier adopter of electronic books, music, movies and audio books that all can be downloaded from home.

All Coloradans are eligible for a Denver Library Card. The Denver Library is not the only good resource--all counties surrounding Denver have extensive holdings and branches; many are very new because of the growth in the area. I belong to multiple libraries because I use extensively online lending.

The libraries in Colorado have embraced the computer age. So, in addition to online downloading of resources, much more computers are installed at the branches. Many libraries have free wifi connection in the branches. Most of the reference and research electronic databases are available online to card holders.

Ah, the children's sections of the libraries are fantastic. They are not like libraries when I was a kid. I just go into them and look around, with jealous wonder and amazement, but I have trouble squeezing my big butt into the tiny chairs; and those small short computer tables...just for the little ones.

The Denver area is very sophisticated and has invested heavily in culture institutions. As I mentioned the Library was expanded since I been here but Denver has also expanded the Art Museum, the Zoo and the Science Museum. In addition The Performing Arts Center has been remodeled, a new theater was built and Denver recently added an Opera House; mostly done through voter approval of increased taxes for the cultural district. A new Historical Museum is now under construction.

Colorado is the West--the West beyond your imagination!

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 07-09-2010 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,892 posts, read 102,330,852 times
Reputation: 32957
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinColorado View Post
Thoughts on quality of Denver public library system. Coming from Columbus, OH, I am accustomed to our great library system. Also our great zoo (my son loves animals biology with a passion), and our great science center (COSI). I know I personally will love Denver's performing arts, which I understand is 2nd only to NY.

Please share your thoughts:

1) Denver library system
2) Denver zoo
3) Denver science center

4) I read somewhere there aren't too many bookstores? Here, we have them in almost every shopping center area. Beer, but no books?? Tell me I'm wrong... (I'm kind of a book worm myself )
I think the arts comment is a bit of an exaggeration. After all, there is Chicago, a very artsy city, and several others in the running. The DCPA Center is probably the best in the Rocky Mountain region.

1. Livecontent covered the DPL system quite well. The burbs all have their libraries, too. Jefferson Co and Adams Co (I believe) have county-wide systems. Boulder County does not, but each community has a library. Broomfield has a great library. Westminster's is part of Front Range Community College library, and is fabulous.

2. The zoo is great. I haven't been there for a couple of years now, but we've always enjoyed it, and even go now that the kids are grown.

3. I haven't been to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for some time, but always enjoyed it. It's a favorite place for school field trips.

Plenty of bookstores, mainly Barnes and Noble and Borders. As Mike said, the Tattered Cover is great, as is the Boulder Bookstore.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,675,876 times
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There are plenty of used bookstores all over Denver. There are a bunch on "South Broadway" such as Fahrenheit Books, Mutiny Now! (formerly Ichabods), Denver Book Mall. I know of some others in West Highland, Capitol Hill, Englewood, Wheat Ridge, and probably many others I've never been to. Plus Tattered Cover, which has 3 local locations, and plenty of B&N's and Borders.

The Denver Public Library is very good. The Aurora Central Library and Koelbel Library (part of the Arapahoe County system) are also great. And then for even bigger, college libraries, there's the Auraria Campus library, University of Denver library (not sure if there's public access to that one), and CU Boulder's Norlin library.

Not all cities are created equal when it comes to libraries. I lived in Phoenix for 4 years, and the Phoenix central public library, though the physical building is nice, is a pathetic joke. There's hardly any books there, and most people who come in do so to flip through the CD's and DVD's (not sure why that should be part of a library) and homeless people who come in to sleep.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:00 PM
 
20,846 posts, read 39,070,515 times
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And most of the Universities have major libraries that are open to the public. Along with one of my railroad buddies, I've been to the COLO School of Mines in Golden to dig out old tech journals and to the Univ of Denver's "deep storage" repository over at the old Fitzsimmons Hospital area in east Aurora. Amazing what you can find by searching WorldCat and other such serious search engines, not to mention InterLibrary Loans at participating universities. LOTS here to choose from.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:57 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 5,297,470 times
Reputation: 3579
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinColorado View Post
Thoughts on quality of Denver public library system. Coming from Columbus, OH, I am accustomed to our great library system. Also our great zoo (my son loves animals biology with a passion), and our great science center (COSI). I know I personally will love Denver's performing arts, which I understand is 2nd only to NY.

Please share your thoughts:

1) Denver library system
2) Denver zoo
3) Denver science center

4) I read somewhere there aren't too many bookstores? Here, we have them in almost every shopping center area. Beer, but no books?? Tell me I'm wrong... (I'm kind of a book worm myself )
1. The Denver public library system is excellent. It has an inter-library loan program so if DPL doesn't have it, there is a good chance that they can get it. Some of the libraries are small and quaint while others are enormous. All of them have programs for kids.

2. The zoo is nice. Not much to say about it.

3. Same with the Museum of Science and Nature.

4. In addition to all of the bookstores already mentioned, Bookies is worth checking out: The Bookies: A Bookstore Like No Other - The Bookies | Denver, CO (Powered by www.netnewsdesk.com) and Fire Side Books which is a 24 hour bookstore/cafe
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:30 PM
 
34 posts, read 66,002 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Just you wait....until you walk into Tattered Covered Book Store in the downtown area called LoDo....you won't want to leave....

If you're not out in 3 days we send in search parties...
lol.. sounds like my kind of bookstore!

thank you all for all of this EXCELLENT, INVALUABLE info... i appreciate the detail, and i feel a lot better now.. personally, if the library/bookstore situation in denver sucked, that would be a huge deterrent for me, despite all of the positives.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:02 PM
 
19 posts, read 78,061 times
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I noticed from your other post that you homeschool, so I wanted to mention that the Denver Zoo offers Homeschool classes and workshops. This year, they will be doing one every month. We've gone to a couple of these and they really do a fantastic job. Another great resource for homeschoolers is an awesome bookstore called The Bookies, on Colorado and Mississippi. The library system is awesome, though you have to make sure you know the schedule, as not every library is open every day. The Central Library on Broadway is amazing, and it's right next to the Art Museum (King Tut is there right now). We've used the inter-library loan system for harder-to-find books and I've been able to get every book I've requested. The Museum of Science and Nature is great as well, very kid-friendly. Body Worlds is there right now and they also have a set up where the kids can do their own science experiments. They also have a volunteer program for kids, I know several homeschoolers that volunteer in the Discovery Zone.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:22 PM
 
369 posts, read 839,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinColorado View Post
1) Denver library system
The Denver City library system is pretty darn good. The downtown building is big and has lots of stuff. The fourth floor is all Denver/western history, including a decent genealogy room - not as good as Salt Lake's, but sizable. We'll hit that once a month or so because the kids section is really big and fun to hang out in. The city of Denver itself is pretty spread out, so there are a bunch of local library branches throughout the city. I use the library's website quite a bit to reserve books and have them sent to my local branch.

There are also a lot of community events and programs through the library:

Events & Classes | Denver Public Library
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinColorado View Post
2) Denver zoo
I think the Zoo is one of the largest tourist draws in the state after skiing - it's a huge source of pride for a lot of folks in the area. This thread claims it's #6 in terms of attendance in the US w/1.9M people visiting a year:

Attendance At American Zoos United States

We have a family membership and go quite a bit. Currently, a large section of the zoo is closed because they are building a new 10 acre pachyderm exhibit - the current one is very old and small, so this is good news:

Denver Zoo: Asian Tropics

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinColorado View Post
3) Denver science center
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is also very nice. We also have a family membership and go regularly in the winter. The permanent exhibits are great, and they have a completely renovated traveling exhibit space that pulls in big national tours (currently one of the Body Worlds). My main complaint, and it's a relatively small one, about the DMNS is that it's a bit weak on the science aspect. It's really a natural history museum that's trying to do both. I really like science museums (Saint Paul, Phoenix, San Jose) that have pretty much all hands on science stuff. The DMNS has some of that in the newer exhibits (Mars Mission & Expedition Health, which are great), but really focuses on dioramas - which are cool, but I like hands on experiments.

Also note that there is a botanical gardens (one of my favorite things in Denver, the Denver Botanic Gardens - currently going through a massive renovation), a good sized Aquarium (Downtown Denver Aquarium - not Monterey's, but great for being 2K miles away from an ocean), an Air and Space museum (Wings Over the Rockies - only worth going on open flight deck days), a Children's Museum (which I think is too small), a firefighter's museum (very, very small), a transportation museum (Tourney Museum - I've never been), and others. Another big one is the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster - a nice big indoor space with lots of bugs flying around. Golden has the Colorado Train Museum, which my wife doesn't like all that much, but we end up going there a few times a year anyway.

Oh, and the Denver Art Museum, which on the weekends has a lot of kids stuff. They'll have kid stations throughout the Museum, some are really fun activities. The museum itself is OK - it's big on Western and Native American Art, which makes sense given its location, but I'm not real big on those genres.

The big ones, the library, art museum, gardens, zoo, and science/nature museum, all have a lot of community events and classes - check out their websites for details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinColorado View Post
4) I read somewhere there aren't too many bookstores? Here, we have them in almost every shopping center area. Beer, but no books?? Tell me I'm wrong... (I'm kind of a book worm myself )
I think there were a lot more of them, but the Internet and Walmart have killed a lot of independent bookstores. I have friends who work at various indie bookstores and that business is brutal. Like someone else said, Tattered Cover is a Denver institution and cultivate a community. A few years ago they moved their original location to a renovated theater on Colfax that I've never liked as much as the old store in Cherry Creek.

The arts scene being second only to NYC is a bit of a stretch in my mind - don't believe everything you hear The Denver Performing Arts center has a lot of square footage and stages, but the fact is that we're an isolated, small-to-medium metro area. So we attract big tours and there's a decent local scene, but it's not an easy place in include in a small budget circuit and there's not a big built in audience.

There's also a small zoo down in Colorado Spring (Cheyenne Mountain Zoo), which when paired with a trip to nearby amazing rock formations (The Garden of the Gods) makes for a fun day trip. And there's a wild animal refuge (The Wild Animal Sanctuary) somewhere north of Denver - I've never been.
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