When it comes to your local library, you probably think of free book and DVD rentals. But libraries are regularly adding new programs and services that appeal to a wide range of patrons -- from technology classes to gaming tournaments. In honor of National Library Week, here is a sampling of some programs and services offered by libraries across Colorado that you may not be aware of. If you don’t see your local library, give them a call and ask if they offer programs or services that perhaps will appeal to you.
Tech Help Drop-In - One-on-one tech help from a tech guide. Stop by to discuss email, resumes, Internet searching, e-readers or any tech question. All ages are welcome.
Backyard Concert Series - Second Saturday of the month during the summer. Free and open to the public. BBQ and beverages available for purchase.
Makerspace - Allows teens to explore their creativity by interacting with state-of-the-art tools and materials. Teens can create crafts, work with robotics, learn textile design and learn about digital photography and 3D printing.
Art Stop on the Go - A recurring program for kids in partnership with Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Students ages 5-12 work with a visiting professional artist for an art-making workshop. Participants are invited to express themselves through a variety of media, with an emphasis on creativity and fun.
Technology Classes - Learn how to create an Android App, use Excel, Powerpoint, and many other computer programs.
Cooking Classes - Increase your cooking repertoire by attending classes in waffle-making, creating homemade protein bars, and crafting meals with the other, other white meat: crickets.
Zumba - Exercise class for teens.
Lawyers at the Library - Attorneys are available for 30-minute sessions to offer legal advice.
AARP Tax Assistance - AARP offers free tax preparation (regular returns only) for low income taxpayers, especially those ages 60 and older.
Studio and Makerspaces - Equipment and a space with a green screen and soundproofing for creating video and recording music. Use digital transfer equipment to convert vinyl to MP3, VHS to Digital and slide/negatives to digital photographs
Online Learning - Learn how to graphic design, create computer programs and more, from the comfort of your home.
Technology for Checkout - iPad Mini, Nook eReader, GoPro Video Camera and several more.
Info-to-Go Van - Regularly visits farmers’ markets, parks and senior centers. At farmers’ markets, books that can be checked out include topics such as soap-making, cooking with homegrown vegetables, and gardening in Denver.
Spanish Discussion Group - Learn or enhance Spanish skills in a comfortable group setting.
MakerFaire - An experience to promote creativity in technology and artisan trades. See how a 3D printer works or create crafts by using traditional processes paired with technology e.g., knitting with lights.
LearningExpress Library - Research potential careers, receive help in preparing for a variety of licensing and certification exams, or attend classes to improve math and literacy skills.
Digital Downloads - Using Hoopla, borrow a range of movies, complete music albums and audiobooks from the comfort of your home.
Midday Meditation - A weekly opportunity to slow down and meditate.
Tech Lab/Makerspace - Offers 3D printing, electronic kits, green screens, photography equipment, and an audio recording space.
Learn a Language - Spanish, Italian, German, French, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian or English. In addition, there are specialized Spanish courses for medical professionals and law enforcement.
Freaky Fridays - Gaming tournaments, cooking competitions, crafts, etc. For teens only.
Boulder Folders - An origami workshop providing an opportunity to learn or get better at the ancient art of paper folding. Free and open to the public. Bring your own paper. Ages 10 and up.
IdeaLAB - Use the digital media lab and makerspace to create games, videos, music, robots, crafts and more. A variety of software and hardware is available to help create projects, and check out the many workshops and programs.
BizBoost - Use the library to start or improve your business. Request a free 30 to 60 minute appointment with a librarian to breakdown numbers and statistics to increase revenue for your business or to draft a marketing plan.
Teacher Sets - Check out sets of books already vetted by other teachers on a variety of topics for your classroom.
Volume Denver Project - Download and stream music from local bands and musicians. Members of the Colorado music community can also submit their own music to the website.
Cooking Classes - Learn how to cook a variety of dishes: Irish, Cuban and many others.
Mango Languages - Learn a language from the comfort of your home.
Tax Help - Free tax assistance twice a week
Citizenship classes - Offered in Spanish and English
Teens Teaching Teens - Teens can share their knowledge with other teens by teaching a class. Topics have included videogame design, hip-hop dance, and improvisational acting.
Movie Night - For teens, the first Saturday of every month. For adults, usually once a month.
Aging Well Resource Center - Receive help with filling out necessary forms and navigating age-related topics.
Make Something - An opportunity to interact with new and not-so-new technology. Learn how to program, sew, etc., including a plethora of DIY activities. All ages.
American Job Center - Assistance with resume writing and interview skills.
Story Time - Offered in American Sign Language and Spanish, in addition to English.
Mobile Computing Training Lab - Helping community groups and senior citizens gain computer skills to participate in the digital economy.
Book-A-Librarian - Small business owners can have a librarian come out to their business and be shown how to access resources to support the business. They can also get help with competitive analysis and how to apply for a patent.
Culture Pass - Request a day pass for the Butterfly Pavillion, Golden History Museums, and many other educational locales around the Denver area.
Dog Ears - Every Wednesday, kids can sign up for 15 minutes to read to a therapy dog to help develop literacy skills.
Teen Wordsmiths Creative Writing Club - Offered the second Monday of each month, teens work with a local author to hone their writing skills and participate in a discussion about writing.
Literacy Services Program - Learn a language by either using Rosetta Stone at the library, or from the comfort of your home by using Mango Languages via the website.
Creation Station - Check out video equipment and use the green screen to make YouTube videos, short films, etc. Check out cameras and use photo-editing software. Audio recording software is available to create podcasts. Use the Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet to input diagrams, sketches, and comics and manipulate your creations with Toon Boom animation software or Adobe Illustrator.
LearningExpress Library - Test preparation materials and interactive practice exams for GED, academic, civil service, military, and professional licensing and certification exams.
Tai-Chi and Yoga Classes - Adult classes for a range of skill levels. Improve endurance, balance, flexibility and coordination.
Paws to Read - For children that may be uncomfortable practicing their literacy skills with adults, they can read to canines instead.
Linking In to LinkedIn - Monthly class focuses on how to effectively create a LinkedIn profile, and tips and tricks for building your network for yourself, your company and/or small business.
AARP Smart Driver Course - Possibly lower your insurance rates by attending this driving course offered by AARP. Adults 55 and better will receive driving and safety tips in this interactive lecture-style class. No driving involved.
Makerspace - Learn how 3D printers and laser engravers are used. Take a class in floral design, jewelry making, quilting, journaling using different media, etc.
Concert Series - Listen to local bands and musicians perform bluegrass, classical, folk and other styles. Offered the second Sunday of each month from October through April.
Coding Classes - Computer programming classes for children.
Makerspace - People interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) can learn skills by using resources like 3-D printers and robotics. For those interested in literacy or art in conjunction with STEM, there is the STREAM program. Utilize technology to create art and improve skill level.
Foundation Grant Business Database - Assistance with finding grants for your small business or employer.
Piggybanks - Classes offered on a variety of financial topics
BrainFuse - Homework help line for all ages. Also offers SAT sample tests and resume writing assistance.