Denver Public Library: Space, Activities for All Families, Anytime

Denver Preschool Program (DPP) and Denver Public Library (DPL) have collaborated for nearly a decade. Together, we expand our reach to families across Denver, ensuring more families have information about DPP tuition credits and the incredible resources that DPL offers. 

“DPP has been such an important partner for us and in a healthy way that benefits both of our organizations,” said Sarah McNeil, Senior Librarian, Early Learning Department at DPL. “DPP has helped us increase our reach, provide the kind of high-quality programming we want to be part of, and is a valuable community resource to which we can connect our customers.” 

From storytimes to spaces for kids to explore and learn, DPL has something for every family. 

  • Storytimes: DPL offers free Storytimes for children 0-5, tailoring programming based on age and including a craft or interactive element to every event. Storytimes are available in Spanish and English at most of DPL’s 27 locations located throughout the City. DPP regularly shares information about preschool and tuition support at storytimes. 
  • Little University: DPL’s Little University provides free quality early learning activities for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers. Activities focus on enrichment activities beyond reading, like playing, singing, dancing, and more. DPP has funded Little University for several years to support families who have chosen an alternative to the formal preschool setting. In 2023, 3,291 children and 2,762 adults attended a DPL Little University session. “Little University is such a great way for children and families to participate in high quality early childhood education in a way that works best for them,” McNeil said. “We would not be able to offer this programming without DPP’s support.” Visit the DPL event page for upcoming Little University times, dates, and locations. Little University is offered at 5 DPL sites:
    • Green Valley Ranch Library
    • Hadley Branch Library
    • Bear Valley Library 
    • Rudolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library 
    • Montbello Branch Library
  • Summertime: Every year, DPL offers a summertime program–this year’s program is called Summer of Adventure and runs June 1st-August 10th for all ages (0-18) and abilities! DPL will have NEW prizes, events, and ways to participate to help all children READ, MAKE, and EXPLORE all summer long. Come meet experts, learn new skills, and find amazing new ways to read. Find more information online at or ask at your neighborhood library. 
  • Anytime Spaces: DPL has created welcoming spaces for people of all ages–including kids. Every location has unique events and are open day, evening, and weekend hours. Families and children are encouraged to come anytime to explore, learn, and have fun. “We want people to remember libraries are such a great place for an outing with little ones anytime, not just for events,” McNeil said. “Libraries are no longer places where you have to be quiet and careful. They are designed to be hands-on, interactive, and fun.” Whether it’s a long stretch of cold temperatures or simply needing to add something new into your routine, DPL offers welcoming spaces to play and explore. 

In addition to programming for families and children, DPL also provides education for early childhood teachers, caregivers, and professionals. These trainings cover a range of topics, from Trauma-Informed Storytimes to the Importance of Movement, and from in-person learning to virtual opportunities. Learn more about DPL’s Early Learning Development

“Our aim is to make sure every child is ready to read, and we know to achieve that, we have to go beyond reading and also connect with children through talking, singing, writing, and playing,” McNeil said. “That’s why you’ll see our programming really encompasses those 5 practices as much as possible.” 

DPP is honored and grateful to continue to partner with DPL as we both aim to increase awareness about and access to high quality early childhood education. Look for DPP at an upcoming DPL Storytime or Little University near you!