Jeff Riley’s Fall Update

October 4, 2023

Before getting to my story, I thank the +400 people coming to the 26th Annual Booklovers Ball.  We will have a great evening, and I look forward to seeing you all. Please visit this link if you’d like to attend but have not purchased your ticket.

Now, for the story –  on my way to get lunch recently, I walked through the plaza between the Central Library and the Denver Art Museum. There’s one area of the plaza with several splash pads. As I walked through, I dodged both the water and the kids. The kids all looked joyful, jumping in and out of the water as it shot up from the ground. It made me think about the vibrancy of downtown, which made me think about Mayor Johnston and his desire to revitalize downtown Denver.

Mayor Johnston has said, “A vibrant city starts with a vibrant downtown. … A place where people live and like to spend time working, living, and playing together.” Seeing these kids in the midst of the plaza, in front of the Central Library, makes me think they are leading the way toward revitalizing downtown. Yes, the Central Library is under construction, but it is open, and there are many activities in and around the library that encompass working, living, and playing. 

Library customers can reach their career goals at the library by working on their resumes, practicing for job interviews, or developing their business plans with the help of a reference librarian. They can utilize resources to support living the life they want – whether by accessing mental health resources, learning a new language, accessing special collections, or preparing for a citizenship exam. And last but not least, playing! People of all ages and from all walks of life can enjoy the programs at the library. Whether it’s attending storytime, an author talk, family bingo, or participating in an older adult matinee movie club, there are many opportunities for playing.

If you need other ideas, a visit to the library can include a visit to the Denver Art Museum or History Colorado. You can also take a tour of the City and County Building or the Colorado State Capitol. Civic Center Park is also a great spot to grab a bench, enjoy lunch, and enjoy the sunshine. I walk across the Park frequently and enjoy that walk every time I take it.

One of the steps we can all take to help revitalize downtown is to be like those kids in the water. Come for a visit and enjoy all that this part of downtown has to offer. 

I hope you have a wonderful October! 

Yours very truly,

Jeff Riley
Executive Director
Denver Public Library Friends Foundation