Denver: Birthplace of the Modern Library

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It really is an amazing story and something we can really be proud of.

I would be pleased for such a young city to have the oldest public children's room, but the claim didn't seem likely. A quick search led to a children's room in Boston in 1895 (, which strikes me as much more likely both by date and location.

Hi Lisa and thanks for your comment and question.

I did run into other libraries that claimed to have the first children's rooms but none of them (including Boston) cited any sources to back up their claim. I found multiple sources to back up our boast, including - but not limited to- this history of Dana from the Newark Public Library where he worked after leaving Denver  (

That said, I would be careful ascribing historical firsts based only on date and location, or by how young a city happens to be.

For example, women in young cities like Denver and Cheyenne were granted the right to vote 1869 and 1893 respectively. The women of venerable Boston, Mass. were not granted that right until a Constitutional Amendment provided them with it in 1920.

That's a full 51 years after Wyoming granted suffrage and 27 years after Colorado.

Even better, Colorado's suffrage law was voted on by the men of Colorado and not forced by Federal law.

In short, we feel like we're standing on pretty solid ground when we say DPL had the first children's library room and that young cities have contributed more firsts to American history than most of us might think.

Thanks again both for reading our blog and for your inquisitive nature (it keeps us on our toes!).

Hmmm...Boston or Denver?

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