Most of the time, you don't really think about how a library can be more than a library.
Most of the time, you don't really think about how a library can be more than a library. That changed Friday when a group of young reporters from the Denver Post Youth Journalism Day visited the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver. The group got to look all around the upstairs museum. In one room was a barber's chair from almost 100 years ago. In another, there were portraits from the African American people, such as the founders of the library, Elvin Caldwell and Omar Blair. An exact duplicate, seal and all, of the mayor's desk was in one room. The group also got to meet the photographer of people going in doors, and sitting in trees and on stairs. She had dressed up as all of those people and then photographed herself.
Learning about the museum was a critical part of the tour, just as learning about the things in it. The group met Charleszine T. Nelson, who helped build the library and told about it. ''When I got the phone call,'' she says,'' I couldn't wait to get started!'' It was built in 2003 and is 40,000 square feet. The library is the 23rd branch of the Denver Public Library and also the biggest. The favorite part of the library is the contribution and the philosophy of the African American people.