A Day at the Denver Zine Library

Peruse this trove of self-expression in five points.

Courtesy Hip Photo

What is a zine?

If you don’t know what a zine is, or you’ve never taken the time to read one, the Denver Zine Library is a perfect introduction to this quirky, DIY form of self-expression. Generally speaking, a zine is an independent, small-circulation publication, often reproduced by photocopying a handcrafted original manuscript. The DZL’s collection holds some 20,000 of these niche periodicals from all over the world.

Browse the stacks

With so much to read, you could easily spend a whole afternoon just exploring the stacks, admiring the sheer amount of creativity on display, and discovering hidden gems that may not have been touched for years. The DZL requires at least three visits before you’re allowed to borrow anything, but there’s comfy seating available for reading while you’re there.

Take a workshop

The DZL offers “Zine Making 101” workshops by request. Fill out the form on their website to schedule one. You’ll get a short history of zines, hear the story of the DZL’s founding, explore different zine styles on display in the collection, and finally make your own, with step-by-step instructions from one of the DZL’s volunteer staff.

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Grab a bite

All that creativity works up an appetite. Head two blocks northeast on Champa St. for lunch at Curtis Park Deli, a neighborhood favorite serving hearty sandwiches, coffee, and on-tap kombucha.

Finish the day with a beer

Just around the corner from the DZL is the popular Liberati Restaurant and Brewery, an Italian eatery that calls itself the world’s first “oneobeer” hall—a term invented by owner Alex Liberati to describe beer that’s made with wine. Sip one of the restaurant’s Italian grape beers and stay for dinner if you wish; Liberati serves an impressive array of housemade pastas.