Ask Us Guide for Educators

Your Students' Information Gateway

Ask Us! is the Denver Public Library chat service. It’s available 24/7. We provide answers to questions, offer research guidance, and supply help finding information online. Ask Us! is a free service and can be used anonymously, with or without a library card.

Young girl on a laptop in the libraryHow can you help my students?

Students can access Ask Us! to find quality information and resources concerning:

  • How to do research
  • Group projects
  • Homework questions
  • Citation resources
  • History and science fairs
  • STEM projects
  • Reading recommendations

Reference librarians at DPL holding text books

Who am I chatting with? 

You’re chatting with librarians from Denver Public Library. During times that we’re busy or not online, you may also chat with a librarian from other states (or even another country).


What about privacy? 

We respect privacy. You may log in anonymously— no name needed! We encourage you to add an email address if you want a copy of your chat conversation. 

How Does Ask Us! Work? 

  1. Ask a question. To get started, go to or find our chat box on your local library’s website. We’re here 24/7 to help!
  2. Have a conversation. The librarian may ask for more information about your question. As they search, they will tell you about where they are looking and why they are choosing certain resources. You’re encouraged to review resources as the librarian sends them.
  3. Save your information. You found great information together—fabulous! If you have not entered your email address, you can do so at the end of the chat. You may also choose to supply your email address to the librarian for more research help after the chat has ended. You’ll receive a copy of your chat session, including any links the librarian shared.


How We’ll Help 

We teach students how to do research, or provide resources that will help them understand how to do research better. Chat librarians locate quality and trustworthy sources from around the Internet and from library-specific resources. (We may even use a print book now and then.) 
If students are in a rush or have a complex question, we may offer to follow up with more resources by email. Teachers are welcome to supply their own email address in lieu of a student’s. We’ll help students in a safe online space. We may ask students for more information about the assignment, but not about themselves.  We’re ready to help your students on assignments and projects.

Help Us to Help You!

Instructor and students at a computer class

We know time is fleeting. Students should be ready to chat for 15-20 minutes. This will give us time to thoroughly help. 

Encourage students to have a clear question ready. We may ask for more information - such as their grade level, what resources they’ve already found and if they have a library card - to help us find the best information and resources. Educators can also pair up students, this leads to quicker response times. Students can save their chat or get additional help after the chat has ended by supplying an email address.

Great Questions We've Answered

"Hi, I am trying to find out what kind of animal I can keep with my terrapin that will help me control algae blooms."

"I’m having trouble logging into my library account. Can you help me please?"

"How are watermelons genetically modified?"

"Can you help me find articles for pro life and pro choice. I’m doing a research project about abortion and I’m trying to find evidence to support both sides."

"I am doing a research project about the flaws in medieval medicine and I have been having trouble finding primary sources."

"Hi, I am trying to find articles regarding the city life in Damascus throughout history. Can you help me?"

"Hi! I’m doing a project on mental illness and was wondering if you could find me a book that describes different mental illnesses?"

"I’ve heard that my DPL library card gives me admittance to some art museums here in Denver. Is this correct? Where do I find more information?"

"Is a website with .info a reliable source?"