In order to operate a transmitter on the amateur radio bands you will need to become licensed. In the past an applicant needed to acquire the skill to copy morse code at a minimum of 5 words per minute and he or she needed to pass a written test. In the "modern" world of electronic communications, the requirement for morse code has been dropped for the basic entry license. But, you will need to learn the fundamentals of radio. This is very easy and fun. And it gives you a good understanding of the hows and whys of radio operation which can be useful in areas other than amateur radio.
First you need to acquire the knowledge to pass your amateur radio license exam. For a start on that go to the American Radio Relay League's (ARRL) Introduction to Ham Radio pages on the web.
Next you'll need to purchase some books. You can do that online at the ARRL website (above).
If you live in the Denver metro area of Colorado you could go to Ham Radio Outlet where they have numerous study materials. Their web site is located HERE. Click on the store locations tab to find a map to their shop.
The book many use to get their first license is "Now You're Talking" published by the ARRL. You can also purchase it from Amazon.Com
Perhaps you would like to attend a class to assist you in your pursuit of knowledge. All the info I have currently is that the Aurora Repeater Association is holding classes. If you know of a group offering classes, let me know (mail link at the bottom of the page).
Next, you will need to take (and pass) a test. The best resource for finding out when the next testing session is available as a service of Glenn [W�IJR] and Karen [KA�CDN] Shultz and the Mile High Volunteer Examiner Team via a telephone call to their Testing Information Hotline available 24 hours a day at 303-360-7293.