While libraries obviously have wonderful and vast selections of books to peruse and borrow, they provide much more than that to the communities they serve. You may be surprised to discover the wide variety of resources available to you through your local branch. Whether you are a new library user or a long-time, card-carrying member, put a library trip on your calendar and be sure to check out these no-cost offerings:
Electronic resources. Looking for a quiet place to work? Many libraries provide computers with internet access for patrons to use or WiFi if you bring your own device. Beyond physical resources, libraries now frequently have electronic collections, allowing you to borrow e-books to download at your convenience and read wherever you are – a perfect option to keep you entertained while traveling if you don’t want to carry heavy books in your bag. Ask your local library how to access their e-books.
Local attractions. Passes to museums, science centers, zoos and other attractions can be pricey for families. Many libraries have passes available to reserve (at no cost to you) to a number of local attractions. However, keep in mind these are popular items, so be sure to reserve in advance.
Career help. Libraries can be a huge asset for job seekers. Not only do they provide resources to look for new jobs, but many also have resume and interview prep workshops to help you prepare.
Helpful items. This can vary depending on the library, but some offer a wide variety of items to borrow well beyond books. From baking pans and instruments to knitting needles and household tools, these resources can ensure you have what you need to explore a new hobby or tackle projects around your home.
Events for everyone. Be sure to take a look at the calendar for upcoming events at your local library. There may be kid-specific activities like story times, educational programs, family movie nights, and art or science events, as well as adult-only programs including book clubs, classes and workshops, yoga and more. These events are often offered at little or no cost to members and provide a great way to learn and get involved in the community. Visit your library or their website to see what is coming up near you.
School support. In addition to offering learning resources and fun programs or events, some libraries may also have tutoring, homework help, and similar services available to help set kids up for success in school.
Community hub. Libraries are a great meeting spot for community groups and events, providing a central location that brings neighbors together. If your group is looking for a place to meet, see if the library has space available to host you at no cost to your group.
Each library is different and may have their own specific programs or offerings, but they all provide useful resources beyond books that can benefit everyone in the community. Because they provide these services at no cost to you, if you are able to, consider making a donation to help continue these programs for everyone. And visit your local library today to explore more!