Your local library offers a lot of great benefits, some of which you may not be aware of. Let’s dive right in!
Borrowing the Books
This one is obvious. Books! You can check out books for FREE at your local library. At my library, I can check out up to 100 books at a time. Now that is a lot of books.
Checking Out Things Other than Books
Did you know that libraries carry items besides books? The availability will, of course, vary by library, but your library may have DVDs, CDs, magazines, video games, board games, launchpads, activity kits, museum passes, and even things you might not expect, like baking pans, seeds, robotics kits, tools, telescopes, and more. So check out what your local library has to offer—you may be surprised!
Borrowing Ebooks and Audiobooks Online
With your library card, you can also borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the convenience of your own home. This is done through the site OverDrive, and they also have an app (called Libby) that you can put on your phone. You simply create an account using your library card number and start borrowing!
Want to read a book but your library doesn’t have it? You can request that your library get a few copies. When a library gets enough requests for a book, they order it and add it to their catalog.
If the book you want isn’t available at your library, you may be able to find it from another library in the nation. When you request a book via an interlibrary loan, the book is sent to your library so you can pick it up there. Some libraries charge for this service (mostly for shipping) and some don’t, so check with your local library before initiating an interlibrary loan.
To rotate their stock and raise money, libraries will often hold book sales of old and donated books. You can find some great books for an extremely low price (usually $1 to $2). And if you have some books that you don’t want to hold onto, consider donating them to your library; even if the library doesn’t add the books to their catalog, they can include them in a book sale and make money to get more great books!
A Great Place to Research, Study, and Read
Most libraries have seating and tables where you can do research or schoolwork or work or just read a book in peace. And it’s quiet too, because you are only supposed to whisper in the library. Your local library probably has a lot of great reference books that you can use for research as well.
Your library probably also offers free Internet access. If you need to work on a project online in a peaceful environment, the library is a great place to go. Or if the Internet or power is down at your house, you can head over to the library to get your work finished.
Activities for Children
Libraries often hold activities that will teach and entertain your children, giving you a break and your children a great experience. These include reading time, scavenger hunts, puppet shows, magic shows, art classes, and more.
Classes for Adults
You can also take a class at your library. These may include language classes, family history classes, recipe swaps, craft classes, knitting classes, and resume writing seminars. You can also join fun or helpful groups, like writing groups or books clubs, that are hosted by your library.
Your library may offer many online resources for free, such as ABCMouse (educational curriculum for children), CreativeBug (crafts), access to scientific journals for research, and a variety of classes and tutoring for both children and adults. Check with your local library to see what is offered!
Your library may offer proctoring services. If you are taking an online class (which is quite common these days), you may need to take a proctored exam at the end of it, and you may be able to take your proctored test at the library for free.
Did you know that many libraries offer free notary services? So next time you need a legal document notarized, check with your library before paying to have it done (and if your library doesn’t offer this service, then check with your bank!).
What benefits does your local library offer? Let us know in the comments below!