More Than Books: The Best Kept Secret in Your Town
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There’s something about a local library that makes you want to curl up in a corner with a good book and just live there. The smell of old books, crinkling of pages, and quiet whispers of book lovers all in one place make me absolutely giddy.
But did you know the library is so much more than just books? This best kept secret offers quite a few services and activities that are available for free to the public.
Not every weekend has to be filled with expensive outing to the zoo, stadium, or shopping mall. Take a chance on the library and rediscover all the surprising new ways this building serves the community. It’s thrifty, educational, and fun, not to mention it’s perfect for my small budget!
9 FREE Activities You Can Do at the Library
- Join a Book Club. If you’re not already involved in a book club, there is usually one happening at the library, or you’ll find a bulletin board that lists public groups around the area. It might be a chance to read a new book, or discuss an old one!
- Take Your Kids to Storytime. Do something different for the morning or afternoon and go to the library for a story. Sometimes they even have famous authors come for a visit!
- Learn a New Skill. Local craft groups will often meet once a month at the library and anyone is welcome to join. Learn how to knit, quilt, make jewelry, or weave a basket.
- Research Your Family’s History. If you grew up around the area, you’ll find documents to help trace your ancestry. Plus, there’s always fascinating stuff in the archives about your hometown you might not see anywhere else.
- Check Out a DVD. Redbox is pretty cheap, but sometimes you can borrow the exact same film for less. For older movies that aren’t found in those convenient vending machines, visit your library first, before you spring for a Netflix or Amazon Prime membership.
- Check Out an Audio Book. It’s getting harder and harder to find time to sit down and read actual books. Listening to audio books in the car, or on your iPod during a workout is one way to get in more reading time.
- Book a Meeting Room. Most larger libraries have 1 or 2 meeting rooms available for book clubs, presentations, conferences, and local events. It would be the perfect place to host your next “business meeting” or “mom-to-mom” get-together.
- Free Wireless. In this internet age, it almost seems impossible to not to be connected. If you need a change of scenery, or want to avoid a home internet bill, consider using the library!
- Free eBooks. Amazon Prime lets you borrow one free eBook a month, but what if you want to read more? Browse your library’s database of eBooks and check one out right on your computer. All you need to do is download to one of your devices and enjoy during the loan period.
Your local library is more valuable than you think! Get out there, utilize one of these services, and start enjoying the free benefits of one of the greatest buildings in your town.
What do you love most about your local library?
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I love my library!! I am so blessed to live in a district with multiple branches so if one doesn’t have something I am looking for, I can see if another branch has it and then put a hold on it so I can pick it up later at my closest location. I love browsing cookbooks and checking out new movies. I even have a shelf in my living room reserved for all the books I check out from the library. 🙂
I don’t know why I never think to check out cookbooks. It would save me from buying so many!
We love the library – mainly for books – especially books on hold from other libraries for free. Browsing books from home is great as a mom. Our library even has a few odd perks – like shape cake pans you can sign out.
We also get the chance to see talks with live animals, have lego-building contests, and participate in book scavenger hunts that give the kids free books.
My Library has all of those things! I know the ladies there pretty well and in my very small town community, it is the hub of socialization. That is one more thing to add. Become friends with your local librarian. They know everyone!!
Small town libraries are the best!
Our local library offers great programs too (we listened to some great bluegrass music last year!). They also offer coupons for free museum admissions.
We love our library here too! I’m looking forward to when the kids are old enough that we can TRY to do story time. I actually used to work in our town library as well as my campus libraries when I was in college,
My local branch has a librarian who is also a yoga instructor. She has free yoga every Tuesday. I got into yoga from these classes and have been going for several years now. I also take my children to story time, and the summer reading program which had prizes ranging from free art museum passes to free water ice. I love my local library!
I would love to participate in a free yoga class! The only one I ever went to was $12/week, and that was a little hefty for me.
This is great. I was actually just looking at our library’s calendar earlier today! We recently moved and have yet to go. Tomorrow is the day!
magazines! love that you can check out magazines at the local library. cheaper than subscribing and you don’t have to deal with the clutter of stacks of old mags.
Magazines are my weakness! I have so many around the house, and you are right – the library is a great place to read them!
My library has tiny MP3 devices (audio books) all you need is a triple A battery and headphones. It’s very light weight, you could take it to work out or on a long car ride.
Our library is fabulous! Our homeschool group meets there every week. I’m attending a free workshop on making burlap wreaths and couponing this month! They have programs that appeal to every age group as well as tons of free resources.
LOVE burlap wreaths!
At our local library you can even borrow art to put on your walls. In the summer time they hold a once a week special event for kids that includes magic shows, animal shows, puppet shows, and other types of live entertainment.
Wow, the art lending is really unique! Love it!
At many libraries you can also request material. I request books and movies all the time and they almost always buy them and then they put them on hold for me, even new movies. I love that!
Nice! You wouldn’t have to buy anything in that case. 🙂
Exactly. We LOVE our library!
I love this post! We moved next door to our regional library a year ago, and it’s been such a great re-discovery of the awesomeness of libraries. Comedian Gary Gulman has a great line in a whole bit he does about libraries. “The Library’s running a special—FREE BOOKS!” Anyway, I wrote a little bit about my rediscovery of books, reading, and libraries here (you can also listen to the Gary Gulman routine on libraries here): http://www.copywritingcomedian.com/2014/01/21/confessions-of-a-reading-poser/
Oh goodness, I would just love living next to a library!
This is why I just love libraries! Thanks for sharing!