I really love the library. Of course it makes frugal sense to check out books instead of buying them, but that isn’t all the library has to offer. Here are 10 ways to go beyond books at your library:
1. Summer Reading Programs – Get rewarded for reading this summer! Libraries everywhere have summer programs for kids of all ages and adults. Grace participated last year when she was just 9 months old!
2. Book Discussion Groups – This isn’t my cup of tea, but it might be yours! Most libraries should have some kind of program for adults that meets monthly or more. My library currently has discussion groups for nonfiction, mystery, modern classics & “chick lit.”
3. Video Games – Try it before you buy it or get major brownie points from your kids when you bring home a video game for a week.
4. Movies – I love checking out DVDs from the library! You can find anything. I’ve gotten Oscar nominated films, funky documentaries, fitness instructional videos, children’s movies and parenting videos. Plus my library often has film screenings.
5. eBooks – Book readers are becoming really popular. Now you can fill up your reader for free by “checking out” an eBook for 21 days. Ask your library for details on which readers are compatible with their program.
6. Audio eBooks – Just like with the eBook system, you can download your favorite audio book onto your computer or MP3 player. Of course don’t forget about regular audio books you can get on CD. I use these when we go on road trips and it makes the time fly!
7. Online Classes – My library offers free online classes through Universal Class. There are hundreds of classes to choose from out of their 42 areas of study. Some of those areas include: office skills, performing arts, parenting, homeschooling, do it yourself, gardening, cooking, computers, accounting and web development.
8. Kindles – I was shocked to find out that my libary just started loaning out Kindles! They come pre-loaded with 15-20 titles. My library has 13 Kindles, each with a different theme. The themes include New York Times Fiction & Non-Fiction Bestsellers, Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Classics, Popular Fiction, Biography and more! This is a great way to test out a Kindle before you buy one.
9. Museum Passes – My local libraries have free family passes to local museums! Each pass is good for 4 people and can be reserved for a week or two. This summer I want to take advantage of this program!
10. Story Times – My sister runs a story time for babies ages 6-24 months! Grace has loved going. Most libraries should offer story times for a variety of ages. Sometimes there are special family story times when you can bring kids of all ages.
AND MORE!! – Here are several more programs and opportunities available at my library this summer: chess club, kids can read to a dog, drama camp, out door concerts, a Madden video game tournament, Wii bowling for seniors, scrabble open play, yoga, and computer classes. Monday night I even attended a belly dancing class!!!
Although these programs are available at my library, they may not be universal. Check with your library to see what they have to offer. You may be surprised! Also, don’t limit yourself to the library closest to you. Your local library might not have Kindles, but maybe the one in the next town over does.
What is your favorite library program?
I’m linking this to Top Ten Tuesdays on Oh Amanda.