This week, April 10-16, is National Library Week! All week long, our system, along with libraries across the country, is celebrating with tons of programs and advertising campaigns, trying to really show just how valuable your local library is for the community. I feel fortunate to work for a system that has time and again been embraced and encouraged by local government and local community members, but still there are many who don’t know all the many things our library offers. So, without further ado, here are some things you (probably) didn’t know you could do at the library!
Sign up for a totally FREE library card.
Probably there are some public libraries that charge for a library card, but in our system, as long as you can prove you live within the tri-state area, you are more than welcome and in fact, encouraged, to sign up for a library card, which then grants you access to all the features I’m about to mention, and it’s all totally completely free. This is one of the most common questions I am asked, and it makes me sad to think some people might not be coming to the library because they think they need to pay to use it.
Learn a new skill.
There are tons of ways to do this. You could check out a book about guitar playing or painting. You could use our digital resources to learn any instrument, language, tech skill or business skill. You could use the sewing machine we recently made publicly available. You could join our crocheting club. You could visit our maker lab and use design software, recording technology and a green screen. You can ask any one of our trained librarians to help you improve a digital literacy skill.
Check out a book… or TV show… or movie… or CD… without leaving your house.
We have an entire virtual collection of resources that, while it has been growing in popularity each month, I still feel is fairly underused. You can download ebooks directly to your kindle, mobile device, or computer for free. Not to mention the vast array of audiobooks, TV shows, movies and music that you can borrow (and most of them are not in limited supply so there’s no holds queue.)
Receive career assistance.
Many of our staff are trained in editing resumes, assisting with job applications, and more. We can help you figure out a complicated online job application, type up your cover letter and figure out what to include. We also have online resources that do all that plus give you interview advice, help you find your career path, and search for job openings!
Research your heritage.
We offer three totally free databases for researching your genealogy and two of them can even be used from the comfort of your own home as long as you have a library card.
Despite common belief that a library is a place of total and absolute silence, in our children’s section we value fun. We recognize that play is one of the key foundations for early literacy and continued interest in education and we try to make sure a healthy dose of fun permeates our library, from the many programs we host every week, to the imagination play area we have in our children’s department.
Did I miss something? Let me know!